Looking for a change in your life or work approach? These agile mindset quotes may just be the fix. Use them to guide you!
Have you heard of having an agile mindset? It means that you are able to quickly, successfully, and dynamically respond to changes.
Agile practices are all about being able to adapt as you go. You’re not shaken by change – you roll with the punches.
Having an agile mindset is especially of benefit in the workplace. Career website Indeed.com puts it best by explaining “an agile mindset in the workplace encourages quicker thinking, more accountability and more efficient processes.
This attitude can provide a wide range of benefits to employees in many industries. If you want to improve your performance and that of your team members, it might be helpful to develop an agile mindset.
But how can we get this agile mindset? At its foundation, there are four core principles of having an agile mindset. They are flexibility, adaptability, iteration, and collaboration.
All of this sounds great in theory, we know. It’s much easier said than done. But you do need to be proactive and intentional about it.
These agile mindset quotes can help you do just that. They can remind you of why you should want to have an agile mindset.
You can also use an agile methodology quote as a mantra in the morning to put you into the right frame of mind for the rest of the day. Say them to yourself or write them down in a journal – they are inspirational quotes that will shape your perspective for the day, hopefully into one that’s agile!
30 Agile Mindset Quotes For The Ultimate Inspiration
1. “Multitasking makes you stupid. Doing more than one thing at a time makes you slower and worse at both tasks. Don’t do it. If you think this doesn’t apply to you, you’re wrong – it does.”– Jeff Sutherland, Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time
Focusing on one thing at a time, and doing it right, helps you be more agile. If you are always multitasking, you have a higher chance of making an error.
2. “Don’t focus on delivering a whole list of things—everything and the kitchen sink—focus on delivering what’s valuable, what people actually want or need.” – Jeff Sutherland, Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time
3. “Don’t just get better once; get better constantly. Always be looking for something to improve. Never, ever settle for where you are. How you get there is to be constantly creating experiments to see if you can achieve improvement. If I try this method, is it better? How about this one? What if I change just this one thing?” -Jeff Sutherland, Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time
4. “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” -Albert Einstein
Being agile is constantly questioning, learning, and growing! Lean into continuous improvement.
5. “Our greatest glory is, not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” – Oliver Goldsmith
AKA…. rolling with the punches. And learning from them! And being better!
6. “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, Manifesto for Agile Software Development
7. “Adopting agile can feel worse before it feels better. Problems and tensions often become more visible, which can be uncomfortable for some teams. But when tensions are more visible, you have a better opportunity to solve them.” – Jordan Husney, CEO at Parabol
Don’t just try having an agile mindset for a short time and give up because it feels weird or difficult. Implement an agile mindset will take time and is worth it in the end.
8. “Setting oneself on a predetermined course in unknown waters is the perfect way to sail straight into an iceberg.” – Henry Mintzberg, The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning
You need to adapt in order to be agile. Adapt to the unknown waters so they’re not unknown anymore. Don’t just take the predetermined course.
9. “Agile is not your goal—it’s only the best way to achieve your goals.” – Zuzana Šochová, The Agile Leader: Leveraging the Power of Influence
10. “Build less, start sooner.” – Jim Highsmith, Adaptive Leadership
Stop waiting for the best time to start. There’s never a “good” time. Stop thinking and start doing.
11. “Agile leaders lead teams, non-agile ones manage tasks.” – Jim Highsmith, Agile Project Management: Creating Innovative Products
12. “If everything seems under control, you just aren’t going fast enough” – Mario Andretti
Yes, we say that change is slow. But if everything seems under control, that can be a big sign it’s time to shake things up and change. It’s time to be innovative and see what can be done to make things better, rather than just have them under control.
13. “We practice mastering ourselves in the moment so that we can better open ourselves to being a servant leader and to harness our emotions and choose what to do with our reactions.” ― Lyssa Adkins, Coaching Agile Teams: A Companion for ScrumMasters, Agile Coaches, and Project Managers in Transition
You can handle things in the moment, well. You don’t overreact or freak out. That helps you tackle things better, and also lets you be a good example for others.
14. “Agile coaching is more about who you are and what behaviors you model than it is about any specific technique or idea you bring to the team… I would say that agile coaching is 40% doing and 60% being. The powerful (silent) influence you have because of who you are and how agile values shine through your every move should not be underestimated.” – Lyssa Adkins, Coaching Agile Teams
15. “You’re not going to hit the mark all the time. You will make mistakes. You will lose your cool and yell. Your mind will wander during the stand-up meeting. You will skillfully manipulate people into doing what you think is right for the team. The most important thing you can do in the face of your mistake is to model the agile value of openness. Transparently and with humility, simply own up to the impact of the mistake, and apologize for it.” – Lyssa Adkins, Coaching Agile Teams
Even when you implement an agile mindset…. you won’t be 100% perfect in having an agile mindset. When you have those moments, don’t let them stop you from continuing on an agile path. Remind yourself that nobody’s perfect!
16. “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” ― Confucius
Being agile doesn’t mean being the fastest – it means adapting the best. It’s OK to go slow (as long as you meet any deadlines you may have!).
17. “Being a mature contributor to a self-managing organization means accepting the fact that your voice doesn’t need to be in every decision. Once you start optimizing for org success and not your own ego things get easier.” – Sam Spurlin, partner at The Ready
18. “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” – Henry Ford
This hits on the collaboration characteristic of an agile mindset. You can’t be agile, alone! It’s about teamwork and collaboration – working together towards the same goal.
19. “Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.” – Stephen Hawking
I mean… who’s smarter than Stephen Hawking was? Listen to him, he definitely knew a thing or two about needing to be agile.
20. “Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.” – John Wooden
21. “As soon as you solve your #1 problem, your #2 problem gets a promotion – Jerry Weinberg
There will always be problems to solve. Don’t get deterred because another problem has shown up after you already figured one out.
22. “People are what make companies agile, not approaches, methodologies or tools.” – Pedro Gaspar Fernandes, consultant and trainer
23. “The more detailed we made our plans, the longer our cycle times became.” – Donald G. Reinertsen, The Principles of Product Development Flow: Second Generation Lean Product Development
Just go for it already! Stop wasting time.
24. “What comes next need not look like what came before.” – Rick Waters
25. “Culture is like a shadow: You cannot change it, but it changes all the time.” – Niels Pflaeging, author and consultant
It may feel like things aren’t changing, or that you’re not changing… but you really are!
26. “If you adopt only one agile practice, let it be retrospectives. Everything else will follow.” – Woody Zuill, Agile coach
27. “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill
Being agile is knowing that failures or mistakes won’t hold you back. Instead you handle them, learn from them, and move on better than before.
28. “It doesn’t matter how good you are today; if you’re not better next month, you’re no longer agile. You must always, always, always try to improve.” – Mike Cohn, Succeeding with Agile: Software Development Using Scrum
29. “In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety.” – Abraham Maslow
And you’re not growing or bettering yourself if you’re stepping backwards, are you?
30. “It is interesting to note that the words silent and listen contain all of the same letters, just rearranged.” – Suzanne Marsh
Final Thoughts on Agile Mindset Quotes
I hope these agile quotes encourage you whether you’re scrum master, on a scrum team, or just looking to grow and improve your day-to-day life.
The agile journey is a unique, iterative approach that will change your mindset! Which of these inspiring quotes about the agile mindset is your favorite?