Agile Thinking Introduction

An Introduction To Agile Thinking and Agile Principles


Adopting the Agile Thinking Mindset


To be agile means to be quick to adapt to changes.

Agile thinking simply talks about responding to change when the need arises rather than following a pre-defined longer-term plan. 

The original agile thinkers launched the Agile Alliance to overhaul the process of creating and deploying software. Since then, agile thinking has become a crucial factor in software development. While the concept sprang up from the software development arena, agile thinking quickly found its way into the broader business community, thanks to the influence of technology.

The Agile Alliance introduced what is now known as the Agile Manifesto with 4 key pillars. These are:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tool
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan

You can see that these agile concepts encourage you to be flexible in your approach to both customers and people, but also to be more personal and responsive to how people actually experience the work you are doing.

It is about finding out what really matters rather than following a predetermined trajectory irrespective of developments and changes that crop up along the line. As a result, agility allows organisations to address unexpected events effectively and be more reactive to changes in customers needs.




4 Key Agile Thinking Principles


The Agile Alliance drafted a manifesto outlining critical principles for agile thinking. These principles are essential to all businesses.

1. Break Down Big Tasks Into Smaller Portions


It’s hard to maintain motivation when you are working on a larger project. For example, you may feel a false sense of achievement. In addition, people often struggle to stay motivated in large projects because when something takes longer to accomplish, you can quickly lose your focus along the line. However, there is a proven benefit to breaking down more significant problems into manageable sizes – smaller tasks can be completed in time.

2. Self-organised Teams do the Best Work


People tend to become generalists. However, understand that you can’t fit perfectly in all areas. It’s only when your team is self-organised and people that you can best deploy the unique skills at your disposal.

3. Assemble Your Team Regularly Throughout The Project Execution


It’s true to say that people don’t like the idea of sitting down for long hours in a meeting. Therefore, agile meetings need to be short and snappy. Also known in the software web development space as daily stand-ups, agile meetings deliver quick results and allow all team members to stay in sync.

4. Teams Should Reflect Regularly On How To Become More Effective


Imperfection exists among all teams, so see every project as a learning curve. Therefore, you should form a team that constantly reflects on becoming better and adjusting to new trends accordingly.

12 Agile Principles Manifesto


Here are the 12 Agile Principles in the Manifesto.

  • Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
  • Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage.
  • Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.
  • Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.
  • Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.
  • The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.
  • Working software is the primary measure of progress.
  • Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
  • Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.
  • Simplicity – the art of maximizing the amount of work not done – is essential.
  • The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.
  • At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behaviour accordingly

Why Learn Agile Thinking


In one market research by the Project Management Institute, it was observed that agile institutions performed better than non-agile organisations.

75% of agile companies achieved their goals as compared to 56% of non-agile organisations. Furthermore, 65% of agile organisations completed their projects on time compared to only 40% of their non-agile counterparts.

Overall, businesses with agile cultures stand to gain several benefits over their competitors. If you are ready to learn and adopt agile methodologies or lean management principles, consult LeanScape for more info.

Our Newsletter

Reagan Pannell

Reagan Pannell

Reagan Pannell is a highly accomplished professional with 15 years of experience in building lean management programs for corporate companies. With his expertise in strategy execution, he has established himself as a trusted advisor for numerous organisations seeking to improve their operational efficiency.

Jump To Section

Yellow Belt Course

Green Belt Course

LEAN SIX SIGMA Online Courses

A Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Masterclass

only €999

Ready to start your journey into the world of Lean with this free course?


A Lean focused continious improvement certification course

only £119

Propel your career forward, tackle complex problems and drive change

Only £167

The ultimate fast-track for future leadership

only £849

Become an expert in change management and complex problem-solving.

Only £1649

Lean Accelerator Program

discover the power of problem-solving


download the syllabus