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Agile Principle 3

The third principle of the Agile Manifesto states, "Deliver a working product or service frequently, with a preference for the shorter timescale."

In other words... always deliver something that works.

This principle reflects the idea that frequently delivering, even in small increments, is essential to the success of an agile project. By doing so, agile teams can quickly incorporate feedback and adapt to changing customer needs, resulting in a more responsive and effective creative process.

Here we find the word "working" before "product or service", highlighting the thin distinction between the first and the third principle.

With "working product or service", we understand that to be something that works in that it is free of known defects. This is not the same as something that is "valuable" in the sense of principle 1.

A working product or service is functional, ready for use by the customer and allows feedback to be received. When multiple "vertical" slices of a working product or service are combined, you have something "valuable" that the customer can use productively.

So, an iteration typically delivers something "working". However, "valuable" usually combines multiple iterations of a "working" product or service. Therefore "valuable" is a collection of "working" increments to the extent that customer value is created.

The key to frequently delivering is to focus on the essential features and prioritize them based on their value to the customer. This enables the team to have a functional product as quickly as possible while continuing to add features and functionality over time.

Shorter timescales are also critical to the success of this principle. The team can quickly identify and resolve issues by breaking down the creative cycle into smaller increments, with frequent opportunities for review and feedback. This results in a more reliable and high-quality product or service.

So how does this principle benefit the customer? By delivering working software frequently, agile teams can ensure that the product aligns with the customer's needs and priorities. This enables the customer to see progress early and often and to provide feedback incorporated into the process. This results in a more responsive and effective process and a better product or service that meets the customer's needs.

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