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, 2015