4 Agile Manifesto Values Explained

Feb 27, 2020

The Agile Manifesto came about as a response to the software industry’s need for disruption. Since its inception in 2001, it has helped in the production of higher quality software through more efficient workflow, which in turn has boosted customer satisfaction. The themes behind the Manifesto push for adaptability among organizations in a growingly complex and volatile climate. The four foundational values help not only in the delivery of functional and high-quality software, but also toward achieving an organization’s business goals.

To practice Agility means that everyone on your team and in your organization is on board and on the same page. A top-down approach goes against what Agility stands for, as everyone should take an equal part in the process. The four values of the Manifesto should permeate throughout the organization, as they will be useless if not applied by all since everyone is working towards the same goal. Maryville University emphasizes that collaboration is the key to success for every organization, which is why the number one value of the Manifesto zeroes in on valuing the people behind the processes. Remember this as you review the four agile project management values to guide your agile journey.

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

Your output would be non-existent if not for your team members and the other parts of the organization that you depend on. While it’s easy to lose sight of this idea since automation has become so big, this is exactly why it is the top value. Automation plays a part in taking individuals for granted, but you and your team are still responsible for responding to your company’s current needs before planning an approach, developing, and then executing the idea. If your focus is on a process- or tool-centered approach, then you are less likely to respond to whomever you may be needing to grow within the company––and these are the people that can easily get left behind.

Working software over comprehensive documentation

In the past, documenting product development was a time-consuming task requiring a lot of resources. Because recording specs, plans, designs, and going through approvals were needed for each facet, delays in development were the norm. Agility changes this because it streamlines documentation. Developers are now given what they need to manage and deliver through these software and new innovations, without unnecessary technicalities. While documentation is important, working software is a better indicator of having needs met.

Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

Contract negotiations are native to any company, but the Agile Manifesto puts a premium on customer collaboration instead. When the client is actively involved in the process, there are smoother discussions, a clearer understanding of a customer’s desires, and more transparency between all stakeholders. Teams will have better coordination when clients are involved, because the clients can directly clarify their needs and wants. After, necessary adjustments can be made.

Responding to change over following a plan

Changes may result in added costs, but Agility welcomes them wholeheartedly. Processes are now conducted in shorter iterations called sprints. This allows for the identification of needed changes and alterations in certain features that will both improve and add value to your development and overall product.


The Agile Movement is a clear representation of the long-term benefits that come with responding to changes can alter entire ideologies for the better, and for everyone else to follow suit. Following the Manifesto’s teachings, you can likewise become a changemaker in your own company and inspire everyone on your team to be accountable for their own roles in this change for the better.

Post solely for the use of iconagility.com


Written by Regina Frost