I was chatting with my good friend, colleague and agile-coaching-expert, Craig Smith, the other day. It was a wide-ranging discussion as part of a debrief following a long term assignment with a client.
For whatever reason the conversation weaved its way to a discussion about the Agile Manifesto and how to best remember it. I have another post coming on that soon, but there was one principle that Craig referred to as a ‘drop the mic’ moment for him and what he described has really made it stick for me, too.
I think he’s mentioned it a bunch of times in his presentations (which are excellent BTW)…
7. Working Software is the primary measure of success
The 7th principle of the Agile Manifesto - really is the essence of it all. All of the other stuff is great, and yes, its all important and we should follow the other stuff too, but this is what it’s all about. Agile is not about merely about doing things differently and working in different ways, it’s about doing things differently in order to do what we are supposed to be doing - and doing that thing better.
If we are not measuring ourselves against this critical yardstick, we’ve got it all wrong.
It’s easy to get caught up in all the patterns, events (I can’t bring myself to use the terms rituals or ceremonies any more), practices and more, but ultimately are we building our software (or whatever it is we are paid to do) better than before?
This has really resonated for me and has become sticky in my mind. I hope it will for you.
So. Working Software is our primary measure of success. That’s what counts.