To be agile or not to be agile?

Daniele Davi'
6 min readMay 20
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

When coaching for agility teams and organisations, I observe people becoming dogmatic -in favour or against- being agile and the topic becomes usually more conflictual when speaking specifically about agile software development or agile product and project management. Some people have a wrong or very limited perception of “Agile”, and some think that it is a methodology or a set of rules applicable to a niche of nerds. I had the chance in this previous article [1] to deep dive on the different definitions of Agile in various contexts and in general it is more correct to define Agile as a mindset, an attitude, a culture expressed by values and principles.

But what is Agility for everyone else? What are the characteristics that we show as human beings when we have an agile attitude or agile mindset? And what about when we decide to be less agile or not agile at all?

As an agility coach, trainer and leader, I will try to answer these questions, and provide more insights about the meaning of agility and being agile (or not being agile) outside the box of software development or business. I decided to start my research from the roots and etymology of the two words: Agility and Agile.


borrowed from Middle French “agilité,” derived from Latin “agilitās,” meaning nimble, fleet, quick.
Having the faculty of quick motion in the limbs; apt or ready to move; characterised by quick motion.


borrowed from Latin “agilis,” meaning agile, nimble, derived from “agō,” meaning do, act, move.
The Oxford Dictionary gives more insights providing differently detailed meanings:

  1. Able to move quickly and easily.
  2. Able to think quickly and in an intelligent way.

Upon seeing these strong, positive and beneficial terms indicating desirable and useful qualities for people, team, organisations, I find myself wishing to be even more agile. I wish I would be able to think intelligently without overthinking and act quickly and easily to navigate small and big decisions (or challenges) that life presents everyday.

However, while coaching or training, I observe many people who don’t see any value in…

Daniele Davi'

Author | Coach | CTO | Human | Explorer | Traveller | Photographer ...