Agile Principle 12
The twelfth and final principle of the Agile Manifesto states, "At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behaviour accordingly."
In other words... reflect on behaviour.
In the twelfth and final principle, the importance of a regular inspection and adaptation of how we work is stressed. Successful agile teams regularly reflect and adjust accordingly, not only in their processes but also in their behaviour. This brings in the mindset from Lean Thinking which states that no matter how good something is, it can always be improved. This is often called "True North", meaning perfection is a destination to aim for, even though it may never be reached.
Think of continuous improvement from the point of view of a sports team or an athlete. Regardless of how good they become, the best and most successful teams and athletes still work on improving themselves. In fact, a counterintuitive phenomenon takes place as teams get better. The more capable and accomplished a team becomes, the more they realise how much they can still improve. This often indicates a team's maturity - when they can recognise and acknowledge how much better they can be.
One of the key benefits of this principle is that it helps to ensure that the team is focused on creating value for the customer. By regularly reflecting and making adjustments as necessary, agile teams can ensure that they deliver a high-quality product or service that meets the customer's needs and priorities.
Another benefit of this principle is that it promotes a culture of collaboration and teamwork. By regularly reflecting, agile teams can foster a sense of trust and respect within the team and can work together more effectively and efficiently.
Of course, continuous improvement requires a certain degree of discipline and structure. Agile teams must be willing to set aside time for reflection and adjustment and be ready to make difficult choices and changes to improve.