Joshua Kerievsky shares the four principles of Modern Agile and how they can help you find better ways of working and achieve better business outcomes.

Show Notes

Agile is about finding better ways of working.  To continuously improve and achieve the right outcomes for your organization and your customers, we need understand foundational concepts that allow teams to make great products.

Modern Agile methods are comprised of four guiding principles that can help you uncover better ways of working and get better results.

Make Safety a Prerequisite

Safety is a key principle in any team or organization.  Without safety, there won’t be much innovation and there won’t be a lot of high performance.

Making safety a prerequisite is about safety in all aspects.  It includes physical safety, financial safety, psychological safety, reputational safety, and anything else that contributes to a safe environment.

Note that safety is not the same as playing it safe.  We want an environment and culture in which you’re able to take reasonable risks and make mistakes.

Beyond creating a safe to fail environment, safety also includes working in a way in which we’re experimenting and learning so that we don’t waste time and money building things no one wants.

Experiment & Learn Rapidly

We often don’t really know how good our work is.  Without trying new things and getting rapid feedback, we are at risk of creating the wrong solution.  Instead, we want to experiment rapidly and learn rapidly.

To do that, we need to create an environment in which we can quickly and cheaply experiment and get rapid feedback.  This allows us to innovate and build products people love.

Make People Awesome

It’s important to know what you’re trying to achieve; what success looks like.  Making people awesome is about understanding where you want to go and giving people super powers.

Give people the ability to do something amazing, something they couldn’t so before.

This applies not only to your customers, but to your team members as well.  Create an environment where we can make each other awesome through support, psychological safety, and radical candor.

Deliver Value Continuously

Finding ways to deliver value sooner is a key principle that enables the organization and customers to get value quickly (through revenue or through the value that the solution provides to users).  It also allows us to get feedback from customers sooner so that we can adapt quickly.

We need to invest in ways that allow us to create in smaller pieces.  Don’t try to deliver the fanciest thing, try to figure out where the value is and deliver that value sooner.

Modern Agile

Listen to the full episode to understand how to apply these principles on your team and in your organization.


The Product Owner role is best filled by someone who isn’t fully controlling what gets build. Instead, create an environment where everyone (developers and other people on the team) can experiment with their ideas.

A good Product Owner needs to be a good facilitative leader and encourage everyone to think about what we can do to make people awesome.

Help the team to understand the customer and their needs and then create space to experiment with new ideas.

Links Mentioned in this Episode

Joshua Kerievsky

Joshua Kerievsky

Joshua is the CEO of Industrial Logic, one of the oldest and most well-respected agile consultancies on the planet. Since 1996, Joshua and his global network of experts have helped people in teams across many industries leverage the wisdom and power of modern development methods. Joshua most recently created Modern Agile to help people and organizations benefit from a principle-based approach to agility.

Modern Agile graphical assets are property of Joshua Kerievsky and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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