Agile Manifesto poster

Agile Manifesto poster

Warning: 2.6MB image!

As a software engineer & manager, I’m a massive fan of the principles of Agile software development, as embodied in the Agile Manifesto.

I really believe software development and the interaction between software development companies and their customers would be radically different if more people adopted these four basic values and twelve basic principles.

But, somewhere in recent history, the word Agile has been hijacked by big companies and transformed into a synonym for iterative development. Now, while I’m a great believer in iterative development, it only works if it’s accompanied by the other principles of Agile development.

Principles that are often ignored by big-business management include:

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

and

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

This sort of management interference has eroded the Agile concept so much that a search on Google for “Agile poster” turns up many instances of this monstrosity and many like it. Doesn’t really line up with the following principle, now, does it?

Simplicity — the art of maximizing the amount of work not done — is essential.

I searched high and low for a decent poster representing the Agile Manifesto and found not one.

So I made one. Specifically, I made one as a leaving present to give to my previous employer, who held the bastardized version of Agile development in such high regard.

If you work in the software industry and you’ve been exposed to poor development processes, do yourself and your employer a favour: Print this out. Put it on your wall at work. Make people think, and remind them that there is a better way to work.

Update: It looks like, in the time since I designed this poster and gave it to my former employer back in July 2010, the folks at DZone have had a similar idea. Good for them!

Update #2 (June 2015): The poster now includes the copyright declaration. Apologies for not including this before!

15 Comments

  1. Geraint North
    May 5, 2011

    Wow – never realised you produced that poster yourself!

    Completely agree with everything you say – I think that one of the things that is most under-appreciated is that you simply can’t convert an existing project to be “agile” – as soon as you have to integrate with existing code or (worse) processes and tools, the whole thing just fails to work.

  2. Richard Lake
    May 6, 2011

    That's neat. We seem to do everything right to foster a communal spirit which we perceive as very relaxed rules, so much freedom to get on with stuff. Reality is there's a report chain and plans of course but our time is expensive, things to help us are not so we buy them and move on. I expect the company you delivered this to are more concerned with their quota of post-it notes and not their customers!

  3. Alasdair Rawsthorne
    May 6, 2011

    "We" = new employer, Rik?

  4. Chris Whitworth
    May 6, 2011

    Have you seen http://www.halfarsedagilemanifesto.org/ ? Made me laugh, it did. And then cry a little bit.

  5. Rich Daley
    May 6, 2011

    Richard Lake: I'm happy to hear that can happen in such a big company. Chris Whitworth: Awesome!

  6. Richard Lake
    May 6, 2011

    @Alasdair: Why of course! Benefits of unconventional leaders who know how to get results and push just hard enough for them.

  7. Dave
    Oct 31, 2011

    Interesting that Mike Cohn likes the “monstrosity” that you seem to abhor…

  8. gilesey
    Apr 28, 2012

    Thanks for your poster Rich, I had the same experiences and made my own posters up too.
    See them here http://wp.me/p1hCFp-1A

  9. Thomas
    Jan 30, 2014

    Thanks for making this poster available! I’ve just gave a copy to everyone on my team and told them to think about the principles. The team considers itself agile, but in my mind they have a way to go yet.

    BTW, your background image is beautiful! Is that in Leeds?

    Regards,
    Thomas

    • Rich
      Jan 30, 2014

      Thanks for your comments! I hope the poster helps people remember that Agile development isn’t a methodology; it’s a state of mind.

      My background is indeed in Leeds! It’s Armley Mills on the Leeds-Liverpool canal. Check out my Flickr for more photos!

  10. Michael James (MJ)
    Mar 30, 2015

    It’s nice to have the values and principles on one page in an easy to read format. I’m going to use this in my classes. One request: Would you be willing to add the copyright notice from the AgileManifesto.org website? The authors intended to allow anyone to reproduce the content as long as they also reproduced the copyright notice.

    • Rich
      Mar 30, 2015

      Oh dear, I think I misread the copyright statement. I don’t normally use a Mac any more and this was made in Pages but I’ll see if I can get a chance to update it soon.

    • Rich
      Jun 8, 2015

      OK – I’ve fixed this now. Thanks again for pointing it out!

  11. Rajib Das
    Feb 9, 2017

    HI ,

    Rich I would like to use the Agile Manifesto you have created and share with my team and gather a common understanding of the same based on the Agile Manifesto.As the same shows copyright needing your permission to print and share the same.

    Rajib Das

    • Rich
      Feb 14, 2017

      Hi Rajib – sorry for the delay in responding.

      You’re very welcome to use the poster for any purpose you like. The copyright is for the manifesto itself (not the poster) and the authors are happy for anyone to reuse it as long as they keep the whole document and the copyright notice intact.

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  1. Agile Manifesto Posters « Gilesey's dev blog - [...] looks like I was not alone in my dissatisfaction. Rich Daley blogged about his similar experiences, and I found the same monstrosity…

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