The radical language simplicity of the Agile canvas

It's fascinating that I can get even the smartest group completely bogged down for an indeterminate period of time by getting them to use any of the following words: strategy, strategic, operational, leader, leadership, accountable, accountability, responsible, responsibility, owner, ownership, trust, structure, culture, transformational, transactional, mission, vision, values, goals, objectives, tactics, priorities and prioritize. 

The Agile Canvas favors a radically simpler set of distinctions: 

  • What do you want?
  • When will this happen?
  • What do we need to know?
  • When will we know that?
  • What will we do?
  • Who will do that?
  • When will this happen?

These move conversations from ambiguity to clarity, division to alignment and talk to action. Language limits or liberates people. It wastes time or makes good use of time. It causes people to be combative or collaborative. It causes people to be smarter and faster together or dumber and slower together. It's that simple.