TL; DR: Diana Larsen on the Agile Fluency Model

On October 12, 2022, agile innovator Diana Larsen delved into the Agile Fluency® Model. After a short introduction to the model, we shifted to an ask-me-anything-style discussion of the groundbreaking view of agile and teams.

📺 Watch the video nowEngage the Agile Fluency® Model with Diana Larsen — Hands-on Agile #46.

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The Agile Fluency® Model

The Agile Fluency® Model is based on four zones reflecting a team’s progress in becoming agile. Quote:

Focusing teams produce business value.
Delivering teams deliver on the market cadence.
Optimizing teams lead their market.
Strengthening teams make their organizations stronger.

Each zone depends on a set of agile proficiencies. A proficiency is an observable behavior—such as “The team works with a business representative who provides the team with the business’s perspective and expectations”—that leads to the zone’s benefits.

In the Agile Fluency Model, we’re most interested in fluent proficiency: a habit of exhibiting the proficiency at all times, even when under pressure. Anyone can follow a set of techniques when given time to focus in a classroom; true fluency is skillful, routine ease that persists when your mind is distracted with other things.

SourceThe Agile Fluency Model.

Watch the recording of Diana Larsen’s talk on the Agile Fluency® Model now:


Diana Larsen’s slides on the Agile Fluency® Model are available on Slideshare.

Q&A Session on the Agile Fluency® Model

During the Q&A session, Diana answered the following questions from attendees:

Thomas Rickal: [I have a] Question for understanding – organizations should select the zone they want to invest in based on the benefits they want to get. You do not have to start with Focusing, then Delivering, and so on. Correct? What if the delivery team does not want to take shared responsibility?
Badr: The company I work in seems to be very good at optimizing and good delivering but not focussing well. Do zones always follow each other? Do you have experience with organizations working “backward?”
Ana Lopez: For teams that can’t allocate 100% of the time, should the business then take that as an indicator that they need to hire more people?
Max: Thank you so much, Stefan and Diana! Does [the Agile Fluency® Model] apply to any delivery context? Even within operations? Any examples?
Max: How is the Agile Fluency® Model related or not to SAFe®?
Scott: Does the inability of large organizations to be able to move into the Strengthening level of the model hold them back and allow startups to compete with them more easily? Does it also mean that large organizations are less suited to address societal concerns? 
Gabe: How would you apply the model to an underperforming team (that has supposedly gone past a stage on the fluency model)?
Pari: Do you suggest any optimization index for IT companies, or can we not say something in general?

(Please note that the questions have been slightly edited to improve legibility.)

Diana Larsen

The agile community knows Diana Larsen for her contributions to the foundations and extensions of Agile thought and practices. As a consulting partner, mentor, and speaker, she’s worked with forward-looking leaders throughout her career.


Diana co-authored several influential books: Liftoff: Start and Sustain Successful Agile Teams, 2nd ed. gives clear instructions for chartering and setting a tone for productive teamwork. In Five Rules for Accelerated Learning, leaders find guidance for supporting more effective learning. Agile Retrospectives provides a framework for team learning and improvement. (2nd edition coming later in 2022!) The Agile Fluency® Model: A Brief Guide to Success with Agile is available as a free eBook.

The past year she provided content for James Shore’s The Art of Agile Development, 2nd edition.

Connect with Diana Larsen

Diana Larsen’s Website

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