In 2001 a group of developers got together in Snowbird, Utah to talk about what they believed. The result was the Agile Manifesto:
Manifesto for Agile Software Development
We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping other do it.
Through this work we have come to value:
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.
This did three great things for the agile software community:
- It talked about values, rather than practices, which allowed the conversations about agility to include both practices and people, and allowed for discussions of interesting questions like ‘does RUP enforce agility, or merely allow it?’ and ‘Is it possible to have an agile waterfall process?’ and so on.
- It gave Preferences, rather than dogmatic guidance, which allowed for a wide range of projects that could call themselves Agile, depending on how they balanced the preferences. These practices could be a disparate as the Rational Unified Process (RUP), Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM), Kanban, eXtreme Programming (XP), Scrum, and many more.
- It firmly established the word ‘Agile’ as the generic term for this wide-ranging family of tools, teams, and Organizations.
Ten years after the Agile Manifesto was published, some of the original signatories and a larger group of Agile thought leaders met at Snowbird, Utah, this time to do a retrospective on 10 years of Agile software development. They celebrated the success of the Agile approach to product development and reviewed the key impediments to building on that success. And they came to unanimous agreement on four key success factors for the next 10 years.
- Demand technical excellence
- Promote individual change and lead organizational change
- Organize knowledge and improve education
- Maximize value creation across the entire process
Although agile software development had been around a long time, the Agile Manifesto is arguably the most significant milestone in the area of software agility.