The agile mindset is too often neglected in an agile transformation. I explain why an agile mindset is so important and give 7 specific tips for getting the right mindset.

"My team now meets daily for stand-up meetings, and we also introduced a board on which we map our tasks - we work in a truly agile way."

I'm sure you've heard sentences like that before and had to smile. At least, that's how I feel when I meet people I know, and I hear sentences like that. In my head, I always think: If you only knew what agility means and which way you still have to go...

Don't get me wrong, I don't want to badmouth this in any way: The introduction of stand-up meetings is good. Visualizing work on a board is an important step.

But these are only very small steps into the world of working agile, which unfortunately are also approached incorrectly far too often. Because even a stand-up meeting can be conducted in such a way that it has absolutely nothing to do with agile work, and a board can also serve the waterfall method well.

I would therefore like to highlight an important point that is far too often neglected in the transformation towards agility: The Agile Mindset!

We can introduce as many meetings and processes from agile practices as we like. But if we don't have the agile mindset, then it's all "for nothing".

What is an agile mindset?

When we speak of a mindset, we mean a certain attitude and way of thinking. It is, so to speak, our inner programming that leads us to certain decisions and actions.

Agility means being flexible and nimble, reacting quickly and being able to constantly adapt. In agile, there is no standstill. The normal state we are in is a changing state. Being open to change is critical. By that I mean to not only welcome change (passively), but driving it ourselves actively.

To understand all of this even better, it's important to know the four values of the Agile Manifesto:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan

The juxtapositions of values do not mean that the right part (of each sentence) is unimportant. It merely represents a prioritization. So, the left part is more important than the right part and thus should always be prioritized higher.

But how do you get to an agile mindset?

Here are essential tips on how you can quickly adopt an agile mindset:

  • Don't be afraid to make mistakes.
  • See difficult tasks as an opportunity.
  • Learn from your experiences and be willing to constantly evolve.
  • Be open to mistakes, changes, suggestions and feedback.
  • Promote team spirit.
  • Have respect and trust for your team and stakeholders.
  • Focus on the customer and listen to their needs and feedback.

Once the right mindset is set, you will quickly realize that all the meetings and processes are just an aid to better manage your daily work with your team.

The introduction of daily stand-ups is very important. But only with the agile mindset can these be managed properly and fulfil their purpose of agile working.

Visualizing the work on a board creates transparency. But only with the agile mindset can this transparency be properly evaluated in your organization.

Keep reminding yourself of the points for building an agile mindset and start living the agile mindset today.

Do you notice differences in your way of working, your efficiency, your motivation? Then I would be happy to hear about it!

An important characteristic of agile teams is a self-organized way of working.

Read our tips on how self-organization succeeds particularly well with the Team Canvas method.
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