Basically, it is a very simple concept. You need three very central personal characteristics which – on top of a huge number of useful qualities – are absolutely necessary if you want to make a project or an enterprise a success:
Structure (build-up) and activity (procedures) must be simple and streamlined. And both must be continually improved without over-complicating.
Both in life and in an enterprise, openness, clarity and transparency are three very important requirements for success.
This is what I will discuss in today’s article.
Let me cite from the “Agile manifesto” of software development as it was drawn up by an illustrious circle of famous s-w developers:
Manifesto for Agile Software Development
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, we value the items on the left more.
Translated into “common language”, these rules might well also apply to our lives in general:
We show better ways for persons to (co-)operate, both in how we live and how we help others. This is how contentedness and perhaps a little more peace and joy can be achieved.
- The people and their interactions are more important than social rules and conventions.
- Making your life something you feel comfortable with is more important than making a good impression on others.
- Living together constructively is more important than striving after (what seems to be) security.
- Reacting after change is more important than an (allegedly) reliable “same procedure as always”.
No matter how useful the elements on the right side of the equation may occasionally be: the left side is a lot more important in life.
So, basically, to me it seems that the “Agile Manifesto” is not only helpful when it comes to software development, but also in real life. Isn’t that an indication that something rather reasonable might be written in it?
(Translated by EG)
I was inspired to write this article by the sweeping session Dominik Rose led during the Nuremberg OpenUp Camp a little more than two weeks ago. Consequently, I enjoy reminding people of the “Agile Manofesto”. As I see it, it is still as valid as ever.