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Team-Based or Value-Based

Profit LossI’m currently reading a book about Systems Analysis and Design.  In a chapter discussing Agile Methods, one of the statements really rubbed me the wrong way.
The Agile Manifesto is a set of team-based principles…
For the last 6 or so years, I’ve assumed the Manifesto was a set of “value-based” principles.  That is, at its core, Agile is about delivering value or eliminating waste.  What I like about the Manifesto is it leaves a lot to interpretation.  It doesn’t spell thing out to the Nth degree.  But, I’m very curious what the community thinks.  How would you describe the principles?

Please leave a comment.  Tell me what you think.

About Derek Huether

I'm Vice President of ALM Platforms at LeadingAgile. Author of Zombie Project Management (available on Amazon). Novice angel investor.

6 Responses to “Team-Based or Value-Based”

  1. February 22, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    “Agile” proper, is for all things. It’s not a prescription.

    • Anonymous
      February 22, 2011 at 11:03 pm

      No, no, no. Not “Agile” itself. I’m specifically talking about the principles of the Manifesto.

  2. February 23, 2011 at 12:28 am


    I think the statement in the book was meant to be interpreted as “for teams” rather than establishing the team as the basis. To paraphrase, the intention may have been to say “of the team, by the team and for the team”. As to the principles, from my perspective, they ask us to focus on what is needed to progress to the end rather than focus on the path AND to give any activity to value the human aspect.

    • Anonymous
      February 23, 2011 at 12:46 am

      Actually, the full quote was from Figure description: “The Agile Manifesto is a set of team-based principles published by the agile community.”

      I would have felt more comfortable if the book authors would have written “The Agile Manifesto is a set of principles published by a select group of individuals from different areas of the agile community.”

  3. February 23, 2011 at 3:06 am

    Individuals do not publish Manifestos – even Marx and Engels were a team. The Agile Manifesto begins with the word, “We.” And it ends with a statement about what “we value.” Values shared by the team.

    So, it’s a dessert topping and a floor wax! (Sorry, ancient SNL reference …)

    • Anonymous
      February 23, 2011 at 3:42 am

      OK, I laughed out loud on the “New Shimmer” reference.

      Dave, you and I do love to split hairs.

      I don’t know if I would say “the group” who assembled in February 2001 were “a team”. They were a group for sure but a team? When I saw Jeff Sutherland at an APLN event a few weeks ago, I got the impression the authors struggled to come to a consensus for 2 days. He said it took them only 1 hour to write the principles on that white-board.

      Maybe someone could point me to a first-hand accounting of what took place. What were they individually thinking back in 2001?

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