top of page

Agile Principle 8

The eighth principle of the Agile Manifesto states, "Agile processes promote sustainable creation. The sponsors, creators, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely."

In other words... sustainability.

The pace at which a team can deliver a functioning product or service is determined by the team's actual progress and is, therefore, a measured outcome, not a demand to be made!!

This principle reflects the idea that sustainable development is critical to the success of an agile project. By promoting a consistent and sustainable pace, agile teams can avoid burnout and ensure that the project progresses promptly and effectively.

Many traditional planning approaches use expert estimations to determine the duration of the work to identify a delivery date. Suppose during the project, it transpires that the initial estimates and assumptions were not correct. In that case, stress becomes a factor since the promised delivery date is still expected to be met (estimates quickly become commitments). Compromises with quality are then made to meet the date, as it is the least visible option in the short term. These compromises lead to a product or service of poor quality, which becomes difficult to change - refer to principle 2.

Agile teams develop sustainably, meaning the quality is never compromised. The speed at which the team can create a high-quality product or service is regarded as a fact. This can only be changed in the medium term through improvements in the creation process. Therefore the planning of a project must be adapted to the reality of speed, and not vice versa!

The key to this principle is finding a pace that is sustainable over the long term. This means having realistic expectations for the team's output and ensuring that team members have the resources and support they need to work at a consistent pace. By doing so, the team can focus on creating high-quality, valuable products or services.

One of the key benefits of this principle is that it promotes a culture of continuous improvement. By working sustainably, the team can focus on creating quality rather than simply trying to meet unrealistic deadlines. This can ultimately lead to greater customer satisfaction.

Another benefit of this principle is that it helps to ensure that the team is able to maintain a consistent level of productivity over time. This allows team members to keep their focus and motivation and results in their output being more predictable.

Of course, promoting sustainable development requires a certain degree of discipline and structure. Agile teams, and the environment around them, must have a clear understanding of their capabilities and limitations and be willing to work at a sustainable pace over the long term.

bottom of page