What Is Agile?

Agile is the ability to respond to change while controlling risk. It is a way of dealing with and succeeding in an uncertain and changing environment. It is about understanding what is happening in your environment and adapting as you proceed.

Agile has emerged as a huge global movement. It enables organisations to succeed in an increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world. The rate of change has accelerated dramatically over the past 25 years. All indicators point to this quickening trend continuing. Today’s “fast enough” will likely not be fast enough in future. To remain competitive, organisations need a process that can help them keep up with this accelerating rate of change.

Agile frameworks like Scrum help organisations deliver products earlier and at lower costs, giving them a competitive advantage in a fast-paced market. They can better rapidly adapt to meet the market’s and customers’ needs.

The Agile Manifesto

The Manifesto For Agile Software Development was created in 2001. It was intended as a response to the heavyweight, documentation-driven software development processes that were commonly used at this time.

So what is Agile and agility according to this manifesto? The values of the Agile Manifesto are:

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

And while there may be value in the items on the right, we value the things on the left more. This is where the focus should be placed.

There are also 12 supporting principles which provide further supporting details. We will now explore those principles.