Insights Blog What is Agile?


What is Agile?

An alighting viewpoint of what agile is. By Lydia Burnet.

Lydia Burnet


Agile is a mind-set not a methodology.  There are processes such as Scrum and Kanban, but Agile itself is not a process. Before you begin to adopt one of the Agile processes, first you need to understand the mind-set to be in; the four key values of Agile:

Individuals and interactions are valued over processes and tools. In other words, people are encouraged to talk face-to-face and engage with each other rather than hiding behind technology.

Working software is valued over comprehensive documentation. Software should be self-­‐explanatory and we should only document what is valuable. Often businesses over document, resulting in a lot of wasted effort on documentation that will quickly become outdated or never read again. We should care more about constantly delivering quality software, rather than writing about it.

Collaborate with the customer instead of engaging in contract negotiation. Constantly seeking feedback from the client to make sure that we’re delivering exactly what they’re after, not arguing that we delivered what the contract specified.

Finally, responding to change rather than following a set plan. The market can move very quickly so we need to be able to quickly change course to maintain a market edge. If something gets in the way of our plan then we must adapt and do so promptly. We should be continuously developing and giving our customers the highest value.

These four values are more like guidelines and they are definitely not one instead of the other; they are simply more valued than their counterpart. Pretty sensible stuff right? Agile is not this exclusive new-age hippie developer term, the Agile mind-set can be applied in its entirety or in part, to any client, no matter how ‘anti-Agile’ they may seem.