Agile Axioms

July 15, 2020
2 minute read

Anyone who reads the Manifesto for Agile Software Development sees that with just a bit of tweaking, it can be generalized.  Several groups have written extensions or compliments to the original Agile Manifesto.  Only a few people have tried to abstract it further to dig into the underlying beliefs of Agile.

The Agile Axioms

I’ve seen Agile or Agile-like methods used in many scenarios and industries: software, of course, but also, general management, marketing, sales, charitable organizations, healthcare delivery, mine site projects, scientific research and development, community groups, training development and delivery, and more.

After so many diverse experiences of agility, I have come to believe that the following three statements capture the unprovable philosophical essence Agile or Agility:

  1. Reality is Perceived
    Reality is.  It exists.  It is objectively there.  And, we perceive it.  Each of us differently.  We do not have direct access to objective reality.
  2. Change is Natural
    Change happens at all levels we look, all around us, constantly.  Life is change.  Humans are attuned to notice and respond to change.
  3. We are Creators
    We all have the ability to shape our environment to make new things that never before existed.  We have agency and choice.

Each of these Agile Axioms interacts and supports the others.  In fact, they form a feedback cycle.  We see that our perception of reality motivates us to create things that solve problems or address opportunities which in turn cause change in our environment that others, finally, perceive as a change in reality.

The Agile Axioms form a belief system… a mindset.  But mindset isn’t all that is required.  Mindset needs to be put into action and operationalized, habituated, and then enculturated.

Agile Axioms into Action

Two key guiding principles help us put the Agile Axioms into Action:

  1. Truthfulness is the foundation of progress.
  2. Love is the strongest motivator.


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Berteig Consulting

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Bruce Power
Capital One
Equitable Life of Canada
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