Alistair Cockburn – Agile is an Attitude

Agile is an Attitude

“Agile … is an attitude, not a technique with boundaries. An attitude has no boundaries, so we wouldn’t ask ‘can I use agile here’, but rather ‘how would I act in the agile way here?’ or ‘how agile can we be, here?’”
— Alistair Cockburn

I’d like to share one of my favorite agile quotes from Alistair Cockburn, because it summarizes my own perspective so well. In my observance, many fail to differentiate agile principles from agile methodologies, and end up with a prescriptive/dogmatic view of the correct way to do or be “agile” that misses the mark.

Whether you’re working in an “Agile” or traditional delivery environment, you can find ways to apply agile principles and keep a responsive mindset.

The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated – William James

Just a brief quote and a comment this evening to capture a thought that crossed my mind while contemplating  differentiators between the great analyst and the good:

“The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.” – William James

Time and experience have shown me that one of the best ways to cultivate relationships of trust and mutual respect with stakeholders and team members is to actively seek out opportunities – even the small ones – to show appreciation for assistance, and acknowledgment for hard work and a job well done.

I don’t know whether  being appreciative and showing gratitude is best considered a skill or a habit – it may be a little of both. It won’t likely show up in a competency assessment or a job interview,  but it is a rare trait and a real differentiator, and one that I’m confident will give you (and your beneficiaries) great satisfaction as you develop it.

It really is the little things that make a big difference!

I won’t develop it much further this evening, but Heather Mylan-Mains shared another thought on Twitter that I wanted to capture here because I consider  it another key differentiator between the the great and the good analyst. It stems from how we choose to react to inter-personal adversity; those real or perceived slights and mistreatments:

Well said!

What are some other intangibles – traits, if not exactly “skills”, that are real difference makers? Please share them below!