Value the Agile Mindset Over Methodology

Mindset Matters Much More Than Practices

Are you more focused on executing your Agile methodology, or on being Agile? Or is this some semantical nuance wrapped in a cliché?

You’ve probably heard statements like “Agile is not something you do, it is something you are.” Cute phrases, but does this mean anything? Agile Mindset is a good mindset to embrace.

Daily Scrums are status meetings?

Do managers and stakeholders view the Product Backlog as a project plan?

Are tasks and process compliance handled mostly by the Scrum Master?

In answer to these questions, have you found any other symptoms of your Scrum? Teams don’t really improve from team retrospectives, and collaboration between team members doesn’t take place. For a software development team, test coverage is low, they write code superficially, and deploying to production involves a lot of planning and caution. while you follow the practises, you may not be experiencing much agility That can’t be.

To understand the situation, we must know why Scrum Teams use particular practises, meetings, roles, and artefacts. Let’s first investigate what principles govern successful use of those tactics.

Daily Scrum consider. Collaboration and self-organization are effective for Agile teams because these help them accomplish work that matters. They feel psychologically safe to be open and to fully participate.

Scrum incorporates the principles of adaptation, frequent value delivery, customer collaboration, and putting people first. People adopt these values—“optimize for them,” or apply them in everything they do—when they believe that’s how they’ll succeed. Mindset includes values and principles, as well as beliefs.

The adoption of Scrum reflects an existing mindset. A company’s mindset is something called “traditional.” Their priorities include getting tasks completed on time and on budget as well as following standards. They go about their work with principle: plan everything beforehand, limit change, and require signatures.

They centralise the work and use their resources to maximise utilisation. Before Scrum, they applied these principles with project plans, completion percentages, frequent status meetings, and code freezes. If such an organisation replaces its existing tactics with Scrum tactics but doesn’t change its mindset, what happens?

Agile Mindset Over Methodology
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Ascertaining work centrally allows for the daily scrum to be a series of one-on-one interactions with the Scrum Master. Therefore, as a result of teams standing up daily, people give lengthy explanations when asked, “What have I done since yesterday?” and are reluctant to respond with, “I’m stuck and need help.”

An organization’s mindset colours how it uses any Scrum practise, role, meeting, and artefact. A mindset that is removed from the Agile mindset that underlies Scrum is more harmful to the Scrum strategy, team members, and agility. Acceleration doesn’t come from routines; it is attained through mindset.

Agile mindset

I’m talking about mindset over methodology. Many people are deeply invested in the learning, doing, and teaching of specific methods —the practises, doing part. Stating that we value the Agile mindset over methodology would be just as risky as the Agile Manifesto. Invariably, someone will believe that I am saying that we don’t need any method, framework, or model.

The Agile Manifesto is a foundation upon which all else is built. The value statements are written such that one thing is preferred over another. Instead, it is simply over. We prefer air over water. Air is essential to life, but it requires more attention than does food.

Use agile mindset over methodology.

Best practises are ever-changing.
What you do expresses your value
First, I want to clarify that I am not arguing that learning and implementing Agile methodologies are not critical. To be Agile, you must use the Agile practises.

Agile methodologies and frameworks are mostly positive and you should learn several. Everything is worth investigating and using.

Everything is about balance. In conclusion, here’s why…

Best practises are ever-changing.

What is a best practise? A best practise is a commonly accepted and effective way to do something, discovered through trial and error in the industry. For example, planning retrospectives, scheduling retrospectives, or increasing the frequency of meetings.

Weaken [temporary] outlook

Your pursuit of the latest and greatest Agile methods, techniques, and tools has gone on seemingly for-ever. You spend a lot of time and money each year chasing trends in methodology, certifications, and best practises that claim to end all your woes.

You wait patiently for new ways of working to gain ground within your teams. When progress is made in the Agile transformation, something new comes along to halt what little gains you’ve made. The new paradigm or methodology is pursued, but it is not in reach as you must rethink everything all over again.

Studying these trainings and certifications is not a waste of time. To be sure. The point is, these things change. Best practises are ever-changing. For example, you probably have professional certifications in your career that today are not as relevant, if not obsolete. Presumably, you have also taken classes and obtained training on methodology, practises, and tools you no longer utilise. Right?

It is more than just Sprints.

It is not a problem learning and implementing best practises. There is no problem aligning your actions with your motivations. When the why is unclear, when things change, you’re not building on a solid foundation of values, you’re starting over. Changes also complicate the task.

Your actions reflect your values

Just observe your team in action and see what principles guide their work. Think about it: Your work or perhaps more fittingly your organization’s work, represents the collective values and beliefs with regard to work practises. Regardless of how it is connected, the connection is present.

When you work at a company, your methods, practises, and processes are all derived from the collective mindset of the organisation with regard to your work. Agile beliefs and values cannot be imposed; they must be firmly established. Only as effective as your core beliefs allow your deeds to be.

Image Credit | Featured Image | Image Source – GOOGLE Search | Tap Into Your Growth Mindset and Achieve Your Goals

About Srinivas Saripalli 47 Articles
Hi! I'm Srinivas Saripalli. For over eighteen years I've been building high-performing software development teams and organizations through the use of agile and Scrum. I've worked with startups and some of the largest organizations in the world. To find answers to specific questions about Scrum and agile, scaling agile, agile transformation and leadership coaching browse my blog. I am an Executive Leadership Coach handling select clients in the are of Agile & cultural Transformation. I am a Certified Scrum Professional, a seasoned strategist in executions of Coaching Agile Transformations. I am also a SAFe Program Consultant. I have also held positions of process quality consultant in CMMI and ISO doing harmonising process operations for customers, including the implementation of quality programmes in Hi-tech, Retail, Media, and Publishing.

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