Carsten Grønbjerg Lützen

Carsten Grønbjerg Lützen

Who am I?

I'm a SCRUM Master and Engineer at LEGO System A/S with an MSc in Computer Science and a soft spot for Software Engineering and methodologies. Hence here is my take on different agile and plan oriented methodologies and how we learn to use them effectively in our everyday life. Especially with an agile agenda.

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What I write about


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Agile Mindset

What is an Agile Mindset? Do we really need one in modern IT Projects?

A thousand blog posts exists on what is an agile mindset and what characterises an agile mindset. In an agile fashion my interpretation of an agile mindset differs somewhat from what others say. Hence here is what I believe makes up an agile mindset.

First and foremost:

Start With Yourself!

You can have an agile mindset in many aspects of life, just look here: Agile Familiy by Bruce Feiler, but you dont need to. You must start to embrace the agile values yourself before you can ask others to do the same. Lead by example.

From my point of view the pillars of an agile mindset comprises of the following:

Positive Thinking

Have a positive outsight. This benefits, not only you, but also your surroundings. In an agile world you will be faced with a lot of challenges and the best way to overcome these is with a smile and open mind!

And if you fail, be positive you have just been given a really good learning opportunity. Take it.

Seek More Knowledge

You must thirst for knowledge. Not necessarily knowledge like how to prove N = NP or how to prove The Cook-Levin Theorem, but also knowledge like: What make my co-workers smile, how do I encourage them to give those 5 % more without them realizing it and what makes their heart tick. This can help you build a high performance team with less effort. And by meeting them with a positive mind they are likely to change their behavior towards you.

Another type of very important knowledge is how can we improve our process: Be proactive. If you see something that seems to annoy some of the team members don't wait for the next retrospective. Can you start to remove some of the annoying factors now? Often you can, but sometimes you need to wait until the retrospective.

Pragmatism

Don't reply all questions with:

If you want me or the team to look into it, just talk with the Product Owner and have him create a story in the backlog so it can be prioritized and put into the next sprint

Think of the question asked, is the effort required to either just answer it straight away soo little it would only take 5 minutes to figure it out you can win a lot of goodwill by doing that. But be careful, some types of people will try to exploit it and make you do assignments bigger and bigger, hence you the quote in these situations. But it will give you some wriggle room if you allow your stakeholders some wriggle room.

I fail... a Lot!

But I learn from it. Do not fear failures. Create an environment where failure is OK! Encourge fast failures. If we can learn from our failures where are already a long way! Some people will feel it hurts their pride, but from my point of view if a person can openly say:

I tried this but it did not work, hence I lost 3 days

Then we can have an open minded discussion on how can we avoid this type of failure in the future, can we actually recover and get it back on track or should we cancel the sprint and replan? Instead of people hiding in the corner because the things they work on does not work.

Summary

All these things must be rooted inside every team member and the easiest way of doing this is to start with yourself and when you are sharing your failures, meeting people with an open mind then more of the team will follow your example.

It is not easy, but it is worth it.

And just to finish with a nice little quote:

Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. -Samuel Beckett


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