Agile Principle 9
The ninth principle of the Agile Manifesto states, "Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility."
In other words... continuous improvement and learning.
This principle reflects the idea that technical excellence and good design are critical to the success of an agile project. By focusing on these factors, agile teams can ensure that the product is high-quality, maintainable, and adaptable to changing needs.
With this principle, there is an emphasis on two things equally; on the one hand, it's about people's ability ("Technical Excellence"), and secondly, it's about the product or service to be kept in "good shape" and thereby minimising unnecessary work.
The former demands continuous attention to the team's technical abilities and skills. Continuous learning is a fundamental part of agile. How do athletes become and stay "excellent"? Ongoing training! Agile teams and organisations need to do the same. They live the principle by seeing learning and improving as part of their daily life.
Key to the first part of this principle is making technical excellence and good design a priority throughout the creative process. This means investing in the tools, techniques, and training necessary to ensure that the team is working at a high level of technical expertise and that the product is designed with an eye toward maintainability and adaptability.
The second part of the principle is about the ongoing focus on "good design", which means constant transparency to the quality of the product or service, including both internal and external quality. By focusing on technical excellence and sound design, agile teams can create a well-designed, maintainable product or service and be adaptable to changing needs. This can lead to greater customer satisfaction and higher levels of adoption and use.
One of the key techniques agile teams use to implement the second part of the principle is the concept of "refactoring." Refactoring involves changing the product or service to improve its quality, maintainability, or adaptability. By doing so, the team can avoid technical debt and other issues and ensure the product is high quality and meets the customer's needs over time.