As a beginner, you may have come across the phrases ‘Agile values’ and ‘Agile principles’ while trying to learn about Product Management. So, what are Agile values and principles?
Agile values are a set of four values outlined in the Agile Manifesto for keeping Product Managers focused on what is essential to develop a successful product. Agile Manifesto is a Product Management methodology that came into existence in early 2001. It outlines 4 values and 12 principles for navigating a product life cycle smarter and more responsive.
In this article, we’ll explore the 4 Agile Values and understand how these values help a Product Manager.
The Agile values are four ways in which the Agile Manifesto proposes a Product Manager’s functioning. The four values of Agile Manifesto focus on adaptability and teamwork, giving priority to people over processes, and using technologies to produce goods ready for the market at the earliest opportunity.
The 4 values of Agile Manifesto are:
The manifesto places people at the forefront. In Agile, individuals are the crucial resource for any team. You can research and plan as much as you want, along with investing in the newest technology. However, the success or failure of your product depends ultimately upon the people in the team. This is why people and relationships gain a lot of focus and investment in Agile. They are truly the key to your product or business vision’s success. In short, a good team of motivated and collaborative individuals is more important than any method or tool you might use.
Before the Agile Manifesto, product teams had to fill in huge documents before developers could even write the first line of code. Today, Agile values make it a priority to get applications to consumers as soon as possible in order to gain users’ direct feedback as early as possible. This does not mean solid documentation does not matter. It does! But this Agile value helps to minimize delays due to heavy paperwork and lightens the path of launching apps from beginning to end.
As mentioned earlier, people are critical for success in Agile. Therefore, the third Agile value underlines the significant benefits of working closely during the development process with the consumers. That means allowing the consumer to provide feedback and critique directly and co-creating new products based on consumer insights. Or perform user tests to analyze the needs and expectations of consumers.
While the conventional product development processes favoured the contracts negotiated with a list of deliverables, the Agile philosophy facilitates customer feedback and encourages continuous collaboration. The outcome is greater adaptability and an increased opportunity to sell the most useful, desirable, and profitable product.
A change in the product could be expensive in terms of money and time. In the past, production processes have done everything possible to prevent this. Plans have been drafted in detail, covering all eventualities to serve as an action plan. But Agile views change in a different perspective. Change ultimately adds value in the long run, according to the Agile Manifesto. The change should, therefore, be accepted and taken into account. But if you want to be agile, there’s a ‘right’ way to do so.
If the decision-making is sluggish, change does not add value. Rather, organizations must respond rapidly and maintain short cycles of iteration. In this way, change can be a continuous part of the product development process. It enables organizations to flex their goals, allowing the addition of enhancements to the product.
The aforementioned Agile values make the team versatile and adaptable to change when implemented well. It allows the detection of opportunities and coming up with a smarter response to any change. When something shifts in the marketplace, a team following Agile values will respond more quickly to the new environment and flex its product range. Moreover, teams that incorporate Agile values in their work process can deal more easily with development hurdles so that consumers can get their problems solved more efficiently.
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