Principles of Agile - The Key to Success

Principles Versus Methods

"As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble." [1]
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Having seen business process reengineering in multiple organizations, and watching the fervor that some have for a particular set of methods like Scrum, it seems some easily forget that the principles of Lean-Agile mean we can adjust the methods as necessary. Rather than a set of practices or methods cast in concrete, fluency with the principles can help teams adapt as needed to remove their impediments and improve their team throughput and quality with each iteration.

Principles focus on the why, while practices focus on the how. This book sets out a few practices that worked for us in specific circumstances that may need tailoring and adaptation for your circumstances.

This book is more about the application of Agile and Lean principles to learning experience development. Although much is known about these principles, not all organizations have been successful in applying them because the thinking required to apply these principles requires a change in organizational culture, behaviors, and practices that may be beyond what some organizations can do. Much depends you how you lead any effort into this realm and how you interface with the parent organization if they are not joining you on the Lean-Agile journey just yet. If you…​

  • lead the transition well

  • adapt the principles to your context so your practices work operationally in your conditions

  • teach everyone involved why the principles work

…​then, you too can achieve surprisingly significant improvements.


1. Emerson published his works in the U.S. before 1923. As such copyright has expired into the public domain.
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