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The Agile Mindset

August 16, 2017

Good Agile practitioners know that Agile is not a methodology. It is a framework that implements the scientific method of empiricism (the theory that all knowledge is based on experience derived from the senses). Essentially, Agile is not a method but is a mindset. There are many flavours of Agile like Scrum, Extreme Programming, Kanban, etc. While each of these flavours are quite different, they require certain fundamental attitudes and behaviours to succeed. Agile reduces complexity to focus on developing products that meet business needs and that happens only through a right mindset.

 

The Agile mindset is an attitude that treats failures and problems as opportunities for learning. It is based on a belief that we can improve over time and that our abilities are not fixed and grow over time.

 

The Agile mindset values progress over perfection. This implies that it is not possible to have all the answers at the beginning and it is possible to progress through collaboration. Eventually, anything that has been developed can be improved and continuous improvement leads to perfection.

 

The Agile mindset demonstrates flexibility not rigidity. Whether it is flexibility towards changes or how work is planned and executed, Agile extols the virtues of adaptability and responsiveness over rigidly following plans and procedures.

 

Successful adoption of Agile in organizations is singularly dependant on establishing and sustaining the Agile Mindset.

 

Recommendations

 

  • Get to know the “Agile Manifesto” thoroughly. It is the best guide to developing an Agile Mindset.

  • Undertake specialized behaviour change programs to support your Agile transformation journey. It may be necessary to involve HR and Senior Leaders in the organization. Focus on middle level line / functional management. They are the biggest hurdles to the Agile mindset.

  • Promote and live the Agile Mindset at every opportunity in the Sprint Planning meetings, Daily stand ups, Sprint reviews and retrospectives

  • Expose rigid team members to Teams with a good Agile mindset (perhaps from other organizations)

 

Further Reading

 

 

 

Hope this brief overview of an Agile Mindset was useful. Love you to hear your feedback.

 

 

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