The Facile Agile Manifesto

Geert Bossuyt

Agile is a mindset.  It comes with certain behaviour and a certain culture.  As with many things most people and organisations have to go through some serious change before they can actually be successful within an Agile setting. Change is hard, and it takes time.  I strongly believe that it helps when you simply understand what you're trying to achieve.

'Agile' is no buzzword or a complex management theory, it's natural behaviour for millions of people;  It's not for managers.  It's for everyone and it's easy to understand as long as you acknowledge that 'being Agile' has nothing to do with the process you follow or the tools you use.  'Being Agile' is about culture, behaviour and mindset.

This post intends to reword the Agile Manifesto in a way that makes its meaning obvious.  Understanding something,  doesn't mean you're immediately capable of doing it, but it's a very good first step and it will help you on your way.

The Facile Agile Manifesto


We become more and more effective in developing good software.
We choose to do this by learning every day with a strong focus on behaviour.
To maximize the outcome of our learning and our software development we use


Processes and tools just to facilitate Individuals and interactions.
Documentation just to facilitate Working software
Contract negotiation just to facilitate Customer collaboration
Planning just to facilitate Responding to change.


Only when our learning or one of the items at the right come in danger, we put effort in the items at the left.
Even then, this effort is kept to an absolute minimum.

Comments (1)

  1. Patrick Verheij - Reply

    November 8, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    This way of looking to the agile manifesto could only emerge from your brain, Geert. It is an excellent way to rephrase the manifesto and to make a point about both learning and the fact that the "old" behaviour we value so much is actually valuable in supporting our new behaviour.

    The facile agile manifesto however does not cover the original agile manifesto in full. The essential part about "doing it and helping others do it" is now left out. Also, we would not just introduce processes and tools to support our interactions. We would also use it to avoid unnecessary manual work (regression testing) and so on.

    Nevertjeless, I don't think you mean the facile agile manifesto to replace the original one but to express some of its essentials instead. You certainly succeed in that, if you'd ask my opinion. Thanks for the inspiration.

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