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Agile manifesto in practice: anyone can work Agile. So can you!

Do you recognise this? You're at the station; on time for your train. First, the sign indicates that the train will be 5 minutes late. Nice, you think, I can get coffee. But then the sign jumps to 10 minutes delay, 15 minutes delay.... You check the app to see what's going on. A points failure: your train is not running at all. Bummer, because you need to get to your appointment on time. You check whether there is a detour route, whether there is a bus running or whether you can book a shared car. There is a detour route. You app your appointment that you are 20 minutes late and continue your journey.

In our daily lives, we constantly adapt to changing circumstances. If the train is not running, you look for other options to still get to your appointment. You only do that when the situation arises; not before. In work situations, we find this difficult. Let us examine, using the insights from the Agile Manifesto, how to be Agile in work situations too.

groep mensen met plan

Responding to change over following a plan

In our work, we want to be predictable and good at what we do. That means we like to work to a schedule and avoid risks. Customers also want to know in advance when something will be finished. Agile working is about accepting that you can never know everything in advance and that you have to be flexible to adapt to change. 'But, with Agile working you just do whatever without thinking about it beforehand', is one of the most common misconceptions about Agile. With Agile, too, it is important to think in advance what your goal is and how you want to achieve it. The crucial difference is that you test faster in practice whether your ideas and assumptions match reality. And if a circumstance arises that you did not foresee, you adjust your plan accordingly.

People and mutual interaction over processes and tools

Another thing we are good at in our daily lives is interacting with people. If your neighbours become noisy in the garden, you discuss it with them. In a work situation, things are different. We solve problems with a process or tool. And that's weird, because the most effective way to solve a problem is by interacting with each other. Processes and tools can support this interaction. At Agile working, we believe in being and staying in constant conversation with your customer to deliver the best product or service.


Working product over comprehensive documentation

Nothing is more frustrating than something not working. You want to fix this quickly and grab the quick start guide. You don't feel like delving into the extensive user manual. Within Agile working, we focus on working products for the customer and the minimal documentation needed to work with the product. Because, why write all-encompassing documentation that people don't read anyway!

man en vrouw werken samen achter laptop

Customer collaboration over contract negotiations

Wishes can change over time. When you buy a house, you furnish it as you imagined beforehand based on photos. If you live there for a while, some choices turn out not to be very useful and you adjust your interior. We call this progressive insight. You also have this progressive insight in work situations. Beforehand, customers often don't know exactly at a detailed level what to expect from a product. Only when they start using your product do they discover what their wishes actually are. Within Agile, we work closely together with the customer in order to arrive at a well-functioning product step by step. We don't lay down all the specifications of a product in a contract in advance because you simply don't know them all yet.

Working Agile

In short, everyone is Agile. So are you! Now to apply it in our business life. Looking for practical tips and tools to apply Agile theory in practice? Register for one of our practice-oriented training courses on Agile and Scrum.



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