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The Heart of Agile begins

Whatever your initiative, it involves changing the world just a little bit. You want your intervention in the world to have a particular effect, or outcome.

The world, however, is remarkably resistant to our interventions. The best ideas fail either because of small misunderstandings of how the world will react to our idea, or because of errors in the implementation of our ideas.

Agile is about steering to success through frequent deliveries to a merciless audience, close collaboration to improve decisions, and reflective improvement along the way.

The Heart of Agile amplifies and simplifies agile history and culture into just four imperatives:

  • Collaborate.
  • Deliver.
  • Reflect.
  • Improve.

These four words helps us to focus our energies on critical actions. At the same time, this simplification opens the door to many new and interesting ways of implementing each one of them.

As Agile Manifesto co-author and Heart of Agile founder Dr. Alistair Cockburn wrote in 2015, “Agile has become overly decorated. Let’s scrape away those decorations for a minute, and get back to the center of agile.”

The Heart of Agile applies generally to all initiatives, in all fields: Work closely with others to generate and evolve better ideas to begin with, deliver in small probes initially to learn how the world really works and larger deliveries later as you learn to steer the outcomes you are getting, and reflect along the way, both on the quality of your collaboration and the learnings from your probes and deliveries, so that you can improve both the direction and implementation of your ideas, and your way of working.


The four words of the Heart of Agile are nothing more than a tool to help you focus. The community learning to be more effective through this tool are what is interesting these days. These are the people exploring better ways to collaborate, to communicate, to probe, to learn, to reflect, to have more fun at the same time as having more impact with their work.

Join them in this exploration. Join a community. Find a practitioner, consultant, trainer or coach. Attend an event. Become a partner.

Tell us why you align with these thoughts, or what questions you have.

Join us in changing the world just a little bit, and reach your goals more effectively.

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