Quintessence: The fifth element for the Agile Manifesto

Posted by Uncle Bob on 08/14/2008

“Quintessence” was the name of the keynote I gave at the banquet of Agile 2008. Though the talk covered a lot of ground, the upshot was that we need an addition to the agile manifesto…

As you know the Agile Manifesto is composed of four balanced value statements. Here they are:

In my talk I proposed the following addition

From this you can probably tell that my talk was primarily about behaving professionally, and writing clean code. This should not be a big surprise since I just finished writing a book entitled Clean Code .

The problem with my proposal is that it is not a balanced value statement. In the other four statements we value the second item. We just value the first item more. But in my proposed addition, we simply don’t value crap at all.

So I hereby change my original proposal, which was made for dramatic effect, to:

Most software development teams execute, but they don’t take care. We value execution, but we value craftsmanship more.

Comments? Anyone have a better word?

(BTW, I used a wonderful web tool named Visual Thesaurus to find the word “execute”. Check it out!)


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