What is comprehensive documentation?

What is comprehensive documentation?

What is the Agile Manifesto

The Agile Manifesto, Agile Manifesto or Manifesto for Agile Software Development is a statement of values and principles on new ways of developing software that emerged in 2001, as a reaction to the traditional formal methods used in the industry at that time.

The participants of the meeting summarized the fundamentals of these new methods in the so-called Agile Software Development Manifesto. Below, we will look in detail at the 4 values and 12 principles it promulgates.

The first of the values promoted by the manifesto is that people are the most important thing, above processes and tools, because of their ability to be creative and innovate. Processes and tools must support people in achieving their goals.

Thus, this statement argues that, although processes are helpful in guiding work, they must be adapted to the organization, teams and people, and not the other way around. It also argues that although tools improve efficiency, they do not achieve results on their own.

Software running on extensive documentation

It also implies a new approach to the way of working, more flexible and faster than that allowed by traditional management systems. So the project is carried out by self-organized and multidisciplinary teams working collaboratively. It is a shared short-term decision-making process.

This methodology was proposed as an alternative to formal process management methodologies, which were rigid because of their dependence on development standards and detailed planning prior to software development.

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Its creators, American and British CEOs and developers from leading software companies, were brought together in Utah by Kent Beck, the author of the book Extreme Programming Explained, to discuss techniques and processes for developing software.

On the other hand, it streamlines and shortens production cycles, as well as reaction and decision-making times. It also increases productivity, as there is a better allocation of resources and more ease in reallocating them.

Agile values

The objective of the meeting was to discuss and look for alternatives to traditional software development processes, characterized by the rigidity of their normative nature and their heavy dependence on detailed pre-development planning.

To encompass all the methodologies that were emerging as an alternative to the traditional and formal methodology, they decided on the term Agile Methods. The “agile methods” are not a methodology, they are a mentality and a behavior guided by common values and principles, collected in the “Agile Manifesto”, which was the result of the meeting of these 17 greats in Utah.

The Agile Manifesto consists of four core values from which twelve principles are derived. Everyone who considers themselves agile should believe in them as they directly affect how people will behave. The DNA of an “agile” has the four values engraved in fire.

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As the second value of the Agile Manifesto states, documents cannot replace, nor can they offer the richness and value generation that is achieved with direct communication between people and through interaction with prototypes, or the stimulating and enriching feedback on elaborated parts of the product that generates ideas impossible to conceive at first.

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From the agile perspective, documents should be short and focused on the essentials, and should constitute the necessary documentation that should be maintainable, shared and generated by all through an overlapping flow with the other phases from start to finish of the project. Therefore, it is written throughout the project, it is alive and only includes what is useful to someone.

Another critical point occurs when the company and the teams communicate through documents, when in addition to losing the richness that comes from interaction with the product, documents become barriers between people and departments.  A written document is an incomplete drawing of the ideas of the person who wrote it, and when a reader reads it, he or she creates another abstraction that is two steps away from what was originally written. Not surprisingly, this leads to misunderstandings, back-and-forth back-and-forth back-and-forth (very common in email communication), and documents end up being used defensively.

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