What is the agnostic agile oath

As experienced agile practitioners and as people responsible for agile change and transformation, we should recognise the importance of being agnostic with agility at any level. This means one size does not fit all, one framework is not the answer, and the 'what' and 'how' should be suited to customer context and to a wider strategic vision.

We should take this very seriously. Our work is to help our customers attain the right level of agility that meets their needs, our work is not to create framework lock-ins nor to limit how agility can be applied to the organisation, whether at team levels or at scale.

This means we as agile practitioners must strive to be masters of our craft, understand and practice at least two formally established frameworks or methods, uphold good conduct between ourselves and others, and help to nurture and grow our community of agile practitioners.

This oath is a manifestation of these intentions, distilled succinctly into a simple list of agreements.

Why is the oath important?

By signing the oath, you are acknowledging the importance of an agnostic understanding of agility and its many colourful implementations

What happens after you sign?

After you sign the oath, at minimum your name and title will be published on this page. You will also receive the Agnostic Agile badge to freely use (without modification)

Who can sign?

Anybody can sign the oath. You may be an individual practitioner, or a company wanting to publically display your ongoing commitment to agnostic agility

The Agnostic Agile Oath

I am an Agnostic Agile Practitioner, I adapt and tailor agility to and for my customer, even if this means improving upon or tailoring any given framework to the degree that will benefit my customer. My customer may be the company that I work for, the client (and/or) end client that is receiving my services, or even other agile practitioners with whom I am working.

I will strive to uphold proper ethics, conduct and respect between my fellow agile practitioners and framework enthusiasts, and to ensure that my customer is getting value no matter what vehicle is being used to deliver that value. I recognise that I should be a lifelong learner and commit to improvement both professionally and personally.

I seek to fulfil, to the best of my ability and judgement, this oath:
  • To put my customer first, making them independent.
    I will put my customer's interests first, because that is what I have been hired to do. I will help them deeply understand the agile mind-set, principles and values instead of just framework specifics. By doing this, I 'teach them to fish', and I empower them, moving them towards independence, instead of creating dependencies.
  • To do my best, complementing theory with practical experience.
    I will apply my best available knowledge and learnings of lean and agile practices as my current abilities allow, such knowledge and learnings may come from my own experience, or from any of the good learnings established by other frameworks, that best fit my customer's needs and context. I will always seek to advise based on a healthy balance of theory and practical experience
  • To tailor agility to context.
    I recognise that there is art to our lean and agile practice, that it is driven by empirical evidences, and that emotional intelligence, understanding of customer context, and customer maturity levels may outweigh the adoption of any (aspect of a) method or framework, even though that (aspect of a) method or framework might be the more 'agile thing to do'. I 'pull in' what the customer needs, rather than 'push' what may not be needed.
  • To understand hindering constraints and work to remove them.
    I will respect the unique context of my customer, and strive to remove any constraints that hinder agility, in the best way that I know how.
  • To share, learn and improve.
    I will gladly share my own knowledge and experiences honestly, with other fellow practitioners and framework custodians alike, helping to continuously improve our common lean and agile practices. This includes providing constructive feedback where and when appropriate in the most respectful way, so that all may benefit for the sake of learning and continuous improvement.
  • To respect other frameworks and their practitioners.
    I will respect other frameworks and the value that they offer, and I will respect those that practice them, and those that have helped to create and improve them.
  • To acknowledge unknowns and seek help.
    At times when I feel that a problem or challenge may be beyond my current knowledge or ability to overcome, no matter how small or how big, I will courageously admit that "I do not know," and I will commit to asking my fellow practitioners for help and guidance if the skills or experience of another will benefit my customer.
  • To never mislead and to never misrepresent.
    I will never mislead by stating that I know something when I do not, and I will never misrepresent or hide any options or choices that could otherwise benefit my customer.
  • To remember that agility is not the end goal.
    I will remember that attaining agility does not guarantee a better outcome for my customer, and that in some cases, other more traditional approaches might be better for the current climate and context.
  • To acknowledge that dogmatism is non-agile.
    I will not be dogmatic when it comes to lean or agile frameworks or methods, because dogmatism is non-agile, does not benefit my customer, my community or lend itself to continuously improving my own practice. It is therefore something I will relentlessly strive to remove myself from and avoid.
  • To recognise that there is more to agile than agile.
    I recognise that the road to agility will sometimes itself need to be built in order that we may begin or continue our journey. Building this road can include practices such as people and organisational coaching, the application of lean thinking, and organisational change management. I therefore seek to learn and master all that is required for making the road to agility, a safe one.
  • To give to the community as it has given to me.
    I will remember that I am a member of a lean and agile community of practitioners. I will strive to help improve my community and learn from it as it may learn from me, as doing so will ultimately be of benefit to both lean and agile practitioners and customers everywhere.

Be part of the Agnostic Revolution, sign the oath

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