You're not doing Agile unless you know the Manifesto by Gareth Baxendale

Like many frameworks and methodologies, it's all too easy to wave the flag claiming to be a dedicated follower and implementer of 'good practise'. Many will triumphantly say "Yes, we follow X methods at our business" while being blissfully unaware of what this really means.

Consider software development and the Agile approach. Many understand the clear benefits when compared against a Waterfall approach, many love the idea of 'sprints' and 'scrums' but how many know that a detailed manifesto exists for Agile? That the manifesto is underpinned by 12 principles?

If this is news to you then hop along to where you will find a clearly defined manifesto that is now some 13 years old!

The 12 principles underpinning the manifesto are:

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 efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.

7 - Working software is the primary measure of progress. Agile processes promote sustainable development.

8 - 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 amount of 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 next time someone tells you they 'do Agile' ask them to recite the above principles and if they fail chase them out with a pitch-fork and tell them never to return.

If you really want to show your support for the Agile Manifesto why not sign your name on the site and tell the world why you think it's important, you know you want to.

The Business Transformation has posted this article in partnership with


Gareth Baxendale FBCS CITP is Head of Technology for the National Institute for Health Research - Clinical Research Network. Gareth is a chartered fellow of BCS The Chartered Institute for IT and vice chair of the BCS Health and Care Executive who promote good-practice in Health IT. Gareth is also a published author and regularly writes on topics spanning Health IT on leadership and adoption as well as technical good-practice. In addition, Gareth is also a Chartered and FED-IP assessor and SFIAplus reviewer.

Twitter: @BaxendaleGareth