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A Guide To The Agile Manifesto

The agile manifesto is a document with important principles and values that support the agile approach to software development. Originally released by 17 software developers, the manifesto’s original purpose was to help those working in the software development industry, providing clear guidelines on setting out and approaching workloads. 

However, since it was first released, the manifesto has continued to impact more than just those working in software development. This guide provides everything you could need to know about the agile manifesto and its impacts on the world of work. 

What is the agile manifesto? 

Developed to create a better and more efficient way to manage software development projects, the manifesto outlines several core values. These values are:


  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools: Agile teams value people over processes and tools. They believe that the best way to build software is to create a collaborative environment where people can work together effectively.


  • Working software over comprehensive documentation: Agile teams value working software over comprehensive documentation. They believe that the best way to validate requirements and designs is to build working software and get feedback from users early and often.


  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation: Agile teams value customer collaboration over contract negotiation. Believing that the best way to meet the needs of customers is to work closely with them throughout the development process.


  • Responding to change over following a plan: Agile teams value responding to change over following a plan. They believe that the best way to deal with uncertainty and change is to be adaptable and flexible.


These four core values create the foundations for agile software development. 

Looking deeper, the manifesto also outlines 12 principles. These principles act as a guide for teams wanting to implement agile values into their organisations. These principles include things like delivering working software early and often, embracing change, and promoting sustainable development. 


Agile project management in software development

The adoption of the agile manifesto within software development has truly changed the way teams of developers approach various projects. Whether this is building a new website or mobile app development. With an end goal to achieve a product or deliver a solution that is most beneficial to the customer, removing the challenges of traditional approaches to development and project management. 

For example, rather than focusing on a final target, in agile development, the target is evolved towards. This allows software development teams to work on learning, adapting, and developing a vision that meets requirements best. 

This agile process is best when the project is likely to experience a number of changes and developments which would require the development team to take a new approach. Promoting collaborative working between team members and ensuring that the customer is always satisfied, taking time to communicate, offering early and continuous delivery, whilst gaining  feedback at various stages of the project.

Further developments of the manifesto

Over time the agile manifesto has been adapted to provide agile methodologies for various industries. The engineering sector, aerospace world, and even pharmacy companies have adopted these principles. The main reason for its growth and popularity across more sectors than the software development industry is its solution for addressing competitive pressure, market changes, and collecting regular feedback in order to achieve greater customer or user satisfaction. 


The main document originally released over 20 years ago is currently a living document which means it has been updated several times over the years. However, the core values and principles remain the same.