CareerCentra logo

Project Management Evolution: The Four Values of the Agile Manifesto

On January 2, 2021 a new content outline for PMP® certification exam was adopted as proposed by PMI. One of the most important changes was the adoption of agile and hybrid methods. This adoption was simply a reflection of the growing influence of agility in project management in today’s fast-paced business world. In this two-part series, we will explore the foundational concepts of Agile Project Management including the four values of the Agile Manifesto and the Twelve guiding principles behind it.

Agile Project Management movement officially took effect in 2001 with the publication of the Manifesto for Agile Software Development authored by a group of 17 thought leaders in the software industry. It was designed to help software developers manage projects quickly and efficiently as opposed to using the traditional/predictive project management methods. Although it was developed for the software industry, it is now being adopted in several other industries like media, PR and marketing departments to name a few. Its influence continues to spread till date.

This group of 17 thought leaders in the software industry also named ‘The Agile Alliance’ found consensus around four core values which birthed the ‘Four values of the Agile Manifesto’.

The Four Values of the Agile Manifesto

“We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it. Through this work we have come to value:

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

That is, while there is value in the items on the right (in bold), we value the items on the left more.”

These four values reflect five essential attributes that are important to the Agile process namely:

  1. Adaptability: One of the main ideas in Agile project management is the ability of teams to respond quickly to changes to the plan during the course of projects. It requires constant feedback form the customers hence the need for frequent value delivery to them.
  2. Customer Focus: The Agile process thrives on teams collaborating with the customer through out the life time of the project. The process allows customers to see how “what they wanted” actually looks like in practice. It aims at drawing the customer into the development process
  3. Continuous Improvement: This self-evident in our everyday lives as we upgrade our phone apps and find new features.
  4. Shared Ownership: Agile projects give a large fragment of the decision-making process to the team members. Team members are encouraged to find innovative ways of solving problems based on their understanding of the problems. This kind of environment creates a sense of ownership.
  5. Transparency: In an Agile environment, work progress is shared openly. This allows people to understand what and how people on the team are doing it, which facilitates collaboration and innovation in ideation and overcoming challenges.

In conclusion, Agile project management is simply about implementing projects quickly and more accurately by focusing on collaboration, frequent value delivery and constant customer feedback.


The Manifesto for Agile Software Development.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Select your currency
USD United States (US) dollar