The Agile Mindset

Do you hear people say ‘we are working agile’ or ‘we are applying agile at our organisation’. I certainly do and I have even been asked if I can facilitate agile workshops and work within the company’s agile methodology. I must admit, I sort of had an idea what ‘Agile’ is but wasn’t sure how it specifically connects to leaders and my practice. And if I am confused, my guess is, a lot of people are. Here is what I found:

What is Agile?
Originally Agile refers to software development methodologies centred around the idea of iterative development (sprints), where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organising, cross-functional teams and their customers.

What is Agile now?
Agile has evolved into frameworks that enable people to lead change, adapt products, services and processes fast and with a high amount of flexibility in every part of the organisation.

What is an Agile Mindset?
It all starts with mindset but it is actually challenging to define. Many leaders and organisations use ‘Agile’ or ‘Agile Mindset’ without really knowing what it means. Susan Macintosh explains it well: (

I have taken all my research over the last few days and created this landscape model to make it easier to understand what agile mindset looks like for me as an individual but also for teams and the organisation. It’s not just strictly reflecting the Agile methodology, but it has elements in it:

How to use the model:

I have used this model as a temperature check with clients to explore, not how well they are doing Agile, but how much awareness and development of an agile mindset is present in individuals and teams. It is simple but not simplistic and the best way to work with the model is to go through each quadrant and evaluate the different levels of mindset and put the right steps in place and make necessary changes.

If you have people in your team who work in a silo, or you find you are stuck, or your clients don’t see your progress, check the model to find out in which quadrant the issue shows up. The framework is not the solution but a tool to gauge where you are agile and where you need to make changes.

And remember this quote:

The vagueness of the term agile can be a deterrent. Asking “Are we doing it right?” (or the more likely scenario – telling someone else “You’re not doing it right!”) is not a very valuable question. “Are we learning all we can?” and “What do we need to change to most benefit our company’s goals?” have a lot more impact. If agility is a mindset, then measures of correctness don’t really apply.”- Kent Beck

If you want to work with me, especially using this framework, contact me on