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Mar 5, 2024

Agile Manifesto | Principle 6

In the forthcoming weeks, we are exploring one Agile Manifesto principle or value every Tuesday. This week, it's Principle 6's turn.

Principle 6

The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within an agile team is real-time conversation.

Agility advocates for true collaboration instead of handing of work from silo to silo and through different phases of the project as is the case in waterfall project management. While the former suggests an iterative way of working including continuous alignment within the agile team, the latter is a sequential methodology, where handoffs come with often insufficient documentation. The cross-functionality of an agile team naturally fosters collaboration. We have learned in Principle 4 that an agile team also directly collaborates with the stakeholders, especially by getting frequent feedback on the developed increments of work. Enabling the interaction between people who hold relevant information for each other increases the efficiency and effectiveness of collaboration, because no information and energy is lost by going through an intermediary. Direct interactions also are shown to have a positive effect on the flow of tacit information.

Alignment and collaboration do not only benefit efficiency, however. Members of a team that move forward together are likely to experience a higher feeling of relatedness, which is found to be beneficial for human’s well-being and job performance. This feeling of relatedness is even stronger, when the team has built an environment of psychological safety and constructive communication, including active listening.

Psychological safety also benefits transparency, which is one of the key aspects of an agile mindset. Transparency within an organisation and towards stakeholders, in turn, does not only lead to an increased the access to information and the more efficient development of a solution that the customer really wants, but also supports establishing trust. This, in turn, feeds positively into the agile formula “Happy employees --> Happy customers --> Happy stakeholders”.

Explore each principle & value with us

Introduction to the Agile Manifesto & Part 1 – The Agile Team: Skills & Culture

Principle 1: Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable solutions*.

Principle 2: Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer's competitive advantage.

Principle 3: Deliver working solution* frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.

Principle 4: Business people and team* must work together daily throughout the project.

Principle 5: Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.

Principle 6: The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within an agile team is real-time conversation.

Principle 7: Working solution* is the primary measure of progress.

Principle 8: Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, team*, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.

Principle 9: Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.

Principle 10: Simplicity – the art of maximizing the amount of work not done – is essential.

Principle 11: The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.

Principle 12: At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly. (soon)

Value 1: We value individuals and interactions over processes and tools. (soon)

Value 2: We value working solution* over comprehensive documentation. (soon)

Value 3: We value customer collaboration over contract negotiation. (soon)

Value 4: We value responding to change over following a plan. (soon)


Business Value: Business Value encompasses any deliverable, feature, or enhancement that directly contributes to customer satisfaction, employee well-being, or overall organizational success. It can encompass not only customer-facing elements but also internal enablers that improve efficiency and effectiveness within the organization.

Developers: has been exchanged by team to recognize that Agile Teams can encompass a diverse range of roles and functions beyond just software development

Iteration: An Iteration refers to a distinct phase or cycle within a development process, where a set of tasks or activities are completed in a defined timeframe. In Scrum methodology, an Iteration is known as a Sprint, typically lasting 2-4 weeks, during which a set of prioritized work items are completed.

Lead Time: Lead Time refers to the duration it takes for a task or project to move from the initial request or conception stage to its completion, including all necessary processes and steps.

MVP (Minimum Viable Product): The MVP is a basic, functional version of a product or service that includes essential features, allowing it to be deployed or released to gather early feedback from users or customers.

Software: has been replaced by solutions to account for the fact that Agility does not only apply to software development, but to any kind of value that a business offers to the customer.

Written by Julia Heuritsch, SAFe Practice Consultant & Agile Coach