Learning Cycles

The key to the transformative power of Agile is fast, iterative learning cycles.

The learning cycle begins with an intention. Then comes a commitment, an action, and a reflection. Then it begins again.

The intention may be a question. Or it may be a desired solution. This intention is best inspired when aligned to an Audacious Aspiration.

Each of these learning cycles have three primary components: - Define - Do - Decipher

You first have to define what you are going to do and what success will look like. You then have to do what you committed to. And then you have to reflect on that experience to decipher what you learned.

Each learning cycle has an element of experimentation, guided by curiosity. Each time we are called upon to walk fearlessly into the unknown.

Each learning cycle is launched based on how we understand the problem. We accept that often we may not understand the problem well enough to solve it. So we are forced to move forward based on multiple assumptions, not knowing which ones are true and which are not.

Inevitably in this process, things won’t work out as we thought they would. And there are elements of failure.

When we reflect on each cycle, we are able to identify the incorrect assumptions that were responsible for these failures. This process allows us to better understand the true nature of the problem and become more empowered to solve it.

But then there are those Eureka Moments when all of the pieces come together into a solution.

These moments of clarity feel magical. They often come when we least expect them, when we are sitting uncomfortably in a void of unknowing. Then, suddenly, understanding manifests.

The faster we can move through these learning cycles, the faster we can understand the problem and develop an elegant solution, something that feels good, feels whole.

This process requires structure and discipline. That is why Agile Practices are helpful.

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