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Learning to Become Agile

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The agile paradigm adapts processes to human nature, in contrast to the classical management approach which obliges team members to adjust to a particular development process. Bateson’s learning model can help us to go from doing agile – following an agile method – to being…
The agile paradigm adapts processes to human nature, in contrast to the classical management approach which obliges team members to adjust to a particular development process, claimed Dan Suciu, lecturer at UBB Cluj. He spoke about Agilis Humanum Est (To Be Agile is Human) at TopConf Linz 2017.
Suciu started his talk by explaining Gregory Bateson’s theory on how people learn things based on the logical levels of learning and change. The lowest level is about understanding the environment and finding out where change is needed. The next level has to do with adopting practices and learning new behavior, and the following level is about improving your skills and capabilities. On the next level, you develop your own values and beliefs. The two highest levels focus on shaping your identify, and defining a scope/vision.
To learn something new you have to go through all these levels, said Suciu. Any change at a specific learning level moves you onwards to higher levels, where change is also needed. Suciu mentioned smokers, who are thinking about quitting smoking, as an example of when it can be hard to change your behavior. To really quit smoking you have to change your values and beliefs about smoking, said Suciu, then it becomes easier to change your behavior.
Suciu explained how the agile manifesto can be mapped on Bateson’s learning model.

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