What is Agile Manifesto in Product Management?

Written by
Leonardo Vezzati
Co-founder & COO
Back to basics

The Agile Manifesto:

The Agile Manifesto, created in 2001 by a group of 17 software developers known as the Agile Alliance, outlines a set of principles and values for software development. It's not a rigid rulebook, but rather a philosophy that emphasizes adaptability, collaboration, and delivering value early and often.

Before the Manifesto:

While agile approaches were already being used by some developers, the Agile Manifesto served as the first formal documentation of these practices. Traditionally, software development involved gathering all user requirements upfront and then building and releasing the entire product in one go. This often led to inflexible projects and difficulty adapting to changing needs.

The Agile Mindset:

The Agile Manifesto promotes a specific mindset for software development, captured in its four core values and 12 supporting principles. These values guide developers towards prioritizing individuals and collaboration, valuing working software over extensive documentation, fostering continuous customer involvement, and embracing change rather than clinging to rigid plans.

The Four Agile Values:

  1. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools: This emphasizes the value of human collaboration and ingenuity over rigid methodologies and overreliance on specific tools.
  2. Working software over comprehensive documentation: While documentation is important, the manifesto prioritizes delivering functional software that can be iteratively improved based on user feedback.
  3. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation: Agile values ongoing collaboration with customers throughout the development process to ensure the product meets their evolving needs.
  4. Responding to change over following a plan: Agile development embraces change as inevitable and encourages adapting plans to respond to new information and evolving requirements.

The Twelve Agile Principles:

These principles further elaborate on the four core values and provide more specific guidance for implementing an agile approach.

In essence, the Agile Manifesto emphasizes:

  • Early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
  • Welcoming changing requirements.
  • Frequent delivery of working software, in short timeframes.
  • Close collaboration between business stakeholders and developers.
  • Empowering motivated individuals and providing them with the support they need.
  • Effective communication through face-to-face interaction.
  • Working software as the primary measure of progress.
  • Sustainable development practices.
  • Technical excellence and good design as key enablers of agility.
  • Simplicity and focusing on essential work.
  • Self-organizing teams for effective problem-solving.
  • Continuous reflection and improvement by the development team.

By understanding and applying the principles outlined in the Agile Manifesto, software development teams can foster a more flexible, collaborative, and value-driven approach to creating high-quality software.

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