Approaches and Methodologies

The history of the Agile Manifesto

Almost any book about Agile begins with the Agile Manifesto, as does this course. The Manifesto offers an excellent summary of Agile’s principles. It was drafted during a weekend in Utah in 2001 by a group of people with a track record of discovering innovative approaches to software development. Many of these approaches pointed in the same direction: away from heavy, process-oriented Waterfall development methodologies.

Although the group included people with significantly different views, the Manifesto emphasized the common values of their approaches. Everybody had experienced the creation of new ways of collaboration that worked demonstrably better than the ones in traditional methods.

The Agile Manifesto values

The Manifesto consists of four powerful statements that convey the common values of these new-generation approaches:

  • Individuals and interactions are emphasized over processes and tools.
  • Working software is emphasized over comprehensive documentation.
  • Customer collaboration is emphasized over contract negotiation.
  • Responding to change is emphasized over following a plan.

This isn’t to say that comprehensive documentation or contract negotiation, for example, are prohibited. They’re still important, just not as much.

Of course, it can’t hurt to follow a process when working on a project. That said, following any approach or methodology to the letter is often too rigid. A flexible process is preferable.

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