Agile Basics Resources

Jan 04 18

Agile Fundamentals Resources

When forming a team there is often a range of views and experiences that are held by the people in the team, and the stakeholders around them. The range of experiences and understanding of terms can affect the team building a common understanding. Having agreed keywords and phrases consistently used should reduce the confusion when discussing the what and the how of the work to be done.

Agile is a mindset that embraces an iterative and incremental approach to solving complex problems.


Lean Principles:


There are three pillars of Empirical Process control. The essence is to implement feedback loops as early as possible to focus on delivering real value to the customer.


There is a common understanding of what needs to be done and how it will be done. There should be few surprises as there is regular communication between people. Data is shared to those who need it, and in a easily consumable way that makes sense.


What and how work is being completed is regularly reviewed. There is a culture of learning in order to improve. The work output (increment in Scrum terms, product in other frameworks) is shared to gain feedback. The quality of the work is also discussed. Metrics around work and quality are shared freely. How the team is working is also discussed to enhance the interactions as a team, so that collectively they will be more effective.


The team make small changes to improve effectiveness. By making small frequent changes the team continuously improve, refining the process and enhancing the product quality.

Agile Manifesto

The Agile Manifesto set a clear direction for the way of working. The core word in the manifesto is “over”, and highlights that there needs to be an emphasis on the topics on the left, while ensuring that the topics on the right are followed.

This was detailed further with the 12 principles, that highlight the intent of self-organising, self-managing teams building something that works and getting feedback from the customer.

Scrum Values

There are five core values highlighted in the Scrum framework

These five values provide the grease in the cogs of teamwork. By using these values as guide to the interactions with others, the interactions will be more productive. No value is more important than another, and there needs to be balance, as too much of one value drives imbalance. For example: too much respect will mean that people are not as open as they should be.

Applying the Foundations

The following two articles explore applying empiricism and the Scrum values within the team dynamic.

Using Empricism:

Using the Scrum Values:


There are 3 major frameworks in Agile: Scrum, XP, and Kanban. Scrum and XP have a clear guide, while Kanban has a set of principles. The links below detail the frameworks.

When starting out, it is recommended that you choose one framework to start with, get that working properly and grow from there.

Scrum Guide:

eXtreme Programming (XP):

Extreme Programming explained:

Kanban primer:

Mini books to guide implementation

Scrum and XP from the trenches:

Priming Kanban:

YouTube Snippets:

Product Owner overview:

Roles in Scrum:

Scrum in an hour:

Scrum Guide Updates 2017:

Complementary Agile Practices:

There are a host of product and engineering practices commonly used by teams working in an Agile way. The tube map approach helps put the practice in context of the usage.

As a tube map:

As a list:

A list of reference articles and blogs is here:

Product Backlog Practices

Story Mapping:


Scrum Glossary:

Professional Scrum Developer Glossary:

Test your basic knowledge! offers free basic level assessments, which you can repeat to build your confidence in your understanding.

Next Steps

As a team, you need to figure out and agree where you are, and which framework that you want to use.

Generally, there needs to be a clear understanding of:

  • What framework you want to use
  • What you list of work is (Product Backlog)
  • Who is what role
  • What engineering practices you will use
  • What a complete piece of work looks like (Definition of Done)

If you are working already, choose one small thing that you can change that you think will help improve.

Pragmatic | Positive | Professional

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