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Author: Bernadette Greenock

Agile in the real world is about frequently delivering working solutions and enabling the user to quickly see the benefits of these solutions. This is far more beneficial than an all at once approach, which can take months or years to deliver. Technology and market requirements change so rapidly that an agile approach ensures that the user receives what they want and need at the time of delivery.

Agile is a mindset, a way of working or way of delivering VALUE to the user through:

  • Establishing an agreed MVP (Minimal Viable Product)
  • Giving authority, empowerment and accountability to the team to deliver the agreed MVP, also encouraging collaboration and interaction
  • Delivering and deploying continuously
  • Learning continuously through testing during project delivery and validation of assumptions.

The following five part series outlines seven key points of good agility from a practitioner’s viewpoint.

Good Agility Point One: THE IMPORTANCE OF AN AGILE MINDSET

An Agile Mindset is a way of thinking about things, that those in a group share to the point that it becomes a way of life.

Teams and individuals that have this mindset often have the following attributes:

  • A positive attitude
  • Thirst for knowledge and new ways of working
  • Goal oriented, particularly in a team environment
  • Pragmatic and understand that failing is actually okay – willingness to fail is a key attribute of the agile mindset.

Agile is about treating each experience as a lesson and adjusting actions according to the feedback received, allowing the team to proceed toward desired outcomes resulting in continuous improvement.

The attitude towards failure is of particular importance in the Agile Mindset:

  • Fail early, fail often
  • Fail fast, learn constantly
  • Failure *is* an option
  • Without failure how can learning happen?
  • Perfect is a verb!

As a practitioner in the real world, I have worked with some great people who thrive with an agile mindset. They approach their work with a positive attitude, providing suggestions to overcome obstacles. They ask questions to understand what is in the best interests of the business, often coming up with innovative solutions as they experiment and learn. Finally, they have realistic and practical attitudes focused on helping the team succeed.

When looking for people to be part of an agile team, these are the mindsets to look for. It’s not always easy to change people’s intrinsic personalities and ways of thinking, so if you find individuals with an ‘Agile Mindset’ they will be a great addition to any agile team.