Agile Methodology | Developing a Mindset

How do you develop an agile mindset?

Words by Alex Matheson
How do you develop an agile mindset?

We’ve all heard the term, we’ve all been in the meetings, and we could all probably use a bit of a refresher on the topic of agile. Agile methodology isn’t just something you can slot into your business with some nifty new technology and a webinar or two. It takes more radical, but achievable, change.

Whether you’re looking to get into agile software development or you want to inject lean methodology into whatever other business you’re operating, there’s one thing you need to consider above all else. It’s not just about getting a new app, it requires something more comprehensive to be installed; a new mindset.

What are the characteristics of an agile mindset?

An agile mindset is one that focuses on respect for your colleagues and clients, collaboration at all times, engaging in improvement and learning cycles, owning innovation, the desire to always deliver value, and the ability to adapt to change.

The ability to adapt to change may well be the most important of the lot, though a healthy mix of each is vital to nurture this mindset. Change is inevitable and ever present in business. Being agile is about going beyond accepting it, and deciding to embrace it.

To be agile you need to be reactive to change and understand that old cliche; the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

Having an end goal in mind is good, and something to be encouraged, but to be agile you need to accept that the path to the end goal will never run as smoothly as you expect it to. And, if the landscape changes, your end goal might evolve too.

How do you develop an agile mindset?

To develop an agile mindset you’ll need to adopt an approach that focuses on respect for your team members, an optimised and sustainable workflow, you’ll need to encourage innovation, and focus on continuous and unstoppable improvement.

As you can see, developing an agile mindset won’t work if it happens in a vacuum. Developing your own agile mindset is a noble venture, but for it to stick you’ll need your whole team invested in the venture.

Every element of agile depends on, and is enhanced by, an agile team. Whether you’re leaning into the world of agile development, or approaching agriculture with agile methodology in mind.

What is an agile person?

An agile person is one who reacts to business challenges in a mobile, flexible, and adaptive way. Agility in physical action is synonymous with freedom of movement, and in business it’s no different. An agile person can see a problem and adapt their approach to overcome it. An agile person doesn’t get bogged down in how things have been done, but gets excited about how things can be done.

At the end of the day, an agile person is someone with an agile mindset, and that means embodying all of the characteristics we’ve already discussed. An agile person respects their team, and expects respect in return. They are constantly optimising their workflows. An agile person is a beacon of inspiration, and focuses totally on continuous improvement.

Why is an agile mindset important?

An agile mindset is important because today and in the future, change is not only inevitable but exciting. Without an agile mindset you won’t be able to keep up in the cutting edge world we live in. Not only that, but you’ll miss out on the opportunities provided by an ever changing, ever evolving, ever growing business world.