Hello all,

In an attempt to cover some of my more interesting sessions and take-away, this next post will be about the Personal Agility Canvas. This presentation by Dave Prior introduced an introspection tool that helps build your awareness about your personal journey into Agility. His premise is about how he came from a very “conventional” background of project management and when came time to move towards more lean/Agile practices, he sometimes felt inadequate, second guessing himself, wondering if he was “good enough”. This Personal Agility Canvas is very much a learning tool as much as it is a way to reflect on the actions taken by you into growing your knowledge and expertise in this vast field.

As an exploratory measure, you must first identify certain areas using what Dave suggests are the five (5) measures Tao, Climate, Ground, Leadership and Discipline from Sun Tzu*.

“Those who understand them will triumph. Those who do not understand them will be defeated”

R.L. Wing “The Art of Strategy”

The canvas below is to be used for your organization where you work (green canvas). Taking note of every section to understand how your environment may affect your ability to be “Agile”. Each section gets you to reflect on how you behave in the environment and what you put into your surroundings. Once you have explored your environmental “settings”, you can observe the five measures on a personal level (red canvas).

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The following picture represents the Canvas:








Note*: This is inspired from the very useful tool, the Lean Canvas available here and combined with the wisdom of “Art of War”.

The Personal Agility Canvas below takes you through a series of steps to self-reflect on the aspects that make you or holds you back from being your most “Agile”.  The exercise gets you to set concrete Agility goals for yourself. During Dave’s presentation, he explains that he has had more success in filling the canvas in a certain order, yet I would encourage you to find your own way and experiment to find what works best for you.  This tool is very useful and may be a great way to bring transparency or clarity to some of your objectives that you have set for yourself. Exchanging this canvas with others is also a very smart idea, as Dave puts it, you will have to “Embrace the guilt” when the person you have shared it with will ask for an update. Lastly, this tool is not reserved for newbies, experienced individuals will find great use to pursue their knowledge goals and push themselves outside their comfort zones.

Let us explore each section.

  • The Mark Inside: What can you identify that prevents you from moving forward towards your Goal of Agility that resides within yourself. Procrastination, Discipline, Excuses are all good examples.
  • Value Proposition: I like to call this area, in reference to “The Compound Effect” your “Why Power”. Why are you taking these steps to become Agile? What will you gain?
  • Strengths: What can you rely on to achieve your goals? Your foundation on which you will grow your new Agility.
  • Interactions with Others: What behaviour prevails when interacting with others? How is this Agile? How do those behaviours map to Agility principles and values?
  • Environment: What artifacts or changes to your environment could benefit to be introduced for you to reach your goals? Information radiators, working areas and tooling are good examples.
  • Desired Changes: List of known changes that will lead you towards the goal.
  • Fears/Concerns: Items you have identified that will “get in the way” for you to move forward. These items can be internal or external to you.
  • Goals: Short list of items that you what to achieve (before doing this whole process again). Setting a cadence definitely helps and having a “sponsor” helps also.
  • Actions Needed: Steps required to get you going to achieve your “list of goals” on your canvas. These might be immediate or elements that will have to be scheduled at a later date.

 I have to admit that this tool got my thinking, especially the “five measures” and dig deep to find my motivations to keep growing in this great work discipline.

Thank you for reading and hope this will be a useful tool for all of you. Feel free to get in contact with Dave and give feedback to make this even better.

Cheers PS

Reference: Dave Prior, Big Visible dprior@bigvisible.com