Agile Principles: One of the most important foundations
The agile principles are among the most important foundations for implementing an agile corporate culture and providing employees and managers with a guide for agile collaboration. But which principles are relevant for an agile transformation in practice? We have formulated these principles using maxims – for a better understanding of the norms of behavior and action in the agile working world.
Agile principles and values: What is the Agile Manifesto?
The agile manifesto was formulated in 2001 by 17 experienced software developers and resulted from the urge to deliver solutions that meet customer requirements in a timely and tangible manner. To be successful in the digital economy, adapting the way of working and behaving to a dynamic environment is of great importance.
The agile manifesto, which defines the agile principles and values, represents a significant turning point towards a modern agile working world.
The agile principles as the basis for an agile transformation
Agility is a way of acting defined by values and guided by principles. The agile principles summarize the various practices (such as plannings and backlogs) into a process model and serve as a behavioral norm and guide for collaboration.
Derived from the twelve agile principles of the Agile Manifesto and based on our practical experience we have developed eight maxims that serve as a framework for action and complement the values of the agile mindset.
Learn more about the agile mindset here.
Agile Principles: Eight maxims for an agile corporate culture
Early and continuous delivery
Since customer focus and satisfaction are paramount, continuous delivery of potentially shippable increments of value for quick feedback is important. The customer is actively involved in the entire development process. This ensures that the product achieves high quality in a short period of time and exactly meets the customer’s requirements.
Involving the customer in every development phase results in regular changes, which are welcomed and seen as an opportunity in the agile working world. But what does that mean exactly?
This agile maxim aims to use rapid response to changing market situations or customer requirements as a competitive advantage. Strategic changes are made at an early stage which offers opportunities for a better result. It is therefore important not to shy away from changes, but to welcome them with open arms to enable a continuous learning process.
In order to be able to react well to the changes, an adapted time management is also necessary. But how does this change in an agile organization?
Work in short time intervals
Important characteristics of agile working methods are short time intervals. These offer the opportunity to clearly reflect on each work result and at the same time prevents employee overload, since the workload can be realistically estimated in shorter time periods. Product increments and frequent releases offer the advantage of a faster time-to-market.
To organize and structure well within project teams, management is also necessary – but how does this work in the agile working world?
Close collaboration in cross-functional teams
To deliver high-quality and fast results, project teams must cover all necessary competencies. They are composed of various experts and experienced professionals. The individual team members can benefit from each other’s expertise and achieve optimal solutions through close collaboration and coordination.
The maxims derived from agile principles serve not only as rules of conduct – team cohesion and employee motivation are also improved.
In contrast to hierarchical management styles with long communication and decision-making paths, agile companies are characterized by self-organized and independent teams. This requires a high level of trust and internal communication. The greater scope for action promotes both employee satisfaction and creativity. This agile maxim ultimately also has a positive effect on the company’s success.
In addition to trust, the transparency of work processes also plays an important role in agile companies.
In order to make the work process transparent, regular team meetings take place in the agile way of working to exchange information about the status quo, improvements, impediments, and next steps. Methods such as Kanban also ensure transparency and improve the workflow within teams. Kanban boards allow team members to see immediately the development status and progress of various tasks, which enables them to share and reflect on them with colleagues and reflect on them with colleagues.
Agile teams focus on limiting their work to the essentials – to tasks whose results offer value. For this reason, for example, meetings only take place with specific timeboxes. Timeboxing ensures that unnecessary rambling is eliminated. By prioritizing tasks, work is reduced to what is necessary, resulting in more efficient work.
To ensure this efficiency, successes and work results must be measured.
Reflection and optimization
Retrospectives take place within defined and regularly conducted meetings. The team reflects on what went well in the last work interval and what should be optimized next time. Ideas and suggestions are brought forth to further improve future collaboration.
Conclusion Agile principles
All in all, practical experience has proven that orientation towards the modes of action and behavioral norms described in the agile maxims plays an important role. In this way, it becomes realistically possible to establish an agile way of thinking and working throughout the entire company.
With the establishment of the agile principles in the company, the basis of the agile mindset is supplemented, which promotes the gradual change process towards an agile organization.
You would like to learn more and are interested in an agile transformation? We are happy to support you and look forward to hearing from you!