The Agile Manifesto and How to Apply It To Your Projects

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Here’s the truth: Many people don’t get Agile Manifesto and don’t get Agile.
It was there, I said it.
There is a lot of variation in what people who believe they are “Agile,” are doing. Some believe it’s working in two-week timeboxes, doing daily stand-ups, or using a Trello board. Some people don’t care about this and declare that they are Agile in any way they work. Trust me, I’ve worked in many companies that have done this!
There is a lot of talk in our industry about agile methodologies, frameworks and agile practices. This is often accompanied by some snobbery for those who prefer a hybrid or blended approach.
This article will explore the core of Agile: the four values outlined in the Agile manifesto and the 12 principles beneath them.
Any of you who work in a structured, gated, or Waterfall environment will benefit from my assistance. I will show you how to adopt an Agile mindset and apply the principles of the Agile manifesto.
Next, I’ll go beyond the simple Agile terminology and give you concrete actions that you can immediately apply to your projects, teams, or organisation.
What is Agile Project Management?
What is Agile?
Let’s begin with a basic definition of Agile: The Agile Manifesto, which was first used in 2001, is a set a values and principles that were born out of software development.
What is Agile?
It is not a project management process, but many refer to it as an “agile methodology”. It’s not Scrum, Scrum follows Agile principles. It’s not Kanban, Kanban applies Agile principles. This will get you to where I want to go.
What is Agile Project Management?
This is a more difficult one. Agile principles are based on self-organizing teams. Therefore, the traditional role of Project Manager is less relevant within Agile frameworks. This is where we have tended to adapt and move into other roles when we are following stricter frameworks like ScrumMaster or Delivery manager. Project managers are still more likely to be involved with hybrid or blended approaches.
Agile vs Waterfall
The classic debate about Agile vs Waterfall is a hot topic in project management. I’m not here trying to debate which is better or whether Agile should be preferred over Waterfall. If you are interested in the Agile values and how they can benefit your team and your projects, then keep reading!
Why should I apply Agile values?
Agile methods of working have been shown to deliver higher quality products to customers with faster delivery. Although the Agile Manifesto values aren’t groundbreaking, they are all intended to encourage an agile team to produce better software faster and provide more value to customers. These benefits can be achieved by adopting an Agile mindset, regardless of the framework you use.
The Agile Manifesto
The Agile Manifesto was established in 2001. It was the result of a group of people who met over a weekend to discuss software development principles and values. They said:
“We are discovering better ways to develop software by doing it and helping other people do it.”
Then they stated their values:

You can see that they don’t say “follow the process” or “use this instrument”. These words don’t dictate how you should live your values. They don’t discount the ideas to the right. They claim that the items on the left are more important than those on the right.
Let’s dive deeper into each part of the Agile Manifesto. This will help you adopt an Agile mindset within your organization. We’ll also be exploring the twelve principles that are further defined through these four values.