How to adopt an agile mindset

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Agile innovation is not necessarily a method. It is not something you do, it is something you are and because of this companies may consider if they are viewing agile innovation in the right way. Agile innovation methods have reached such a buzzword status over the past decades, that most software businesses by now are familiar with this way of creating innovation throughout the development phase of products or services. Because of this, agile innovation is typically referred to and approached as a product development methodology, a software development methodology or even a project management methodology. But, how can companies approach agile innovation to benefit their business?

Mindset vs. methodology

In order to harvest the real benefits of agile innovation, businesses ought to adopt an agile mindset. This is done by figuring out “why” businesses do what they do. If the agile mindset is not in place, it hardly matters if all agile processes and methodologies are implemented and followed exactly as they should. On the other hand, if the agile mindset is in place, it does not matter if the agile methodologies are not completely followed because the agile mindset will make things come out right. Which is why it is vital that businesses not only “do agile”, they have to “be agile” by embodying the principles and values of the agile mindset in their thoughts, words and actions.

When businesses decide to adopt agile and undergo an agile transformation, they usually learn about several agile frameworks like Scrum, Lean Scrum etc. Through these frameworks, businesses can become familiar with different techniques, roles and processes that help them start working in a way that is aligned with agile innovation. But, when agile is viewed as a methodology and implemented this way within the existing development or management framework, agile can become a copy of the real deal – in order words; fake agile. Which is why mindset is essential to harvest the benefits of agile innovation.

So, how to adopt an agile mindset?

First of all, in order to find your “why”, you have to resist the urge to label what you are doing and stop worrying about what the Scrum, Lean or other agile frameworks dictate – labels are not important. What is important, is that you in the development phase of a product or service, have a clear focus on the outcome and that you take steps to constantly learn and develop. Which means that you seek to continuously understand your customers’ needs better and better. You want to get a better understanding of their desired needs and how to become more effective at fulfilling these particular needs.

In order to do so, and to really understand the agile mindset, you should worry about the “why”. At Relesys the “why” is one of the most important steps in the development of a new app. To fully understand new customers desired outcome of their app, it is important for us to clarify why and in which areas the customer is experiencing difficulties. When this is clear, we know what it will take to accommodate the customer’s needs and thereby how to align the app functionality with the wishes and expectations of the customer.