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Apr 30, 2024

Agile Manifesto | Value 2

In the forthcoming weeks, we are exploring one Agile Manifesto value every Tuesday. This week, it's Value 2's turn.

Value 2

Working software over comprehensive documentation.

Agile Manifesto Value 2

Documentation is an aid to understand and transfer the knowledge on processes, tools and products to other individuals. Without documentation (e.g. books) we’d also still be stuck not long past stone age, passing on tales from generation to generation. Therefore, documentation is vital.

In business, documentation has either enabling value (making otherwise tacit knowledge explicit and understandable to co-workers) or direct customer value (providing important information about the product to the client). Its purpose is to add to and complement the business value* created. Agility acknowledges that and values documentation to the extent that it fulfills this purpose effectively and efficiently. An agile mindset asks: to the end of supporting the quality and the simplicity of the product developed, is documentation beneficial? (Principle 9 & 10)

In contrast, in our traditional organizations, documentation has often become an end in itself (Principle 7). It may consume considerable amounts of resources without questioning its actual (enabling or direct) business value. The aim is to get it written and signed off. Unpurposeful and non-value-adding activities likely lead to waste and employee demotivation (Principle 5 & 10).

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.

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

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

Value 3: We value customer collaboration over contract negotiation.

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


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