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Building an Agile Mindset: Your Best Tips 💁🏽‍♂️💁🏾‍♀️

G’day, training & certification community! Last month, to help celebrate Jira July and the launch of our new free course, Beginner’s Guide to Agile in Jira, we surveyed some of the best experts we could find—that’s you all ⬇️—for our #BuildYourAgileMindset series.

We wanted to uncover: how do you take the tips mentioned in the Beginner’s Guide to Agile in Jira course about building an agile mindset and put them into practice in your day-to-day? How do you bring the tips to life through your habits and work rituals? Because agile is so much about the mindset with which you approach your work, there are as many ways to approach its best practices are there are unique points of view.

And speaking of those awesome points of view…we’re here to share our faves! We’ve rounded up the six tips here, to present them in one place for your reference, as well as nine of our favorite comments answering one of the following questions:

  • Can you tell us about a method you use to make sure you're practicing this tip?

  • Where do you have room to improve on this tip?

  • Do you have a trick to jog your memory or help you flex your habit muscle for this particular tip?

Without further ado, let’s get to our faves! If you're tagged below, keep your eyes on your inbox  👀 📫

(Our two *most* engaged users got an extra bonus of their quote on a card!)

Andy Gladstone tip build your agile mindset.png

Tip #1 to Build Your Agile Mindset: Show Respect for all team members

Our fave ideas come from: @Kevin Tuei, @[deleted], and @Paul Grant 🎉

Kevin’s idea:

Can you tell us about a method you use to make sure you're showing respect for all team members?

Ensuring that team members who are not vocal in airing their opinions are given an opportunity by using my own opportunity to trigger feedback from the less vocal members of a team. E.g. I seek audience then when given I ask, "Jeremy, what do you have to say about this?" Then I build on what he has said.

Our fave idea from Faith:

Can you tell us about a method you use to make sure you're showing respect for all team members?

I use active listening. To make my team members feel heard, I often respond by repeating what I just heard. This can also lead to clarifying comments or digging deeper into the idea.

And our fave idea from Paul:

Where do you have room to improve on showing respect?

Ensure that the discussion is not biased towards the complete agile end goal. [Allow for] open and Balanced discussions.

Tip #2 to Build Your Agile Mindset: Communicate openly and clearly

Our fave idea comes from @Vijay Venkataramani! Congrats, Vijay 🎉

Vijay’s idea:

Can you tell us about a method you use to make sure you’re showing communicating openly and clearly?

Participating in Community is in itself a way to volunteering in transparent  "Communi"cation.  You can clearly see both the words have Communi  is "Common" in it co-incidentally. Basically I communicate to everyone through communities freely because it gives me the liberty to be transparent.

So openly communicating brings value to not only one person but to the entire community.  

(Very meta, Vijay, and we’re here for it!)

Tip #3 to Build your Agile Mindset: Look for ways to innovate

Our fave idea comes from @Sam Nadarajan! Congrats, Samuel 🎉

Where do you have room to improve looking for ways to innovate?

Innovating on a schedule can cause pressure and anxiety. That can lead to innovating and making changes for the sake of making changes, not because it's making the team operate better. I level set by asking myself if what I am changing to is not worse than what was there before. It doesn't have to be significantly better, but if it at least matches or slightly exceeds the effectiveness of the previous way of doing things, then it's not a complete loss.

Tip #4 to Build your Agile Mindset: Actively improve your skills

Our fave tip comes from @Andy Gladstone! Congrats, Andy 🎉

Can you tell us about a method you use to make sure you’re actively improving your skills?

Reading. That is the number one way that I improve my critical (and non-critical) thinking, which is the greatest skill one can possess. No matter where I go in life, my brain will be an asset that travels with me. Many people will ask 'what do you read'. The answer is - everything and anything. 

Samuel Build Your Agile Mindset card.jpeg

Tip #5 to Build your Agile Mindset: Your work doesn't have to be perfect

Our fave tip comes (again) from @Sam Nadarajan!  Congrats, Samuel 🎉

Do you have a trick to jog your memory or help you fight perfectionism?

To fight perfectionism, I will frequently engage other team members early on in a discussion about what I am working on. I will even pull them in before I have a first draft finished if I am writing, or share my development approach if I am coding. The sooner I can engage someone in whatever I am putting together, the less likely the parasite of perfectionism will voluntarily feed off my pride.

Tip #6 to Build your Agile Mindset: Have a plan, but be ready to pivot

Our fave answer comes, yet again, from @Andy Gladstone 🎉

Can you tell us about a method you use to make sure you are always ready to pivot?

This is more about being ready to accept the pivot than being ready for it. Anytime we have a project or plan that needs to change due to any number of factors I remind myself that there are two competing factors I will need to address - intellectual and emotional. The intellectual approach is understanding that the needs of the company come before my own versions of reality. The emotional one is being ready to let go and move on, without looking back at the could have/should have. It makes pivoting easier having a mechanism to handle it, even if I don't know exactly what the pivot is.

That’s it, folks! 6 tips ✅ to build your agile mindset, 9 brilliant ideas 💡 on how to bring those tips to life. What did we miss? How do you work agile?

And don't forget to check out the course—it is completely free.

Enroll today in the free course: Beginner’s Guide to Agile in Jira

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Sam Nadarajan
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
August 22, 2022

All excellent tips! It's good to revisit these principles in different forms as we all progress through our careers. Sometimes even the mere exchange of information through an online forum as the Community helps us stay innovate and challenge the status quo.

Thanks for putting this together! I'm sure a lot of effort went in behind the scenes but looking forward to the value adds of this.

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