Term Agile mindset has become a ubiquitous phrase in our daily life but what does it mean? Is there a checklist where we can try to measure ourselves to see how agile our mind and belief are? If you google the term Agile mindset, you will get hundreds of results with all different answers, and I realised in the discussion a few weeks ago that I didn’t have a definitive answered to this question myself. If someone asked me what agile mindset is, I understood that I couldn’t give them a detailed answer to encompasses the generic list that people can use.
Also, to me, Agile Mindset isn’t something that is for the work environment but is the attitude that should be used to succeed in personal life, and it is used every day in our life as a habit. If you have a recipe for success then why only use it in your professional life and why not use it in your personal life to make that a success as well.
To me, the Agile mindset is a set of habits and attitudes used by super successful people in their everyday life. Those attitudes and habits are:
Successful people know that if they want anything done, they need to treat people with respect. Respect something that builds cultures of hap[pines and openness. If you wish to your Scrum team, Kanban team or any other group of people to genuinely get something done then you need to treat them with respect. The opposite of respect is disrespect, treat even a child disrespectfully, and they will become angry, rebellious and dysfunctional. You would be able to make a child do something when treating them disrespectfully then how do you expect that adult will work in a team without respect?
This year in April, I met this fantastic gentleman called Clinton Wingrove, and in the discussion of the dysfunctional organisation, his told us of his real experience of going into a completely dysfunctional organisation as a consultant where every one of extremely unhappy. Customer support was poor, and the company was about to go bust, and everyone was leaving. The only change he made to the organisation was to coach the company CEO to be respectful towards his employees, and within a month the company culture changed. The company became prosperous again. It shows to value of being respectful, and I would recommend reading his book to everyone.
Super teams using the principles of RESPECT by Paul Marciano and Clinton Wingrove
Continuous learning and growing:
According to the latest research, some think tanks believe that 60% of today’s job functions will get replaced by AI. We are going to face another revolution in the workspace as we did when computers and robots took over work from factories and manual jobs. However, this revolution is expected to be a lot faster and more widespread than any we as a human race have ever experienced before. Continuous learning and growth mindset aren’t just going to help you in your Scrum team but making sure that in 20 years you will have a roof over your head and that you will be able to feed your family.
Within the Scrum team, the Continuous learning and growing are looking at the best practices and techniques to implement. Scrum Framework doesn’t tell you how to write your code or what best practices to use; it expects that you will Continuous grow as a team and personal, you will keep up with the latest trends and practices.
I strongly recommend that you take this habit and attitude for the rest of your life. Invest time in reading upskill all the different skill set not just technical but your communication, financial and invest time in your welling being.
I have committed myself to read a complete book every week, and I alternate between books that help me in my role of Scrum Master one week and next week I would be reading a book about other skill sets to improve other areas of my life.
If we look at hugely successful people like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, then we find that they spend a considerable amount of time investing in themselves. Warren Buffet is known for reading 1000 pages every day and is the most successful hedge fund manager ever and the 3rd richest man in the world.
Inspect and Adapt:
Scrum is based on the empirical process model. Those who don’t know, the Empirical process has three pillars: transiency, Inspect and Adapt, and every single Scrum ceremony is based on these three pillars. Inspect and Adapt is the reason for Scrum Framework Success, Inspect the Sprint plan every day in daily Scrum and adapt accordingly, We inspect the Product we are developing in Sprint review and adapt according to the stakeholder review every 2 weeks. We inspect the process and team way of working in retro and adapt to the action of the retro. To successful within an Agile team you should inspect the tool, techniques and way of working regular and adapt to the changes as and when required, but moreover, you want this process for rest of your life. Why only do this within Scrum team, why not follow through on inspecting and adopt at your home, your finances, your time, hobbies, health, etc. experiment with new ideas and if work adopts them and if they are not the leave them. Make inspect and adopt a regular part of your life. When doing research on Agile mindset, you come across many other habits and attitudes that are part of agile mindset but to me these three are core, and if you have these you will gain all the other habits, skills and attitudes required to be useful. Some other attitudes and habits mentioned in articles and by other Agile coaches are:
- having fun
- Knowledge sharing is done willingly
- collaborate and communicate
- Focus on Delivering Value
- look at failure as a learning opportunity
- Pride in Ownership
Some Books I recommend reading: