Poster on Agile in a Nutshell – with a spice of Lean UX

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This is a poster I made for a Agile intro class at Hyper Island Digital Business class 2017 where I and my colleague Per Lundholm was last week. The class was as big as 40 people, and covering from a couple of experts to mostly total novelty, which is usually the most difficult type of situation for a teacher or coach. But it went well, maybe not all thanks to the poster 😉 but it sure made it a lot easier for both me and Per as teachers, as well as the students who could follow more easily as well as take notes.

Free poster on Agile in a Nutshell
Agile in a Nutshell poster - Free download

Free Download of the poster on Agile in a Nutshell here (PDF)

EDIT 1: Due to some companies restricted IT policies the poster is now available directly here in the blogpost and not in Dropbox. Thank you for that feedback!

This poster covers both briefly the background to why we work Agile, some history and problems as well as values and principles. It also covers the difference between waterfall development and Agile in two aspects and the most common Agile practice, basic Scrum. Also I added some Lean practices to the mix to add a more advanced level to it.

When coaching this session we also watched my colleague Henrik Knibergs film on Engineering Culture at Spotify (thanks for that :), did lots of white boarding (off course), answering questions, as well as two different “games”. The first game was something Per had come up with and used before, a game called “Agile Value Battle. I think Per will put up a post on that soon 🙂 The other game was to understund Cynefin, where the group line up in the room and organise them self according to the mission they get. Both games where a good energiser as well as a good way to get a understanding for them self before going into theory. You can read about that game in another of my blog posts here >

Thanks to the great class of Digital Business 2017 @ Hyper Island 🙂
Hyper Island Digital Business 2017

Big thank’s to these smart guys
– If you haven’t studied how Cynefin works, you should take 10 min to watch David Snowdens video:
– More info about the Agile Onion you find in Simon Powers post:
– Also you should take some quality time and read Joshua Kerievsky long but great post on modern agile:

Also thanks to my colleague Jimmy Janlén at crisp for inspiration on how to visualise waterfall vs x-functional teams 🙂

EDIT 2: Just want to say thank’s for all the positive feedback on this poster. Love sharing with you guys! The PO´s poster is still just on paper, but also coming up here on the blog soon.

EDIT 3 JAN 1st 2018: Here you find all my Agile Infographics, covering different areas, and in many different languages >

Free to download, use and share

The poster is published under Creative Commons License, so please use it and share it as you like. If you are interested in doing a translation to any other languages please let me know and I will help you with the file and publish it here in the blog as well.

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This license is acceptable for Free Cultural Works.
The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms.

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77 thoughts on “Poster on Agile in a Nutshell – with a spice of Lean UX

  1. That is an awesome poster.

    “50% of knowledge gets lost on handovers” That might explain the poor performance of a project that I worked on that had 5 different project managers 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Tom! Hand overs are really bad for outcome… output might though still be awesome, so the team might still have great pace. That’s why it matters to have the right KPIs 🙂

      Also in your case it seems that misalignment between the managers was a factor as well. It is a good rule to have one PO and treat the rest as stake holders.

    1. Thanks for letting me know. It seems we have an issue with browsers not compatible with the latest version of PDF and we´re working on trying to fix that. Perhaps it works now already if we are lucky 🙂

    1. Hi Raphael! I do love the modern Agile approach, and the visual. I might apply it to the poster. What would you take away to fit it in?

    2. I have updated the poster with modern Agile now. I think it fits in really well with my view of how to work Agile, and I hope it didnt get too cluttered 🙂

    3. Very radical just from a few minutes perusing the information. I got lost when I saw no roles, just make people awesome. I am sure I missed the point. Willing to learn more about it.

      1. Hi Lavetta 🙂 If you look in the bottom you see some roles, or rather competences. We rather focus on what competences the team needs to do the work they have taken on, and not what roles they have. A mature Agile company might even take away roles from the business cards, and just call people “Team members”.

  2. Hi Mia,

    I just wanted to appraise you for making the Agile in Nutshell one-pager available, it is really great, very useful. Like a bag of your favorite candy 🙂
    Now is is even easier to spread the seeds of agile thinking.


    PS I think there’s a small typo, you are missing ‘is’ under “Waterfall Approach”: “When problems arise it _is_ too late to rethink”

  3. Looks amazing! Only spotted the following error(s):

    “effectively” rather than “effectivly” under Agile Approach
    “feasible” rather than “feasable” on the Value Venn diagram
    “DB schema” rather than “DB scheme” on the incremental delivery diagram
    “Categorise” rather than “Cathegorize” on the Cinefin diagram

    That said, it’s so good, I am going to print it on A3 and stick it on the wall.

    1. Thank you Tony! I´ll fix the typos if it hasn’t already been fixed, I have done some updates since it was published already 🙂

  4. I love the one page view. But, this looks like it’s more aligned with “Scrum in a Nutshell” rather than “Agile in a Nutshell”. I’m just wondering if presenting it as “Agile” minimizes some of the other frameworks and practices (Kanban, XP, as just two examples). Nevertheless, it’s a great visual.

  5. Mia, very nicely done – crisp, simple and VERY easy to understand. Would love to use it for my workshop as a handout. Would that be ok?

    1. Hi Jennifer, and thank you! Offcourse you can use it in any type of work you do 🙂 Thank’s for asking and hope it works well for you.

  6. The situation –

    The project goal is set. What the End-To-End functionality we are going to achieve are well defined. But the dependency with other processes (Integrating with another system) is the bottleneck in the sense that the other team is not able to deliver it within your tight timeline.

    Questions –

    1. According to the Agile methodology, the sprints are typical 2 to 4 weeks. And spilling over is going to result in negative impact. What will you do in this situation?

    2. “What we don’t know, we don’t know.” According to this philosophy, how would you expect to deliver a stable product/Automated Processes within the Agile time framework with the sprint length of two to four weeks?

    1. Hi Prolay, thank you for your comments. I’ll try to answer them here:

      1. It is good to try to keep sprints a bit on the shorter side, so 4 weeks might be a bit too long. It has to do with that we use the sprints to get feedback more often to minimize different types of risk, and deliver value as often as possible in smaller chunks. If the team don’t get done within the sprints with what they took on them on the sprint planning there could be lots of different things that you might need to do.

      Some key factors:
      – Storys should be broken down with team and PO so that they understand what the value is and what they don’t need to build, Specification by Example is a good tool for that. If they create a User Story Map for the end goal, they also know in much more detail what to deliver and what value it will bring to the business as well a end users, thats my favourite tool for ensuring delivery.
      – The team aslo should create tasks on sprint planning and then do estimations, this is both so that they can collaborate, and also have a common understanding on what teh story contains and a understanding of what the DoD is.
      – Horisontal slicing should be done to bring learning to the team, and so they dont get stuck in details and so that they can deliver value as soon as possible
      – The storys the team bring in should have a clear prioritazion and the team should work to finish the highest prio story first, then start on the next
      – The team should not work in silos, they should work two and two as much as possible
      – Difficulties should be tackled togehter, most preferable in a mob programming session with the whole team
      – If the team have a knowledge gap they should preferably bring some one in to the sprint to help them learn and deliver
      – The team should have a review with their PO, and most preferable demo scenarios on how the system (or what it is they are working on) is being used from a user perspective

      And off course there can be lots of other things you can do as well, but these are in my mind some of the key things to start with. It could still be things that are not done in the sprint, but if you wok in this way it is usually not that mush, and it is always the least important things. The PO might pull those things down in prio, because things planed for the next sprint could be more prio, or they might could slice it to something smaller and push it to the next sprint, it should not be something that adds to the next sprint automatically.

      2. “What we don’t know, we don’t know” this is the core reason we work Agile, because we know that we will learn along the way, and the world will change as well over time. How to tackle that is to work with lean ux and learn as mush as possible in the beginning, working towards clear impact goals and not with a detailed plan. You also do not want to make decisions on important things in detail in the beginning, because then you are usually set to failure. More on this topic in mu upcoming poster on Agile Product Discovery with Lean UX.


    1. Hi Jason! I can see how you could interprete it in the way you did, it was not intended by me that waterfall delivers in a linear way offcourse, but rahter all in the end in a big bang delivery, the pink area is the risk. But thank you som much for your comment, I have now updated the poster so it hopefully is more clear now 🙂

  7. Dear Mia
    I really like your poster. Great work!

    But to give complete picture in my opinion it is necessary to mention the 5 basic values of scrum


  8. It is a nice poster, and the content is very good, but it is missing at least 50% of what Agile is. Agile began as technical practices – eXtreme Programming, which involved test-driven development, pair programming, automated builds, automated testing, and wikis (automated publishing of design decisions). Yet somehow, people (Agile coaches?) have come to view Agile only in terms of the Scrum process. This is bizarre to me.

    The reality is that when Agile works well, it works well because of the technical practices. Many of these (e.g., TDD) have given way to better versions (e.g., ATDD), but technical practices are still the core of real Agile. Yet Agile coaches seem oblivious of that.

  9. Mia, thank you for this great poster. Just one comment: I could not find a Scrum Master in your Scrum Team. You might want to replace the Product Owner with the Scrum Master in the drawing (since the PO in not necessarily member of the Team, he is responsible for the Product, and the mapping Products to Teams could be other than 1:1).

  10. Thanks! It covers the collaboration, adding real value, risk (Same risk graph might consider adding student syndrome with risk of unknown), T-Shaped profiles, fail fast, etc etc. All smiles to see you so many powerfull conceipts in one place.

    One picture I found very usefull in explinations is using a flashlight analogy for requirement management / planning. The value of low up front design for items in the far future I.e. items in front is clear and far ahead we only see the outlines (allowing for agility in changing direction the further it is away while maintaining clear direction). So picture is a flashlight with light going out wider, the light is broken into 3 vertical sections starting with small blocks (tasks in sprint), medium blocks (user stories) and the last one big blocks (epics).

    1. Hi Marius, thank you for your input. I acctually like that picture as well, and I have it in my Agile Product Owner poster, coming up soon here on the blog 🙂

  11. This postet is a great companion to the video called The Role of the Product Owner In A Nutshell.” Having trouble downloading at the moment, but will figure it out. Thank you for an amazingly simple but powerful illustration.

    1. Hi Kevin, I updated the poster yesterday, and it seems I did something wrong with the link. But now ut is fixed 🙂 Thanks!

  12. How fun! We are a 100% agile shop and use some different verbiage but I can tell you and your team enjoy what you do!!!!

  13. I think this is a great poster to effectively summarize Agility and one of its great framework “Scrum”.
    One suggestion to your next iteration could be adding the essential lean elements or highlight them in the same poster.. :-).

    1. Thank you Chande, I’m glad you like it. Lean is off course super important as well, but in my mind it might be subject for a poster of its own?

  14. Hi Mia, Great poster. How about including a business analyst (BA) on the team. On many scrum teams the BA acts as a proxy for the PO.

    1. Hi Simone, thanks, I’m glad you like it. Off course you can add what ever role (or rather competence) in the team, dependent of what you need to be able to deliver. But in my opinion, having someone acting as a proxy is not a great idea, then perhaps this BA person better should be the PO… So having asid that, I´m not going to add the BA to the team, but off course you can do so if you have the need to.

    1. Hi Juan, thank you, I’m glad you like it 🙂 Off course, It would be fantastic to have it translated to Spanish, can you have it done to Thursday when I have a workshop with Spanish team members ;-P Just kidding. I’ll send you an email. Thanks!

  15. Mia – This is great. We have created a narrative producing framework called Agile Narrative and much of what you have visualized is in our DNA…but in a much more elegant approach. Thanks for sharing.

  16. This is like similar illustration about how Agile is more comprehensive and egalitarian. I like your picture. We are doing something similar but more on the organizational and at the overall Agile Enterprise layer. Note, there is a different culture and POV toward Agile and Scrum with high tech companies and most here in Silicon Valley, which is not positive. We are publishing more information on the new ways and anti-patterns.

    May I suggest you show more alignment with Design Thinking and UX Lean Design with Agile.

    May I suggest the Cynefin Framework (Cognitive Edge) has a different role in the illustration, more of alignment with Sense-Respond-Adapt as well as Complex vs Complicated within investment making decision process.

    Let me know what you think:

    We would like to have you and your team involved as we grow our vision:

  17. Hi Mia,

    First I wanted to say I really like the poster, we use it as reference in the introduction we give to new employees, it’s a nice total overview and also easy to understand for people who don’t have any Agile knowledge yet.

    I noticed there is a new version again and the image is broken in the article.

    Thanks for creating the poster and keeping it up-to-date 🙂

  18. Mia,

    Great poster and content herein!

    So here’s a question- perhaps you or another can point me towards some content or provide some commentary.

    I’m exploring the use of agile in the development of policy, in particular political policy, and am looking for ideas or like minded stories. Would love to connect and see practices in use today.


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