I want you to think. Well, think back, to your juvenile years. What were some of the values you were taught? Would you be the same person you are today without those values? When asked this latter question, most people would answer “no”. Just like in our juvenile years, as software developers, the set of positive values we attach to our work is what creates the disparity between a successful project and a not so successful one. In this article, I will talk about these positive values — also known as The Agile Manifesto — and why it is so imperative for software development success.
In 2001, seventeen software development practitioners met in Utah with hopes of having a fun ski get-together. What came out of this luau would, even several years later, be considered the core values any software developer must live by to ensure a successful software launch. Right from the conception of the software as a thought — all the way down to the last bit of code — The Agile manifesto has aided several major companies and developers to meet the needs of clients in a way that leaves both parties extremely satisfied.
While there was already a method by which software was developed, namely The Waterfall Methodology, Agile Software development introduced a whole new and more efficient way of building software.
Although Agile Development seems quite comprehensive at the surface level, there is so much more to it than most “Agile” software companies know or are willing to incorporate into their routine.
Going back to the history though, being the independent thinkers that they were, these seventeen individuals could not agree on what all was absolutely necessary for software development. After quite some time of deliberation and cutting into their fun get-together, they came to a consensus. They were only able to agree unanimously on the paramountcy of four core values:
In my experience, most developers tend to gravitate towards the items on the right. Unfortunately, it is a common fallacy that executing these items to the best of their ability can grant developers the success they so blisteringly desire during a project.
While on face value it may seem as though this is a very self explanatory manifesto, most developers see this and ask, “What does this even mean?” Personally, I never get tired of answering this question – believe me when I say for a relatively newer Scrum Master, I’ve had to answer this question a lot to both developers and non-developers. Nonetheless, my answer is consistent every time: there is no such thing as success in software development, or anything for that matter, without human interaction and willingness to adapt to new circumstances.
In conclusion, yes, there is no denying the fact that a project can see a certain level of success when developers focus on the items on the right. The level of success might even be marginally close to company expectations. Howbeit, achieving gross success can be attainable only through compliance with The Agile Manifesto. We can all attest to the fact that the items on the right are important and directly contribute to the software being built but the items on the left are what makes the overall process a smoother and a more efficient one.