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Simplifying the Agile Manifesto

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Original photo by worak

Today J.B. Rainsberger made a very commendable effort to simplify the Agile Manifesto. He was inspired by Simplified English and the reduction of the ten commandments into two simple rules. In his post he challenge us (everybody) to find any meaning in the Agile Manifesto that his simplified version do not cover. I urge you to take a look at it.

Inspired by J.B. I made my own attempt at simplifying his simplified version of the value statements (in his post he also simplified the principles of the Agile Manifesto).

  • People working together over precise rules
  • Doing what’s needed over keeping old promises

It is much shorter and (at least to me) easier to understand than the original value statements of the Agile Manifesto:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan
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  1. 2010/11/05 at 12:24

    Hi Herbjörn – i haven’t heard of simplified English before. And I must say I like the idea of it and the fact that you reduced it to only 13 words. However, what I miss is the “working software over promises” principle as JB puts it. To me this is the heart of agile.

    Now: When do we get a simplified version of the SOA manifesto? 🙂

  2. 2010/11/05 at 13:00

    @Thomas
    I have reduced these two statements from JB’s version:
    “Working software over promises”
    “Doing what’s needed over doing what we said was needed”
    into
    “Doing what’s needed over keeping old promises”

    I’m thinking that creating working software is doing what’s needed – if it actually is needed 🙂

  3. Giovanni
    2010/11/08 at 21:12

    Herbjörn, I like the initiative (all though I have some problems with J.B’s reference to the work of George Carlin). I think that thoughts have to be written as comprehensive and as simple as possible. There are smart people who thought so too, like: “I’m sorry I wrote you such a long letter; I didn’t have time to write a short one.” from Blaise Pascal. Or “Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.” from Albert Einstein.

    I think for an architect, it should be a quest to write the most comprehensive and simple principals as possible. On the other hand, this might also lead to some abstraction in which he might find himself in an ivory tower again.

  1. 2010/11/05 at 11:36
  2. 2010/11/18 at 21:54

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