The Heart of Agile

From one of the authors of the Agile Manifesto

“Agile has become overly decorated. Let’s scrape away those decorations for a minute, and get back to the center of agile.”

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


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

Heart of Agile Conferences

The Heart of Agile Conference is a two-day conference dedicated to educate attendees on getting back to the basics of Agile.

Heart of Agile are 4 key concepts: Collaborate, Deliver, Reflect and Improve. From this center we can branch out to all of the principals, practices, skills, and tools.

The 2-day session will offer:

  • Opening and closing keynotes by Alistair Cockburn focused on the “Heart of Agile”
  • Speakers, presentations and discussion tracks for Collaborate, Deliver, Reflect, and Improve:
    • Tutorials – Speakers will provide presentations and facilitated conversations on hot topics and key trends on Agile principles and practices. This is an opportunity for experienced practitioners to demonstrate and share their knowledge in a specific topic, solution, or technique.
    • Collaborative Conversation Joint problem-solving with other experienced participants in a topic. A facilitated peer-to-peer event, where everyone has something to contribute to the topic, though may not be an expert at the topic. The coordinator proposes a topic and a facilitation structure, the attendees work in small groups (typically 4-8 people), and mutually exchange and collaborate their outputs.
    • Experience Reports – Experience reports contain first-hand information and reflection: “We saw this…,” “Our team did that…,” or “We learned the following from our experience…” Experience reports serve as an exchange opportunity for practitioners to learn from others. Focus of these discussions is to share successes, failures, and lessons learned.

Past Heart of Agile Conferences (2016-2017)