Agile Is About People Too

I’m not the first to say this, but my experience is showing me that people are still being forgotten in “Agile” adoption.

Invariably in software development, we are writing software to create products to help solve other people’s problems. People writing software for people. The tools we use to write & distribute that software augment the work we do, not replace it.

For the purposes of this post , let’s blow the dust of the Agile Manifesto and step through each of the ideas:


Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

Top 2 definitions of “individual” on (which I believe is the context the Agile Manifesto uses them)

  • a single human being, as distinguished from a group
  • a person

From the principles behind the Agile Manifesto, I take “interactions” to be conversations & collaboration between those human beings, or persons.


Working software over comprehensive documentation

How is the decision made which software gets written?

How is software defined as “working”?

How does the software get written? (I’ve heard of Self Modifying Code, but that suggests the code has already been written. SMC on Wikipedia)


Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

What does a Customer look like in your organisation?


Responding to change over following a plan

In order to even recognise the need to respond to change (especially from the real world), I argue you need to have the power of judgement. Can machines make judgements?


I’m hoping the answers you got to recognised the need for human beings, a person, people…

Go & take a look at the principles behind the manifesto to see why we do the Agile practices that we do.

Without people, we wouldn’t have software. People are complex systems & this complexity is amplified when we’re expected to work together.


“No matter how it looks at first, it’s always a people problem”

Jerry Weinberg, The Secrets of Consulting.


Keep your people happy, people!


Further Research:

The Human Side Of Agile – Gil Broza

Agile People of Agile Process – Mike Roberts

The Happy Secret To Better Work (TED talk) – Shawn Achor