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What’s in a word?

You won’t find the definition of “Agilist” in the dictionary (yet). But, let me define it for you so you can be hip too!

Agilist — The Definition

An Agilist is a person that understands, applies, and is a proponent of agile principles to solve problems.; at least, that is my definition.

You can find a ton of different definitions here, and here.

Though my definition is simple, let me expound on that definition. An Agilist isn’t a person that obtained a certificate. Knowledge is important, but it isn’t everything when it comes to being an Agilist. Sure, you need to know the basics and how you can apply them to solve problems, but a two-day seminar isn’t going to cut it. It is just enough to make you dangerous, but not enough to make you effective.

An Agilist is not a title you have at work. You may be on a project team where an agile methodology is employed (there are tons of them out there) but doing that doesn’t make you an Agilist. Procedure and process helps, but unfortunately, it can also hinder you and your team as well.

Working in software development or within technology doesn’t make you an Agilist. Sure, the software industry has initiated a change to “agile” ways of doing things. They even coined the phrase “agile methodology” and documented the foundational principles and values as enshrined in the Agile Manifesto. But, that doesn’t mean an Agilist can only be found in the technology industry.

Characteristics of an Agilist

Agilists can be found everywhere there is a problem that requires experimentation, trial and error, continuous improvement and learning. The people that solve, adapt, change over time, and encourage others to do the same are the actual Agilists. They don’t adhere to a rigid process for the sake of following a process. Rather, they follow a process, then improve it, change it, and reapply it for the betterment of the team, or solution that is meant to solve a problem. They aren’t afraid of change, or, they can successfully manage change without it overwhelming them. They learn new things; they do new things. Their minds are curious and expanding into new areas — breaking boundaries, finding new problems to solve. They can collaborate without feeling threatened; they pursue feedback. True Agilists implement change and encourage others to do the same.

So, with that said, are you an Agilist? Do you want to be less static and more dynamic in your thinking? Do you want to find ways to do things better?

Then, join me here on the Viking Agilist for tips on just how to change, improve, and try new things. If you want more personalized help, message me here, here, or here. I’ll respond in an agile fashion (sorry for the dad joke).

Being > Doing

David Bjarnson


David Bjarnson

David is an agile practitioner for 6 years in various capacities working specifically on software development for a number of different companies. David has his CSM, CSPO, CSP-PO, CSP-SM, and PMI-ACP certifications.


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