Agile Beyond Software: A Manifesto For All Industries

July 14, 2014 CollabNet VersionOne

Lean Manufacturing

When the Agile signatories created the Manifesto, software was obviously at the core of their thinking, which makes sense as they were all building software at the time.  As it has grown in its popularity, however, Agile has gone beyond software.  So, should the original Manifesto be adjusted to accommodate these new adopters?

There is an ongoing debate about whether Agile is only for software development or whether it can be applied to other industries.  In order to even attempt to see if Agile could be applied, we should first take a look at the original values and principles, which you can find here:

With that, here is a stab at what it might look like if it were to change. I’ve underlined any text that has been altered from the original:

Manifesto for Agile Product Development

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

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Working products 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, we value the items on the left more.

Here are the principles with changes:

Principles behind the Agile Manifesto

We follow these principles:

Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer
through early and continuous delivery
of valuable products.

Welcome changing requirements, even late in
development. Agile processes harness change for
the customer’s competitive advantage.

Deliver working products frequently, from a
couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a
preference to the shorter timescale.

Business people and developers must work
together daily throughout the project.

Build projects around motivated individuals.
Give them the environment and support they need,
and trust them to get the job done.

The most efficient and effective method of
conveying information to and within a development
team is face-to-face conversation.

Working product is the primary measure of progress.

Agile processes promote sustainable development.
The sponsors, developers, and users should be able
to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.

Continuous attention to technical excellence
and good design enhances agility.

Simplicity–the art of maximizing the amount
of work not done–is essential.

The best architectures, requirements, and designs
emerge from self-organizing teams.

At regular intervals, the team reflects on how
to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts
its behavior accordingly.

Okay, so there it is.  Yep, it’s that simple, I just changed the word “software” to “product”. Maybe you think there could be issues with some of these values or the principles if they were applied to other-than-software production.  I’d like to hear your thoughts.  If you have other industry experience, would these be good to apply to your industry?


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