To be Agile people must be willing to open their minds to truly gain the benefits. In this section we share our knowledge and tools with you to help you help others grow.
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When speaking to people about the agile mindset we talk about people being able to open their minds but what does this actually mean?
An agile mindset is focused on being agile not doing agile.
The agile manifesto is a great basis for the mindset to begin.
As mentioned in the agile onion the mindset is the outer layer and comes into play at every level. In an every changing world where customers change their needs so often its important to have an open mind in how your organisation works and how quickly you can adapt to meet user needs. This isn't as simple as it sounds as some large organisations have large structures and process in place and it can be hard to break them down or amend them and may take some time but the benefits far out way the effort. This is why the agile onion is so important to visualise the steps needed in your agile transformation.
Learning, Experimenting and Continuous Improvement
The agile mindset needs to move away from traditional thinking and acknowledge the need for learning experimenting and continuous improvement. Lets take the example of a child starting to walk, the mindset is focused on watching others (learning), trying to walk and falling (experimenting) and continuously try and adapting the approach (continuous improvement) until they can walk. In start-up companies this mindset is easier as they grow as a company and develop process along the way, however for large organisations if can be a challenge to get back to this way of thinking due to breaking down traditional process and hierarchies (see exercise 2 in the agile onion). The challenge is how can we think differently to enable our organisation to delight and meet the needs of the end users through experimentation and continuous improvements. The penny dropping moment is when an organisation views failure as learning.
The mindset is at every level from HR, Finance, Marketing through to scrum teams hence why it is the outer layer of the onion. Don't fall into the trap of thinking only delivery teams need to change as this will only work for a short period.
Allow your mind to grow by learning and adapting.
A mindset is the mental lens through which we view the world around us. It is how the human brain simplifies, categorizes, and interprets the vast amount of information it receives each day. Through a lifetime of structured learning (classes, reading) and unstructured lessons (life events, work experience), we form our mindsets. They reside in the subconscious mind and manifest themselves as deeply held beliefs, attitudes, assumptions, and influences. Consequently, individuals are often unaware of how their mindsets influence how they carry out their responsibilities and interact with others. For example, many leaders develop beliefs through business school training and on-the-job experiences that are grounded in legacy waterfall, stage-gated, and siloed ways of working.
It begins with an awareness of how one’s current mindsets were formed. It’s also vital to cultivate the belief that mindsets can be developed and improved (a ‘growth’ mindset, as illustrated in Figure 1). Leaders must remain open to the possibility that existing mindsets based on traditional management practices need to evolve in order to guide the organizational change required to become a Lean enterprise.
© Scaled Agile
We have created an example for you to download and use when facilitating the session.
All we ask is that you please provide feedback to us on how your session went and if we can improve this to help others.
Understand the difference in mindsets and challenging how someone can change their own thinking.
Session takes 45 minutes to complete.
* An understanding of the difference in mindsets.