Agile Principles

The 12 Agile Principles

The Agile Principles originate from a document formally called ‘Manifesto for Agile Software Development’ . The Agile Manifesto was conducted by 17 developers in 2001 during a stay at a ski resort in Utah. These practitioners observed the increasing need for an alternative to documentation-driven and heavyweight software development processes. The Agile Manifesto is a document that identifies four key values and 12 principles that its authors believe software developers should use to guide their work. Learn more on how to apply agile here.

The Agile Manifesto

In February 2001, 17 software development practitioners gathered at a ski resort in Utah to solve a common problem in software development: “How can we deliver quality software if what we deliver is already outdated when we present it to our clients?”

Despite having widely varying opinions on the right way to approach software development, the crew agreed on at least one thing: the status quo was not working. There was an increasing need for an alternative to documentation-driven and heavyweight software development processes.

The group named themselves “The Agile Alliance.” Out of their gathering in Utah that winter came The Agile Manifesto, a brief document built on 4 values and 12 principles for agile software development.

It’s important to note that Agile in itself wasn’t born then. Before this, its creators and many other software development practitioners had long been applying various agile values and principles piecemeal. But The Agile Manifesto made these ideas and values tangible and so its use got more widespread. Generally, the writing of the Agile Manifesto is considered the start of the Agile philosophy that has permeated numerous organizations and industries these days.

The Agile Manifesto

We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it. Through this work we have come to value:

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

Working software over comprehensive documentation

Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

Responding to change over following a plan

That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.

© 2001-2019 Agile Manifesto Authors

This declaration may be freely copied in any form, but only in its entirety through this notice.

The Authors

Kent Beck
Mike Beedle
Arie van Bennekum
Alistair Cockburn
Ward Cunningham
Martin Fowler
Robert C. Martin
Steve Mellor
Dave Thomas
James Grenning
Jim Highsmith
Andrew Hunt
Ron Jeffries
Jon Kern
Brian Marick

The 12 principles of the Agile Manifesto

1 Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.

2 Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage.

3 Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.

4 Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.

5 Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.

6 The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.

7 Working software is the primary measure of progress.

8 Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.

9 Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.

10 Simplicity–the art of maximizing the amount of work not done–is essential.

11 The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.

12 At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.

Come on then, black belt sensei