being agile vs doing agile

Dear Raita Reader,

Welcome to this in-depth exploration of “being agile vs doing agile.” As someone well-versed in agile methodologies, you’re in for a treat as we delve into the nuances of these approaches and analyze their impact on project management. Let’s embark on this insightful journey together.

Understanding Agile: A Mindset and a Process

The Essence of Being Agile

Being agile is more than just following a set of prescribed rules; it is a mindset and a culture that powers project management. It embodies adaptability, collaboration, and continuous improvement. Being agile means fostering an environment where feedback is valued, responding to change is embraced, and innovative solutions are encouraged.

In this section, we will explore the core principles behind being agile, the benefits it brings to organizations, and the challenges it presents. Understanding the essence of being agile will provide a solid foundation for our later comparison with doing agile.

The Significance of Doing Agile

Doing agile, on the other hand, is more focused on the specific practices and methodologies employed to implement agile principles. It involves following a structured approach, such as Scrum or Kanban, to execute projects in an agile manner. While being agile sets the stage for success, doing agile is the enactment of that mindset. It involves iterative development cycles, efficient team collaboration, and regular project evaluations.

We will now delve into the practical aspects of doing agile, exploring popular methodologies, their benefits, and the challenges faced when successfully implementing agile practices.

Comparing Being Agile and Doing Agile

Flexibility and Adaptability

Being agile emphasizes adaptability to change, while doing agile puts it into practice through agile frameworks like Scrum or Kanban. Being agile caters to managing uncertainty and encourages teams to embrace emerging requirements. Doing agile ensures an iterative approach, enabling teams to quickly respond to changes during project execution.

While being agile focuses on fostering a flexible mindset, doing agile enforces flexibility through regular feedback cycles, sprint planning, and continuous integration.

Collaboration and Communication

Being agile values effective collaboration and open communication between team members and stakeholders. It encourages cross-functional teams and close interactions among team members, promoting a shared sense of responsibility. Doing agile implements collaboration frameworks like daily standups, backlog refinement sessions, and sprint reviews to enable effective communication and promote collaboration.

By cultivating a culture of collaboration, being agile sets the foundation for the successful implementation of doing agile practices. Doing agile then operationalizes this collaboration through regular meetings, agile ceremonies, and visual project management techniques.

Continuous Improvement and Feedback

Being agile thrives on continuous improvement, encouraging individuals and teams to reflect on their processes and identify areas for enhancement. It values feedback, not just from stakeholders but also within the team. Doing agile enables continuous improvement through the use of retrospectives, where teams reflect on their performance and make adjustments.

Through the feedback loop established by doing agile, teams gather valuable insights into their performance and make iterative improvements, aligning with the principles of being agile.

A Detailed Comparison: Being Agile vs Doing Agile

Aspect Being Agile Doing Agile
Focus Attitude and mindset Processes and methodologies
Execution Embracing uncertainty and responding to change Implementing agile practices to deliver working software incrementally
Collaboration Promoting cross-functional collaboration and shared responsibility Facilitating effective communication and increased collaboration through ceremonies and frameworks
Continuous Improvement Encouraging organizational learning and iterative enhancement Fostering a feedback loop for regular retrospectives and performance adjustments

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the main difference between being agile and doing agile?

Being agile focuses on the mindset and culture, whereas doing agile involves implementing specific agile practices and methodologies.

2. Which is more important: being agile or doing agile?

Both are equally important. Being agile sets the cultural foundation, while doing agile operationalizes agile practices for project delivery.

3. Can an organization be agile without doing agile?

Being agile is possible without doing agile, but the desired benefits of agility are best achieved when both aspects are present.

4. What are the challenges of being agile without doing agile?

Challenges may include a lack of structured processes, inconsistencies in project execution, and difficulty in measuring progress.

5. Are there agile methodologies that can be followed without being agile?

While agile methodologies can be implemented without a full cultural shift, true agility thrives when the underlying principles of being agile are embraced.

6. Is there a specific order to being agile and doing agile?

Being agile precedes doing agile, as the agile mindset and culture need to be established before implementing agile practices.

7. Can an organization be successful by only being agile?

Being agile is crucial for sustained success. However, to fulfill project objectives efficiently, doing agile practices are necessary.

8. How do organizations transition from being agile to doing agile?

Transitioning involves training and upskilling teams on agile methodologies, adopting frameworks like Scrum or Kanban, and embracing agile ceremonies and practices.

9. Can an organization be fully agile without following any specific agile methodology?

Yes, an organization can tailor its own agile practices, but following established methodologies provides proven frameworks for successful project execution.

10. Is it possible to switch from a waterfall approach directly to doing agile without being agile?

While it is possible to switch directly, the cultural aspects of being agile are essential for maximizing the benefits and success of agile practices.


Congratulations on completing this comprehensive comparison of “being agile vs doing agile.” We have explored the fundamental differences, pros, and cons of both approaches, shedding light on the significance of both the agile mindset and agile implementation. By understanding the nuances of these methodologies, you are equipped to make informed decisions and implement agile practices effectively.

If you’re keen to further expand your agile knowledge, we invite you to explore our other articles, which cover a wide array of topics and delve deeper into various aspects of agile methodologies. Broaden your understanding and become a true agile champion.

Remember, the journey to mastering agile is an ongoing one, filled with continuous learning and improvement. Keep on reading, keep on growing, and keep on being agile!

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