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Agile in its bare essence!

by Catherine Coubergs.

For me, Agile means interactions and working together whilst tackling problems. Moving forward while adapting and iterating. Agile frameworks let us implement different methods that mainly focus on making less optimal processes visible. Self-regulated teams, a non-blaming culture, learning forward and servant leadership are essential ingredients.


“In the end, Agile in its bare essence boils down to having a happy and contented team acting in a safe environment.”


However, agile is not always learning forward since empirically proven processes and methods can be implemented as they are. We only iterate when this is necessary in the current situation. Is it a hype? It might be. However, good enough for now, safe enough to try is an adagio we use on a daily basis.

But Catherine, you are just talking concepts, what is it that you actually do?

Well, here are a few easy things that you can implement to boost the agility in your organisation and / or team.

  1. Plan some time to reflect and iterate. What did we do? In hindsight could we have done better? What is the smallest thing we can change to improve?
  2. Lead by example in giving feedback on the process. Iterate forward, learning forward is not the same as not being competent. Fail fast, learn fast and adapt are actually competences we are looking for.
  3. Use a decision tree: on what topics do we need to co-create (these should only be the super complex topics) and on what do we follow the expertise at hand (complicated problems with proven solutions).
  4. Plan co-creation sessions with the vibe of good enough for now, safe enough to try. Use the autonomy and competence of your staff.

In the end, Agile in its bare essence boils down to having a happy and contented team acting in a safe environment. We all make mistakes, we just have to learn from them.


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