Agile Sustainability Initiative

Getting Started with Agile Sustainability?

Key takeaways

  • Learn to Fix things
  • Inspired Actions
  • Always Be Learning 

Some Context 

When you don’t design, manufacture, and maintain a physical product properly, waste is very visible. As Agile practitioners, we aim to minimize waste. How does this align with global sustainability goals? Read on…

This entry has bubbled up from the Agile Sustainability Manifesto Signatories Series. You can view past entries and new ones as they get publicly scheduled.

One of the things we’ve been getting up to speed on this year is a LIVE conversations series hosted weekly. This series is solely focused on the Sustainability Manifesto Signatories, a group that keeps growing larger.

To avoid paraphrasing, you can find a little background of the Agile Sustainability Manifesto here.

The aim of these conversations is to learn from one another so that we can make space for more voices to be heard so that we can leave the place better than how we found it. Most importantly, they aim to normalize that Agile & Sustainability can go hand in hand — both Agile IN Sustainability AND Sustainability IN Agile.

So, do you want to get started as an Agilist on this topic? Here are some insights.

Learn to fix things…

We preserve the value and lifespan of our stuff by repairing, reusing, or repurposing it. This goes not only for our personal items but also when we manufacture products or create physical test setups. By being aware of this, you can keep them going much longer. 

As Agile professionals, we embrace a mindset of continuous improvement and adaptability. That includes designing out waste.

Go out of your comfort zone and talk to people

By going out and talking to people, you learn new things—things that you never thought possible because you were stuck in your own little corner of the office/world. By talking to people, you get different perspectives and fast feedback that we as Agilists find so valuable, whether it’s positive or not. This way, you can continue to improve on whatever works and stop whatever doesn’t. You can adjust the course but keep on moving and keep on learning… Start Small. Learn Fast.

The beauty of Agile is that we are compelled to shorten the lines of communication. By doing this with the different departments you come in contact with and collaborate with, you can essentially and effectively get to the source of your information, effectively brainstorm what needs to be done, and get started on what and how it needs to be done. You already cut out some waste of time and possibly wasted resources.

Always Be Learning

When you go out and talk to people outside your department, you will learn things that you have never thought possible. Learnings are always just around the corner, whether it is from people in the production assembly line, the Health and Safety officer, or even the head of Sustainability within the company. These learnings are always given from a certain perspective, so it’s up to you to reconcile them with more actionable ones that apply to you and your specific field.

You will be surprised how ready and willing people are to start having these conversations, from operations to the C-level exec team. This is a good thing because the conversations have to be started, and quickly: We are to halve our emissions by 2030 in line with the legally binding Paris Agreement. Be the lever. Be the connector. 

Wrapup/Closure

As Agilists, we already have our skills, mindset, and way of working. It is just up to us to use the tools to leverage the influence we have in our teams to make better choices when we design and create new products and features. If we can do that, we can cut down on a lot of waste. Less stuff. More Joy!

It’s up to us.

We are stronger together! Let’s increase the awareness of the challenges we face and also of the Agile community’s possibilities to make a difference. Learn more about the Agile Sustainability Initiative!

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