Agile Delivery Kit for Software Organisations


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Nine Whys (30m)



1 minute to read

Last Updated: Thu 9 May 2024 08:36


Make the Purpose of Your Work Together Clear


Make a list of the activities that make up your work and/or the people that you work with


  • (5 min) Make a list of the things you do in your work and/or the people ;
  • (10 min) Form pairs and interview each other in turns. Ask:
    • Why are those things (or a specific thing) important to you, personally;
    • What do you hope or believe they make possible within the wider community (within or outside your organization)?;
    • If everything where obliterated, what would be the first thing from the list you would bring back?
  • (5 min) Individually, write a short description of your purpose - why is the work you do important to YOU personally AND the wider community? (‘My work exists in order to …..’).
  • (5 min) In pairs, share your purpose statement with your partner and refine it together;


  • Invite people to craft their purpose statements with nine words at most (a Nine Word Why);
  • When interviewing each other, invite participants to “prod gently, but firmly”;


  • When is Nine Whys important?
  • What did it actually deliver - what are the tangible results it produced?
  • When in your work might it be beneficial to generate those kinds of outputs?


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