Extending the Agile Manifesto

We have just published a Disciplined Agile Manifesto, an extension to the original Agile Manifesto.

Why have we done this? Since 2001 we’ve applied the ideas captured in the Agile Manifesto and have learned from our experiences doing so.  What we’ve learned has motivated us to suggest changes to the manifesto to reflect the enterprise situations in which we have applied agile and lean strategies.  Because the original authors of the Agile Manifesto have made it clear that they intend to keep their Manifesto static we have decided to move forward on our own with this extension.

We believe that the changes we’re suggesting are straightforward:

  1. Where the original manifesto focused on software development, a term which too many people have understood to mean only software development, the DA toolkit suggests that we should focus on solution delivery.  In short, we prefer solutions over software.
  2. Where the original focused on customers, a word that for too many people appears to imply only end users, the DA toolkit suggests that it focus on the full range of stakeholders instead.  We prefer stakeholders over customers.
  3. Where the original manifesto talked about projects, we believe it is more accurate to talk about teams.  As a result we replaced the word project with team throughout the principles.
  4. Where the original manifesto focused on development teams, the DA toolkit suggests that the overall IT ecosystem and its improvement be explicitly taken into consideration.
  5. The original manifesto focused on the understanding of, and observations about, software development at the time.  Since then there has been some very interesting work done within the lean community since then (and to be fair there was very interesting work done within that community long before the Agile Manifesto was written).  This manifesto incorporates lean principles, in particular considering the whole, visualizing workflow, and minimizing work in progress (WIP).

For earlier versions of the Disciplined Agile Manifesto, see Reworking the Agile Manifesto on IBM Developerworks and the book Choose Your WoW!


Have any Question or Comment?

2 comments on “Extending the Agile Manifesto

Steve McG

The agile manifesto, whether by design or by accident, is rather loose in its language and therefore open to interpretation. To then not revise and update as our knowledge and understanding evolves is somewhat absurd especially regarding its views on accepting change. The disciplined agile manifesto therefore makes a welcome revision to the agile manifesto and the principles upon which we should implement systems change



Agree with most changes, but we have repeatedly referred to the original’s preamble as well: “We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it.” This discovery and sharing is key to effective agility. Substitute for ‘developing software’ if you will, but let’s keep the collaborative learning.

Does the heading “Our Values” have any special meaning for DAD (e.g. to exclude yet another list)? The manifesto sets forth what is valued in Agile. XP lists its own set of values (Simplicity – Communication – Feedback – Respect — Courage). The Scrum Alliance promotes a list of values (Focus — Courage — Openness — Commitment — Respect) … which aren’t in the Scrum Guide, btw.


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