Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project." Only by working consistently in an iterative process with business people can software developers know they are really delivering a product of the highest value to customers. Only by working side-by-side with developers can customers know their concerns are being addressed throughout, and their input being taken seriously.
"Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done." Classic Theory Y over Theory X management, this value has been tested across industries and enterprise level. Here it receives a strong plug for application to the development of software.
"The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation." For a group of software development professionals living in the Internet Age, (who largely live their lives virtually), to place a high priority on face-to-face conversation for developing effective software, certainly confirms its importance. Firing angry e-mails back-and-forth, or communicating through Google Chat, just doesn't get the job done properly.
"Working software is the primary measure of progress." Cutting through all the rest of the activity that goes along with developing software—e.g., discussing, brainstorming, planning, manualizing, testing, revising—this principle places a premium on getting to the objective of all these. The point of all this "progress" is to get the working software developed and in the hands of customers.
"Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely." A warning to obsessed, workaholic software developers everywhere, this ideal says essentially "nice and easy does it every time." A harried team of developers, exhausted and out of ideas, can hardly create the greatest good for their customers.
"Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility." Ongoing learning with a focus on quality assures the most advanced (and best) software gets developed with the least mistakes.
"Simplicity—the art of maximizing the amount of work not done—is essential." "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" says Leonardo da Vinci, and he should know. And simplicity is often equated with genius. Here the ideal of simplicity is all about eliminating the extra effort that senseless complication can bring.