Agile 12 Principles for a Project: From BA/ Scrum master perspective


The 4 values and 12 principle manifesto is a people centric and iterative development guide. By understanding the same, Scrum team member can successfully manage stakeholder/ internal project management teams and work on the bigger and committed project vision.


This blog sheds light on how a Business Analyst and a Scrum Master can decode these 12 principles.


Principle 1: Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software


Focus area:

  • What can we relate this to?

  • Characteristics of project life cycles

  • Execution practices that deliver value

Scrum team member (BAs/ Scrum master) should focus on customer priorities and help scrum team(s) to achieve fast and incremental delivery by breaking large requirements into small chunks. By giving working software to customer, they will start seeing value and results.


Principle 2: Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage.


Principle 3: Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.

Focus area:

  • Backlog Refinement

  • Common Agile Practices

Scrum team member (BAs/ Scrum master) should be open to feedback which helps in getting inputs from customers. This ensures they deliver exactly what the customer needs and expects. And how do they achieve these principles#2 &3 is by delivering in “smaller chunks”, so the organizations see benefits sooner.


Principle 4: Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project


Focus area:

  • Servant leadership for the team

  • Backlog Preparation

  • Backlog Refinement

Scrum team member's (BAs/ Scrum master) communication and facilitation skills helps in collaborating with these 2 groups, which establishes a shared understanding.


Principle 5: Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.


Focus area:

  • Team composition

  • Retrospectives

  • Project Charter

Through Stakeholder analysis & sharing project vision, BA can help motivate right stakeholders and influence others. BA should understand the roadblock the team is facing and remove impediments.


Principle 6: The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation


Focus area:

  • Daily Standup

  • Team Structure

This face to face is efficient communication method a Scrum team member (BAs/ Scrum master) should be using always to have a shared communication. Given the COVID situation, the online video calling communication is becoming the norm and practice. So, team needs to get accustomed to this new change.


Principle 7: Working software is the primary measure of progress.


Focus area:

  • Execution practices that deliver value

  • Iterative and incremental delivery working product

Scrum team member (BAs/ Scrum master) should break the requirements into smaller chunks for getting a working software into market.


Principle 8: Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely


Focus area:

  • Project Charter

  • Visual flow

  • Personas

This principle is all about working at a pace. When you have a project with impossible deadlines, Scrum team member (BAs/ Scrum master) should have the courage to speak up and provide alternate options. By doing, team will visualize the bigger picture/ roadmap/ possible solutions (or expertise) to maintain or get back into constant pace.


Principle 9: Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility


Focus area:

  • Common Agile Practices

Scrum team member (BAs/ Scrum master) should try to understand the architecture and start with a clear understanding from requirements. Understanding the requirements helps create a shared understanding with the scrum team.


Principle 10: Simplicity–the art of maximizing the amount of work not done–is essential


Focus area:

  • Backlog Preparation

  • Backlog Refinement

Scrum team member (BAs/ Scrum master) should review his overall tasks and determine which one adds value. Similarly, from the organizational perspective, look at the complex tasks and through process models or other tools to add value.


Principle 11: The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.


Focus area:

  • Cross functional team composition

Clear requirements and designs emerge from the self-organized teams. Not all requirements are known upfront. Some emerge through discovery & some from organized teams. Scrum team member (BAs/ Scrum master) should use his/ her elicitation techniques to group diverse groups and elicit unique solutions.


Principle 12: At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.


Focus area:

  • Retrospectives

Scrum team member (BAs/ Scrum master) should improve analysis skills. He/she needs to reflect on what they did, how they did & outcomes achieved. Constantly, question on what could be done to continuously improve.


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