What does Agile mean to me?
Agile is a means not an end. It’s a means to improve the way we work to the benefit of individuals, teams, organisations and society itself.
Agile paves the way for a great adventure of personal and professional renewal, helping us improve our existing skills and develop new ones.
Agile takes us out of our comfort zones and teaches us how to adapt to change. It enlarges our comfort zones only to take us out of it again. It’s beyond survival. It’s about self-actualisation.
Agile is about being a “forever apprentice“, someone who begins as a student and becomes a teacher while remaining a student. A forever apprentice applies the principle “the best teachers make the best students and the best students make the best teachers”.
I’ve been applying Agile to what I do for some years now, from delivering projects at work to projects at home. I pack in all the practice I can get. The way I use Agile is constantly changing through improvement experiments. Always learning. Always improving.
Applying Agile and being agile has helped make work fun and engaging. Again. Do you remember the very first day of your very first job? That’s the enthusiasm and energy I strive to re-create every day. For myself and for others. Some days, I give myself a day off.
Every day’s a new day when you’re trying to be better than you were yesterday. I’m improving, one baby step at a time. Sometimes the steps are so tiny that they’re invisible to the naked eye, but I can feel it, like a new shoot about to break through the ground after rain.
I don’t like to admit it, but I know when I’m getting complacent. A little voice in my head tells me, “You’ve been there, done that, seen it all, what’s the big deal?” That’s when I sense trouble. How can I know it all and still be constantly improving? Unless I’ve stopped, of course.
When people find out that I’m an Agile Coach (one of my many roles) they tell me, “Of course you want to make everyone do Agile, you’re an Agile Coach and that’s your purpose”. To which I reply, “If we do Agile right, Agile will evolve itself out of existence and something new will appear to take its place.”
As for my purpose, it’s to create opportunities and options to help us make the most of our potential, leveraging what we’ve got and increasing it day by day. I do it for me and for us. Agile is but one tool out of many that makes this possible. It helps to get the conversation started.
What does Agile mean to you?