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List of 12 Agile Principles & How to Use Them

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22nd Sep, 2023
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List of 12 Agile Principles & How to Use Them

The Agile Manifesto, created in 2001, is a framework that facilitates software development. The manifesto outlines 12 principles that support project management using an agile methodology. It was designed with a better future in mind, one in which software is delivered quickly to customers’ satisfaction. The Agile Manifesto also discusses various methodologies, including Scrum, which uses 12 Scrum principles in its development process. This blog will give a detailed analysis of the Agile principles and manifesto.

Agile Principles

The Agile Manifesto has been specifically designed by a group of software developers and consists of 12 Agile principles. These principles assist developers in the smooth maintenance and development of projects. They greatly shape the groundwork for an Agile mindset. Identifying the principles of the Agile Manifesto and putting them into practice boosts the value of the production team. The principles create a healthy environment for the employees, from guaranteeing the customer is the primary focus to understanding the importance of change and dealing with it.

12 Agile Principles

The list of 12 Agile principles and values is regarded as a guide for company development.  Listed below are the 12 principles that allow organisations to provide value to customers more quickly and with fewer complications. 

1. Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction falls under a category that determines the image of the company’s future endeavours. This can be obtained by building a healthy relationship with the customer through frequent conversations and feedback. Trust is boosted when the product is delivered on schedule. Unlike the conventional method, Agile principles are essential because they shorten the time between idea generation and implementation.

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Practical approach: 

  • The team of product managers ensure that the products used are minimal and viable and runs quick experiments to generate fresh concepts. 
  • Frequent releases create a constant feedback cycle between the consumer and the product.

2. Accepting Changes

Accepting change and giving it a chance are essential in constantly changing trends. For embracing change, the principles of Agile methodology are superior. While the conventional method discourages change and starts with a systematic sketch, followed later with no changes once the sketch is constructed, Agile principles flip the situation on its head. They incorporate last-minute company changes as requested and produce a well-polished and finished product.

Practical approach: 

  • While aiming at their progress chart, the progress is calculated not through their success rate but by the speed with which they incorporate and emphasise the changes. 
  • They are advised to have constant contact with the ground, which consists of customer feedback, rapid changes, etc. 

3. Regular Delivery

Frequent delivery is the key principle of Agile Manifesto. When the work is divided into a specific number of pieces and a group works on each piece, immediate production is feasible, making the product better. Unlike the conventional method, the division of work helps eliminate a pile of paperwork, saving time and effort. 

Practical approach:

  • The Agile project management method, which consists of a division of work, helps the work to be done in a specific time frame.
  • Using a strategy where software changes are reflected directly to the production team, resulting in frequent delivery.

4. Promoting Face-to-Face Communication

Communication is the key element between a business and the developers. Face-to-face interaction aids in instilling practical concepts in the minds of the developers. Frequent conversation through video conferences and emails makes this job feasible. The true objective behind the most important of the 12 principles of Agile methodology is to have an efficient conversation about product development and obtain feedback.

Practical approach:

  • Conducting meetings every day to track progress.
  • Sharing demonstrations and distributing a sample of the desired product.
  • Build cross-functional teams for a unified approach to product development, bridging the gap between technical and business aspects. 

5. Hiring Motivated People in Your Team

Putting together a team of motivated people produces new ideas that achieve outstanding success when put into practice. Appointing the right set of people 

will foster sharp ideas and development in the future. Development requires motivation and effective teamwork, both of which can be provided by an environment of highly motivated people with access to the necessary resources.

Practical approach:

  • Creating a precise plan explaining the structure of the expected software to the individuals will lead to the best version of the product.

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6. Collaborative Strategy Between Entrepreneurs and Developers

Equal participation from both parties is essential for a project’s success. When they collaborate, fresh ideas emerge, and their trust grows, ultimately paving the way for success. Feedback and suggestions are put forward, leading to an excellent finished product.

Practical approach:

  • Daily meetings to discuss daily updates and current standings.
  • Entrepreneurs should also join this team for regular updates and to stay in touch with the development team.

7. Focusing on Outputs

The development of working software is encouraged as a top priority by this Agile principle rather than the creation of plans, documentation, or other intermediate artefacts. Teams that do this throughout the development process can keep a laser-like focus on providing value to users, gathering feedback, and adjusting to changing conditions. Agile principles can only be used for software development; hence, developers must focus on the outputs obtained using the working software.

 Practical approach:

  • The development team focuses on developing viable features for receiving feedback regarding the outputs.
  • Instead of pursuing perfection, they strive to create a useful product.
  • Utilising the fail-fast method aids in their ability to comprehend the output and the product more fully. 

8. Promoting Sustainable Development

This one is regarded as crucial among the 12 principles of Agile methodology because it helps developers understand the practical side of their work. It aims to create a healthy environment and a balanced work schedule. In the traditional approach, the rapid application development method has been known to exhaust the team. This principle aims to eliminate work pressure.

Practical approach:

  • Before the start of every project, the work is divided to balance the workload. 
  • It is ensured that only the assigned set of work is completed during the sprint and that no additional work is assigned.
  • The product managers are asked to act as the middlemen who block any unwanted edits or last-minute add-ons by developers or other stakeholders.

9. Good Design and Paying Attention to Technical Excellence

Frequent attention to the design and its technical components is important for software developers. According to this Agile project management principle, it is considered that paying continuous attention to these factors results in a well-structured product with nearly zero mistakes.

Practical approach:

  • Product managers and developers must collaborate to determine when and if technical debt is acceptable.
  • The product will have to dedicate development resources to refactoring tasks routinely. Refactoring should always be considered; it cannot be an afterthought.

10. Significance of Simplicity

A simple product is always the most effective one in the industry. This principle of Agile software development aims to create the software most effectively through simplicity, keeping it grounded and easy. They ensure excessive effort and time are not wasted on one specific project, thus focusing on getting great results with minimal work.

Practical approach:

  • Experimenting with specific ideas helps to pull out the bad ones, filtering the best ideas. 
  • The product managers should be very picky about the features and make rapid yet promising decisions.

11. Emerging Self-Organising Teams

It is believed that the best products come from self-organising teams. The product managers are responsible for making decisions under the traditional strategy, which uses a pyramid structure. A self-organising team has the benefit of being able to operate under a flat management structure, which brings out their best attributes.

Practical approach: 

  • The use of this principle depends on the project. Its main goal is to create self-organising teams capable of taking ownership and successfully managing the project. 

12. Self-reflection and Adjustment

A strong group of candidates who think critically and strive to improve is a blessing. Agile practices and principles encourage development, and since most companies put forward changes in the middle of the project, having such an encouraging group will help make adjustments.

Practical approach:

  • The team is given opportunities for experimenting, which boosts their experience and educates them.
  • Conducting frequent retrospectives to understand what went wrong and what went right will enhance the development of the software. 

How to Use Agile Principles?

When applying these in the real world, the team must consider all 12 principles. Initially, the team members should make a detailed plan regarding the target software, including the base and the target. 

Once the target and foundation are clear, they should create the details in the middle. An eye for detail is critical; hence, they should set goals for completion. After getting an idea of the target software, they should work in sprints, focusing on one goal at a time. Conducting meetings and having face-to-face conversations with the stakeholders helps to keep track of the work. 

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Under What Circumstances Is It Used?

The Agile Manifesto and principles are not a set of rules that all software developers must adhere to but something that benefits them if applied. The team members need the principles’ support and assistance to complete the project successfully. Agile principles are used by most team members who are assigned projects without resources or restrictions, which lets them think outside the box.

Importance of the Agile Manifesto 12 Principles

The principles of Agile model can be explained as a specific structure or framework that helps software development companies enrich their future. A software company should have fresh ideas, the courage to learn, and the willingness to accept change — Agile principles make sure that the team is fit to compete in a competitive world. 

Advantages of Agile Principles

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Businesses can enhance performance by simplifying their product development cycles using the 12 Agile principles and a flexible, reactive framework. In a world where customers look for perfection and come up with criticism quickly, Agile principles help diminish the negative impacts. The advantages are listed below:

  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Reduced risks
  • Improved transparency
  • Standard quality products
  • Improved profit
  • Enhanced alignment
  • Higher adaptability

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Software development is highly valued and recognised in its environment, so it must be created and developed perfectly. The 12 Agile principles outlined in the Agile Manifesto raise the calibre of newly created software. Identifying the principles of Agile Manifesto and practising them benefits the company significantly. 

To ensure the creation of flawless software, enroll in classes offered by various online platforms and learn more about the 12 principles of the Agile methodology


Pavan Vadapalli

Blog Author
Director of Engineering @ upGrad. Motivated to leverage technology to solve problems. Seasoned leader for startups and fast moving orgs. Working on solving problems of scale and long term technology strategy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1What are the five principles of Agile methods?

Understanding and accepting changes, customer satisfaction, having regular communication, giving importance to the outputs, and promoting a group of motivated individuals to work fall under the agile principles and values.

2What is principle 7 in SAFe agile?

Principle 7 of SAFe explains the importance of proper rhythm and synchronisation with the ground team, considered among the most important Agile principles in software engineering.

3What is Agile vs. Scrum?

Agile methodology, or an Agile approach, aims to accomplish a project efficiently with expertise in delivering the software. On the other hand, Scrum methodology is an Agile framework that aims to deliver software to companies. The main difference between Agile and Scrum principles is that Agile provides frequent updates for receiving feedback, whereas Scrum produces the work only after its completion and takes a step back when it comes to accepting changes.

4What is the key principle of Agile?

The key principle of the Agile Manifesto is customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is crucial because the software was made with a particular target market in mind.