Calibrate Your Agile Approach: Bill of Rights

2020 01 01 head

When eXtreme Programming first came out, one expectation it worked hard to set is who gets to make what calls on software projects.

For example, business has the right to know how long something is going to take and when it can expect things to be done.

Conversely, developers have the right to know what the priorities are, and to be able to do good work.

To that end, eXtreme Programming created the Customer and Development Team Bill of Rights.

Customer Bill of Rights

You have the right

  • To an overall plan, to know what can be accomplished when and at what cost.

  • To get the most possible value out of every programming week.

  • To see progress in a running system, proven to work by passing repeatable tests that you specify.

  • To change your mind, to substitute functionality, and to change priorities without paying exorbitant costs.

  • To be informed of schedule changes, in time to choose how to reduce the scope to restore the original date.

  • To cancel at any time and be left with a useful working system reflecting investment to date.

Developer Bill of Rights

You have the right

  • To know what is needed, with clear declarations of priority.

  • To produce quality work at all times.

  • To ask for and receive help from peers, managers, and customers.

  • To make and update your own estimates.

  • To accept your responsibilities instead of having them assigned to you.


You shall use the above bill of rights to evolve the cooperation between the development teams and the customers and improve the product value. See if:

  1. Your customer has an overall plan with scheduled functionalities and costs. Your development team can schedule changes and update the estimates.

  2. Your customer has at any time a running and tested application. Your development team always produces quality work.

  3. Your customer can cancel at any time the development initiative. Your development team receives help from peers, managers and customers.

  4. Your customer and the development team accept responsibilities.

Dysfunctions are easy to detect

  1. Customers are not involved in the development initiative on a daily basis.

  2. The development team does not pursue craftsmanship and quality.

  3. Customers cannot cancel an initiative at any time, The development team cannot update their estimates.

  4. Management force responsibilities upon collaborators.

Observe your organization and start to improve. The above rules are here to detect and truly improve your organization toward building products, which delight the customers [1].