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The 12 Agile Principles: Possibly the Most Important Part of Being Agile

by Ken Rickard

Dec 06, 2017

Much is said about the Agile's core values:

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

What is sometimes overlooked though are the Twelve Agile principles. Twelve additive principles that guide everyone on how to operate as a collective unit, all on the same mission. These principles touch on many topics including product deployment, people interactions and communications, management behavior, measuring progress, coding standards, team behavior, and continuous improvement.

As Jim Highsmith, one of the seventeen Agile founders put it - "Agile Methodologies [are] about the mushy stuff of values and culture". Culture is the single most important step to implementing Agile successfully. Culture infiltrates every fiber of a company. The wrong culture can ruin a company quickly, just look at Uber lately.

I've wanted to write about these principles for a few years now, but I typically only write about 1 post per quarter (been on Tumblr until this year). In the past 90 days, I wrote 12 posts for this series. I figured writing so many, so quickly, would help me with my writing style, and help me learn to find time to blog regularly. So as much as these posts are for others, I've started to realize what I write in all my post are just notes for myself to reflect on. I hope you find something useful regardless.

Over the next 12 business days, I'll be publishing one article a day. I'll break down each principle providing some quick commentary about my view of the most important parts of each one.

Important to point out: When I speak of Agile, I'm speaking of the Agile Manifesto, which includes the 4 core values and the 12 principles. Agile is not Scrum, and Scrum is not Agile. Although the ideas and concepts can be used together at times, they are two separate entities. So unless I specifically mention Scrum, I'm not talking about Scrum throughout these blog articles.

Follow these links below over the 12 part series: 

This 12 part series was published by Ken Rickard on LinkedIn Pulse, to read the original version of this blog click here

Interested in learning more about the Agile Methodology or incorporating it into your business? Contact a representative at CCG by emailing or call (813) 265-3239.