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Advice to develop an Agile mindset

Incorporate the agile values and pillars into your daily life. Practice makes better. 



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Absolutely right. Agile values are much more important.

Dreamsuite Mike
Community Leader
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May 07, 2023 • edited May 08, 2023

Agile, like many positive human endeavours has been corrupted somewhat over the years. It has become something that could be turned into company speak, flash in the pan initiatives and a marketing tool more than what it was intended to be...It has started to become the very thing the originators were seeking to get away from.


That said, when you find collective of focused, dedicated people who are Agile, it is so so powerful.  

The values and principles set out in the manifesto are the first place to turn to.  It is not about knowing them and being able to repeat them it is about truly understanding.  Treat them as like a spiritual text and your journey is to understand their meaning. 

The first line of the manifesto states, "We are uncovering better ways of developing".  The manifesto was signed 22 years ago and in their first line they are paving the way for what being agile is, a journey of discovery.  That is why is said to be empirical.

To be truly agile, you should be:

  • Open minded.  For example value of 'responding to change over following a plan', now in a team you will have people with the strength in the executive skill of planning but will be less strong at changing course, and vice versa. To be agile you will take the strengths and weaknesses of yourself and others and learn to make them either compliment or offset one another in order to give yourself the greatest strength as a whole.
    Just because you have a weakness in flexibility doesn't mean you can't be Agile.  Embrace equality
  • Committed to a purpose.  Without purpose, you won't get the required commitment.  We often get trapped looking to the end game and actually only a small number of people have visionary attributes to do so.  For others, the size of the end goal, the distance away or not knowing right now how to achieve it will impair peoples ability to be committed to it.  Being agile, you will learn to create micro-purpose for the team, yourself, and it wont work if you don't feel committed to it.  Learning to commit to others will help build stronger purpose
  • Balanced.  Everything in existence is a fine balance, the very world we live in is a delicate balance and a slight shift can have a huge effect. In the natural world, the fine balances are compensated and adjusted all the time.  Being agile is very much the same.  
    A quote from Matthew McConaughey, "Create structure so you can have freedom, Creativity needs borders. Individuality needs resistance. The earth needs gravity. Without them there is no form. No art. Only chaos.”
  • Moving forward.  Every day you, your team, your friends, everyone is learning. Each day that passes by feeds new information to us and we can use that to keep moving forward.  This is why there is such value in Velocity, not as a metric (its been turned technical) but as a symbol.  The idea that you use everything that you've learned from the previous day to go faster today. It is a powerful tool.
  • Able to own your f**kups.  As a team or an individual, we will make mistakes and many of them.  We will also learn more about ourselves, about others, about the dynamic and learn more from them than the successes.  Society has taught us to fear mistakes, we not only scare ourselves into increasing the chance of making one but we then dwell on it for ages even though once it is done, the moment is passed.  An agile mind will face up to the mistake, discuss it, not try to deflect or blame, learn from it then move on. 
  • Valuing helping others more than helping yourself.  You can apply the statement from the manifesto to this, 'while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.' because helping yourself is important too, only if you take care of yourself will you be able to give the best from others. However, back to the item on the left, an agile mind will feel more value from helping others, there will be more satisfaction, more purpose, more of an dopamine hit from helping others.  

These are my thoughts after taking my Agile journey.  I will finish by saying to be truly Agile, you have to take your own journey of understanding, focusing on Why before exploring what and how

*Pixabay, free to use under the Content License - No attribution required

Frederik Vantroys
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May 27, 2023

Exactly ... Sometimes we forget that "Agile" has been around since the empirism of the 17th century ... do something and depending on the results we decide where to go next.

It's very important with all the "bloatware" around Agile and Scrum to always have the original Manifesto and the 12 principles in mind ... that's what's important ... 

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