Doing Agile vs. Being Agile

Doing Agile and Being Agile are different. Here is a popular infographic that explains what Agile really is and illustrates common misunderstandings about it:

Doing Agile is not Being Agile

Doing Agile

Doing Agile is about the practices: standups, user stories, iterations, etc.

There are significant benefits from using Agile practices – I see it as “common sense” of getting work done. Adopting these practices will lead to benefits. Perhaps 20% or more from what I have seen. This is widely reported by industry research such as Version One’s Annual report.

Being Agile

Being Agile is about our Consciousness or way of being. We may also refer to this as Mindset or Organizational Culture. It’s about how we see ourselves. How we relate to each other. How we behave. What we value. A recent post explains more about this: Agile Culture –> Self-managing People.

I put the ROI on this at 3x to illustrate how much impact this has on team and organizational effectiveness. It could be much more. We are talking about reinvention here – not applying a process change.

Being Agile is NOT the Goal

After looking at this diagram, many people decided that “Being Agile” is a worthy goal. Real change requires organizations focus on their own goals and dreams – not cut and paste Agile in their organization. This is why I advocate stopping Agile initiatives and Conducting “Agile is NOT the Goal” Workshops.


Bob Hartman noticed and coined the concept that Doing Agile is not Being Agile. See his slides.

Learn More:

We do a deep drive at our Certified Agile Leadership Trainings around the world, where we take leaders and guide them to a higher level of performance, effectiveness and influence in their organization, while reducing resistance. Check the Calendar Here:

agile leadership, project manager, agile culture

Michael K Sahota guides and teaches leaders how to create high-performance organizations. He is the creator of a proven system for leading change through a practical playbook. His model for Consciously Approaching Agile guides the creation of a cultural and leadership context where Agile drives lasting organizational results. As a Certified Agile Leadership (CAL) Educator with the Scrum Alliance, Michael has taught hundreds of leaders on a worldwide basis.

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