Agile Manifesto

Posted on February 3, 2011 by


princess bride

Princess Bride

One of my favorite movie lines is from the Princess Bride. In it the hero is told he must go back to the beginning. When the movie reaches one if its many climaxes – Indigo (hero) exclaims “I am waiting for you, Vizzini. You told me to go back to the beginning. So I have. This is where I am, and this is where I’ll stay. I will not be moved.”

Amazingly with Agile or Agile/SCRUM the beginning is only 10 years ago.

That beginning is captured in the Agile Manifesto signed by several software legends of the time (and still today).  These four statements are further shaped by 12 principles.

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.

Sometimes in implementing Agile/SCRUM, the items on the left are completely discarded, rather than just being on a lower priority. Exuberance trumps execution it seems.  One of the signers of the manifesto, Alistair Cockburn, is also a founder of Use Case systems depiction and process diagrams. That in itself would place him the camp of creating great documentation AND workable software.  If you happen to find yourself in a raging debate concerning whether Agile/Scrum allows a plan, virtual teams, documentation or even a contract – just go back to the beginning!