Because of mainly personal reasons I am currently reading some books on philosophy (more about this to come). And today, actually yesterday when this is published, I was thinking during my flight … Is Agile actually a mindset or a philosophy.
Based to some research, actually searching on Google, you can find this about the word mindset:
the established set of attitudes held by someone.
And this other thing about philosophy:
a theory or attitude that acts as a guiding principle for behaviour.
Do they look very different? Not, right?
The problem I see is that many people overuse the word mindset, from my perspective, and at some point looks like all in Agile is just about thinking in a way… and I think this to be too vague, honestly. Not absolutely but I disagree with this a bit. I don’t think this is just enough.
My approach is that then you also need some guidelines, examples, actual practices to try and apply… I feel that making people think that Agile is just a way of thinking is undermining in some way our craft. I see people think
«hey! anyone can do that at any point. You need to learn basically… nothing»
This whole statement, if you are coaching teams, you know that can´t be further from truth. You actually need to learn from a lot of different disciplines to make that real. So yes, the word «mindset» is probably technically correct but the way is being used is a bit tricky.
I find the term philosophy to be more accurate. Because we discuss about concepts, teach, learn, create new theories and test them, we follow some guidelines, we have concrete approaches and concrete methods and practices …
I understand, I know that philosophy sound like going in circles and basically arriving, if any, to just very abstract conclusions. From my perspective, this also can´t be further from truth. There is a lot of philosophy which is clearly directly supposed to be practiced and applied.
Sometimes, as coaches, I think we should philosophize more about all the ideas on why, how, and when to do things. And again, if you think that philosophize means talking and not doing … please read more about philosophy.