Essential Ideas About Agile Methods by Scott Duncan
My involvement with standards, methodology and process issues brings me in contact with people who ask what agile methods are or what they are about. Many have not heard of the Agile Manifesto and associated principles. When I ask what they have heard about agile methods, I am told things like pair programming, no documentation, refactoring, iterative development, no planning, daily “stand-up” meetings, etc. Of course, none of these get at the heart of what agile methods are “about” (beyond the fact that some are not true).
Based on listening to the creators of agile methods and reading what they have written on the subject, agile methods, above all else, seem to me to be about expanding the bandwidth and frequency of communication and about being open to change. Essential to both of these is the existence of effective feedback, which is required for meaningful communication and productive change. The values, principles and practices of agile methods seem to flow from seeking to achieve these objectives.