Agile — Mindset Over Mechanics

Are you embracing the agile mindset or just using its tools?

One of the most common mistakes when an organisation embarks on their Agile journey is the novice assumption that it is something that can be implemented — the same way you would implement a system or a process — that is, there is a beginning point and there is an end point that we can consider it done and go home.

They don’t exist.

Sure, as a software development methodology, you simply end with delivering working software frequently but being agile is much more than that. Agile is about changing human behaviour, and more importantly, changing the mindset within the organisation and calling out old habits that we need to get rid of and provide a safe avenue in which we can change and improve.

Without changing the mindset, we fall back into our old habits. We might install daily stand up as a mechanic for the team to get together and communicate face-to-face. But when a problem arises, we send an email and the proverbial ball into another person’s court and wait for miracles — we haven’t changed the mindset.

So when you are ‘implementing Agile’ — are you changing the mindset or just the mechanics that we use to do work? Are you just implementing the software methodology called Agile (or Scrum or SAFe or whatever) without investing into empowering your own people to change and improve through changing the mindset — you really haven’t become agile.