The Key Tenets of Agile

Agile starts with Mind-Set, from that tenet everything else can flow

Tenet 1: Mind Set

The most important tenet in the Agile Framework is that of mind set – from Stakeholders to junior team members.

This includes believing in the Agile Framework being able to deliver results, in the people in your team to deliver the required outcomes, and to be proactive – e.g. using Retrospectives to help improve the underlying system.

Tenet 2: Framework

For an Agile environment to exist there must be a Framework sponsored by the relevant Stakeholders with the right empowerment and belief to make it happen. This includes being able to fund, resource and engage the right teams.

Tenet 3: Values

Values includes one of the essentials for al Agile team members which is Psychological Safety. This means each team member feels safe in discussing their own ideas and those of others without fear of being ignored or ridiculed. Sometimes the best ideas sound crazy at first.

Values also includes team members being able to depend on each other whilst remaining flexible and adaptable as new issues and challenges arise.

Tenet 4: Principles

Principles are higher-level drivers such as “We will deliver useful software every two weeks”, or “All ideas will be considered when refining the backlog including the introduction and deletion of previously prioritised items”.

Tenet 5: Practices

Practices include the actual agreement on how User Stories and Acceptance Criteria should be written and linked for example to Epics.

Practices also includes clarification of Epics and User Stories etc as well as escalation to Stakeholders and the Agile Coach e.g. to help improve the Agile Environment.

Tenet 6: Processes

Core processes and meetings necessary to support the Agile framework include:

Epic Definitions – with sizing and Acceptance Criteria

User Stories – with sizing and Acceptance Criteria

Backlog Prioritisation & Refinement – i.e. working out what’s most important to be done next

Sprint Planning – with the Agile team members

The Daily Scrum – with the Agile team members

Post-Sprint Retrospective – to review what went well or otherwise, and how the Agile environment itself can be improved

Tenet 7: Tools

To support the Agile environment and processes you need the right tools. There are many available in the marketplace, the most often used being JIRA (to manage User Stories, Acceptance Criteria etc) and Confluence (to manage and communicate materials).

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