Agile Manifesto and its twelve principles

The Agile Manifesto is the statement of principles that support agile software development, agile methodologies and agile project management. Written in February 2001, at a summit of 17 independent-minded practitioners of several programming methodologies, the agile manifesto forwarded the twelve principles of agile development. Though the participants of the summit did not agree much, they concluded with four values with a unanimous decision.

Values forwarded by Agile Manifesto

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

Agile values individuals and interactions over processes and tools. It values working software over comprehensive documentation; customer collaboration over contract negotiation; responding to change over following a plan. These do not mean that following a plan is not important but it states that individuals, interactions, working software, customer collaboration and responding to change are more important.

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The agile manifesto and the 12 principles are the core of agile software development and therefore it is very important for agile certified professionals and agile certification enthusiasts to have a good understanding of these principles. Based on the 12 principles of agile manifesto agile is interpreted.

Let’s take a look at the 12 principles behind agile manifesto to absorb better understanding of agile development.

12 Principles behind 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 effective and efficient way 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 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.

The ultimate goal of agile is to create business value for customer and for this an agile team needs to understand the real requirements of the customers and provide the same. Focus on the business need, deliver on time, collaboration among team members and offering high quality services are the motif behind agile development. It is essential to understand all the above principles behind the agile manifesto and practice implementation of these agile principles for success in agile development.

Know more about agile principles, methodologies and practices through Simplilearn’s. You can also register for PMI-ACP classroom training in your city in the US or India to increase your knowledge in your quest for a PMI-ACP Credential.

About the Author


Chandana is working as a Senior Content Writer in and handles variety of creative writing jobs. She has done M.A. in English Literature from Gauhati University.

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  • *According to Simplilearn survey conducted and subject to terms & conditions with Ernst & Young LLP (EY) as Process Advisors