Keep it SIMPLe

The SIMPLe agile framework is a sense-making framework that can be utilised as a navigation map which facilitate the discovery, observation and validation of emergent patterns/relationships during a change. It has been used in the context of a continuous and unpredictable journey of improving business agility, called often agile transformation. It strongly emphasises co-design and co-creation of change.

Buy in – Small Steps – Relationship networks

When a large amount of people is included in a co-creation process we gain different perspectives. This is also the case in agile transformations. Even if decision making processes become less efficient when including a large amount of people there is a higher degree of acceptance for the change and aligned decisions. Furthermore this good practice increases motivation and ownership for the change. 

An agile transformation is a mid- and long-term organisational change that evolves structural and cultural change. Therefore its impact to people and processes is unpredictable and even if some organisations try hard to plan and control it, it seems that small steps are much more effective since they reduce risk and identify the next emerging step that suits also the current purpose of the company.

An agile transformation follows a certain objective which is strongly connected to create value for customers and increase the ability of an organisation to identify new business models. For this reason the value creation networks of people that are essential to create value need to be in major focus during the change. Not only methods, or tools or processes.

These three factors are very often overseen and organisations get lost in the application of blueprints and textbook methodologies. At some point it is clear that there should be another approach to find your way through an agile transformation, but still it is not clear

  • how to provide structure and sense making of a given state of the transformation. 
  • how to recognise a possible emergening state
  • how to get to that state.

SIMPLe is used to tackle the all the above points.


First thoughts came during a trip to Rome with 3 agile coaches in 2019. We had all identified similar patterns in things going wrong in agile transformations. After lots of walks around the city, multiple coffee breaks and nice discussions it seemed that we were not having a major breakthrough, but we felt that something needed to change. We discussed and proposed resolutions. They all made sense. Nevertheless they were a lot. Where to start? What is the secret? We decided then to prioritise some and focus on the one that seemed to us more important for the current state that we were facing at our customers. We decided to meet on a weekly basis and exchange experiences.

After some time we realised that even if what we prioritised has a good impact it seems that we were turning in circles. Although one significant improvement was done it seemed that the visibility all the rest of the problems did not leave any room for celebration of successes. There should be a better way to structure, run agile transformations and get alignment and motivated people.

SIMPLe was published for the first time in 2020.

It is based on statistics done during several companies to identify the important aspects that are usually topic of discussion during the journey of transformations. Nevertheless at any given point of time SIMPLe reflects on all aspects simultaneously in order to create a holistic view. This enables effective action at all fields and avoids the effect that you try to fight a fire in front of you while another behind you is getting stronger. It’s practical application uses elements from design thinking, system thinking, principles from lean-startup, large scale scrum and scrum to iterate through continuous improvement.

How to use this site to learn more about SIMPLe

One possible approach could be to read first about the values, principles and then get to know the aspects. If you understood the concepts and want to understand how to use SIMPLE read the “How-to-Use” section of this site.