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How to Include the Agile Values into Your Work Style

by Andreea Oproiu & Diana Prisacaralmost 3 years ago 5 min read

While tackling the agile topic further, we want to emphasize the importance of organizing your work around agile values in IT organizations.

The Agile Values are four suggested ways of working that can shift the traditional organizational methods when adopted. In theory, they look like this:

1. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

This is an important aspect, especially with the rise of technology and the discussion around people vs. tech. In an ideal world, people would not be treated as resources in any organization, but within an agile organization this is a standalone rule.

Needless to say, individuals and interactions are immensely more valuable than processes and tools, especially when they are provided with a healthy and thriving context to work in.

💡 Takeaway: Cherish your team, listen to them and create a safe environment for everybody to interact on a positive note, as a collaborative and happy team will bring more results to your projects than any cutting-edge tool.

2. Working software over comprehensive documentation

Quality software products are usually quite complex, and this translates into comprehensive documentation. As agile developers, we always put working software first, as this step ensures a smoother process of building the product and eliminates the unnecessary time that would otherwise be added to our work.

By truly embracing this value, we keep our clients up to date with the product’s development and manage to identify quicker its issues, suitable or not suitable features and adapt along the way.

💡 Takeaway: Documentation is important and it is an essential part of our work, but we do have to find a middle ground in order to keep a natural flow for the development process. At the end of the day, we’re developers and delivering working software is what we do best.

3. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

The agile values aren’t tailored around bureaucratic conceptions. By embracing them, we should always keep in mind how to reach best practices and results.

This includes putting customer collaboration over contract negotiation because it is in our best interest to drive a collaborative relationship that can further lead to the best version of a software solution or product. Traditional contracts come with a series of deliverables, but as agile developers, it is best to constantly build on feedback and improve the development process with real-time results.

💡 Takeaway: Your client collaboration can better benefit from your constant improvement than following by the book a list of deliverables.

4. Responding to change over following a plan

Last but not least, this aspect represents the core of agile values.

Software development is a dynamic field and even in the case of best-crafted plans, the actual development process doesn’t unfold the same. This happens because complex products need to be tested and adapted along the way in order to reach their best version, and some of the initially planned features or roadmaps don’t function the same in practice as in theory.

This is why we have to wire ourselves to respond to change and always be prepared to take another perspective to our plan.

💡 Takeaway: Most often, the decision-making process can really slow down an entire team. By responding to change over following a plan, we reduce pain points and move faster to the next best thing instead of remaining blocked because things didn’t go as planned.

Bottom line

The best aspect about agile is that it can be adapted to best fit any organization. It represents more a way of thinking than an actual framework and its main purpose is to enable software teams to reach their best results.

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