Celebrating 20 Years with The Agile Manifesto

The Possibility of Better:

Twenty years ago, 17 developers met in Snowbird, Utah (USA) and, subsequently, revolutionized how individuals and teams work together. At the time, these 17 leaders and visionaries wanted a better way of developing software. In an attempt to combat waste and frustration in complex projects, the group created and signed the Agile Manifesto for Software Development. Among the group was Dr. Jeff Sutherland, co-creator of Scrum and founder of the Agile Education Program powered by Scrum Inc., representing the Scrum framework.

What is Agile?

Agile is a project management methodology that embraces short development cycles, continuous improvement, and self-organizing, cross-functional teams. In an agile environment, teams develop a product or service where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration and customer feedback. The Agile Manifesto is a formal proclamation of the four key values and 12 supporting principles that lead an Agile approach to software development. According to the 14th Annual State of Agile Report, an Agile approach, due to its iterative nature and people-centric focus, can result in:
  • Increased team productivity
  • Increased team morale and motivation
  • The ability to manage changing priorities
  • Improved project visibility
  • Faster time to market
Today, in 2021, Agile has fueled innovation, market domination, and delighted customers in organizations across the globe, including well-known, marketing-dominating companies like Spotify, Twitter, and Google. Today, agility is not limited to software development. Today, an organization’s ability to truly be Agile (or not) determines survival.

Scrum and The Agile Manifesto

At first glance, the Agile Manifesto was penned and championed by 17 software developers. From a bird’s eye view, one could assume that those 17 developers shared a similar vision on how to make great software. However, the diverse background of the signatories speaks to their varying approaches. Sutherland and Ken Schwaber, for example, championed Scrum as the preferred Agile framework among representatives from Extreme Programming, Adaptive Software Development, and more. Dr. Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber did not stop championing Scrum after February 2001. The two went on to release the Scrum Guide, start Scrum Inc. and Scrum.org respectively, and mentor Scrum Trainers and Coaches across the globe through Agile transformations. In November 2020, Scrum Inc. and Scrum.org celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Scrum framework and released the latest iteration of the Scrum Guide.  

Dr. Jeff Sutherland Reflects on the 20th Anniversary of the Agile Manifesto


Leaving a Lasting Impression

Today, the four values and twelve principles of the Agile Manifesto are celebrated in industries and teams across the globe. The 17 signatories went on from that pivotal moment in history to influence the world of professional development and certification, organizational development, and product innovation. We thank them for inspiring change and standing together to leave a lasting impression.