Being Agile and Doing Agile-What Does That Mean?

It has been a while since I wrote a post. So, what comes to mind today? How about “Being Agile and Doing Agile”.  Ever hear someone say that? It is a common saying or coined phrase, but what does it really mean?

So, I Googled “Being Agile and Doing Agile”.  Here are a few things that came up:

  • Thoughtworks: Being agile is much more than applying some techniques to run software projects – it requires a commitment to adaptive leadership, a focus on delivering value fast, and a different understanding of what your organizations’ portfolio should look like.
  • Devellocus: “Agile isn’t something you do. It’s something you are.”
  • InfoQ Article: “Agile is what the Agile Manifesto values. It is also the twelve principles behind the manifesto. Nothing more. (…) Being Agile is following the manifesto values and the principles behind it. If you don’t, here’s some news: You’re not Agile!”
  • Version One Blog: “There is a difference between doing agile, which relates to adopting practices and techniques, and being agile, which relates to the mindset and behaviors we use as we leverage agile practices and techniques.”

Wow! Not exactly the same, right? If we look at the four samples above, we can agree that all say it is about mindset. I then Google “Being Good”. Interestingly, it came back with ethics and virtues. Hmmm, so is it safe to say being agile is about your ethics and virtues about the 12 “commandments”, I mean principles? I am starting to feel like this can be a topic for a philosophy class.

So, the next time someone tells you “Be Agile”. Read off the 12 principles and see how you are ethically upholding those principles. You might not be too far off or be letting the person who is challenging you to brush up on their reading.

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