The Heart of Agile

“Agile has become overly decorated. Let’s scrape away those decorations for a minute, and get back to the center of agile.”
— Dr. Alistair Cockburn, co-author of the Agile Manifesto.

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March, 2015: The Heart of Agile Begins

“When encouraging getting back to the center of agile, I found I kept emphasizing four things:

– Collaborate
– Deliver
– Reflect
– Improve

The nice thing about these four words is that they don’t need much explanation. They don’t need much teaching. With the exception of “Reflect”, which is done all too little in our times, the other three are known by most people. You know if you’re doing them or not.”

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So simply saying, “Collaborate. Deliver. Reflect. Improve.” already says most of what you need to say and do. Each one unpacks into unendingly complicated skills, actions, tools, and all. Each is rich with nuance. And still, we can fold back up all the nuance and complications, and remind ourselves: “Collaborate. Deliver. Reflect. Improve.”

You can read more about how I chose the word “heart” / kokoro: 心 in Rediscovering the heart of agile.

The heart/center/spirit of agile. Agile の 心

Alistair Cockburn
Agile Manifesto co-author
March 24, 2014


Heart of Agile Conferences

Seeing Agile increasingly weighed down since its inception, Dr. Alistair Cockburn, one of the authors of the Agile Manifesto, devised the Heart of Agile to re-focus attention on the four elements that makes work effective:

Collaborate. Deliver. Reflect. Improve.

The Heart of Agile Conference is a two-day journey that invites people from diverse sectors to have meaningful exchanges on those four elements.

The exchanges are held in four formats allowing different types of exploration: • Plenary sessions let people listen to a key speaker and converse with their neighbors on topics of their interest.

Experience Reports offer first-hand information and reflection: “We saw this… We learned the following from our experience…”. Experience reports serve as an exchange opportunity for practitioners to learn from others.

• Collaborative Conversations offer joint problem solving with other participants. A facilitated peer-topeer event, where everyone has something to contribute.

• Tutorials provide opportunities to learn directly from experts, whether better ways to collaborate, an aspect of delivery, or some new technique.

• Exhibition Space allows exhibitors to have specialists on hand to discuss their products and services and share industry and solution insights, and experiences.

Upcoming Heart of Agile Conferences

Feb  26, 2018 : 1st Conference, Melbourne, Australia

March 3, 2018 : Heart of Agile Pop-up, Guayaquil, Ecuador

April 26, 2018 : Heart of Agile Conference,  Pittsburgh, PA, USA

May 31,, 2018 : Heart of Agile Conference, Paris, France


Past Heart of Agile Conferences


    These are the people currently championing and delivering Heart of Agile consulting and training around the world. Continue reading “Partners”

    Heart of Agile in Action