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How to Think in an Agile Way

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Systems analysis and requirements experts provide practical guidelines to help you to become more agile, or nimble, in your thinking.

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This chapter is from the book
  • Agile thinkingWicked problems and Gordian knots
    Jumping over the silosWorking with iterative development cycles
    Lean thinkingTraditional business analysis

Jack Be Nimble

You have no doubt gathered by now that we are using the word agile to mean adaptable, nimble, open-minded, and responsive. We know that when a team is behaving in an open-minded manner, the team members are able to change their approach, admit that an idea might not be the best one, and bring about a far better outcome. And while we think the expressions, “think in an agile way,” “have an agile mind-set,” and so on are admirable, they are not much use to us unless we have some practical guidelines on how we might think this way.

So let’s talk about how we might think and act in an agile, nimble, open-minded way. The preceding chapters in this book looked at agile things to do; now we would like to talk a little about how you might do them.

Why should we want to do these things? Because experience has taught us—agile analysts, product owners, and team members—that what people ask for is not always what they need; neither is it always what they want. Experience has also taught us that the first solutions that are proposed—quite often these are merely assumed solutions—are not necessarily the right ones. We have learned the value of challenging assumptions and conventional wisdom. Importantly, we have learned that discovering the right problem, and deriving the optimal solution for it, is the fastest way to produce the right outcome. Getting it right does not mean it takes a long time.

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(Credit: Lebrecht Music & Arts/Alamy Stock Photo)

So let’s look at some of the things that can help you to become more agile, or nimble, in your thinking.

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