The Agile Manifesto - Pocket Sized Principles


The Agile Manifesto (2001) is derived from and underpins a broad range of product development frameworks, including Scrum and Kanban.

The 12 Principles that support the Agile Manifesto intend to create and sustain a work environment focused on the customer. Also, to align with business objectives, respond, and pivot quickly as user needs and market forces change.

The 12 Principles of the Agile Manifesto

  1. Satisfying customers through early and continuous delivery of valuable work.

  2. Breaking big work down into smaller tasks that can be completed quickly.

  3. Recognizing that the best work emerges from self-organized teams.

  4. Providing motivated individuals with the environment and support they need and trusting them to get the job done.

  5. Creating processes that promote sustainable efforts.

  6. Maintaining a constant pace for completed work.

  7. Welcoming changing requirements, even late in a project.

  8. Assembling the project team and business owners on a daily basis throughout the project.

  9. Having the team reflect at regular intervals on how to become more effective, then tuning and adjusting behavior accordingly.

  10. Measuring progress by the amount of completed work.

  11. Continually seeking excellence.

  12. Harnessing change for a competitive advantage.

Exercise Guidance

This group exercise explores the 12 Principles and distils each principle into only 3 words.

  • Each breakout room is assigned 3 of the Agile Manifesto Principles.

  • As a group, you are to discuss and then describe each principle in upto (but no more than) three words.

  • Each word should be on a separate sticky note.

  • The words do not have to be in the Agile Principle itself

  • Be prepared to share your room's outcomes with the main group.

The most valuable part is their discussion when coming up with the words, as they will all need to understand the principle before describing it.

The Pocket Sized Principles MIRO exercise was inspired by the work of Don McGreal.


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Jon Spruce
Enterprise Agile Coach & Scrum
An Enterprise Agile Coach with proven experience in leading successful large scale digital transformation, Agile adoption and DevOps change programmes. Jon supports clients to help them deliver world-class solutions through organisational redesign, effective leadership coaching, and building agile capability. Outside of the office, you can find him on a building site developing property, swimming in an extremely cold lake in Wales or in a plane working towards his Private Pilot’s Licence.

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