The 5 Agile monkeys - Typical behaviour patterns and what we can do about it

Sometimes we behave like monkeys. We imitate others, we "talk the talk" - even if we don't really understand the topic. We pretend to be agile, but we are not really. We use nice words like "business value" and "streamlining processes", but we don't really understand what our team is working on. 

In this funny, but insightful 20 minute speech I present 5 behaviour patterns that I observed in my Agile work life. As these are my personal observations, I introduce these patterns with the help of personification instead of scientific explanation (using the "Agile monkeys"). 

Fortunately, there is always a way to get better and I present the techniques I found the most useful to improve the working relationship with the "Agile monkeys" (whether it was someone else or me, who behaved like a monkey). 


Outline/Structure of the Talk

Note: This was originally a 5-minute lightning talk that was presented at Agile Australia 2016 and at the LAST conference in Melbourne (see the one slider at and some of the tweets in the Links sections).

The extended, 20-minute speech introduces these behaviours in a bit more detail and gives advice on how to deal with behaviour.




Learning Outcome

Identify behaviour patterns in ourselves or others and be able to use techniques to change the behaviour.

Target Audience


schedule Submitted 3 years ago

Public Feedback

comment Suggest improvements to the Speaker
  • Vinod Kumaar R
    By Vinod Kumaar R  ~  2 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Gabor,

    Is this very close to the SCARF framework? e.g.



    • Gabor Devenyi
      By Gabor Devenyi  ~  2 years ago
      reply Reply

      Hi Vinod, thank you for the question. 

      My presentation is not as scientific as the SCARF framework, it's more of my personal observations. Also, the content is different, SCARF has a lot to do with rewards, my speech is lot lighter and focuses on what can we do if we meet this behaviour. And just to emphasise, my speech is based purely on my observations, I don't have scientific background and years of research behind it.


  • Fincy Yousuff
    By Fincy Yousuff  ~  2 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hello Gabor!


    How are doing today.


    Could you please share a video of any of your previous talks? 

    Also do you plan on adding more slides into the deck. Else could you edit the proposal to add a little bit more information about the 5 behaviours that you are planning on presenting please. That would really help assess the content of your presentation

    Awaiting your reply. Have a great day ahead!




    • Gabor Devenyi
      By Gabor Devenyi  ~  2 years ago
      reply Reply

      Hi Fincy, 

      Thank you for your comment. 

      I uploaded the practice talk for the 5-minute version of this speech: Apologies about the quality of the sound, I hope it still reflects my style. 

      I am planning to add a few more slides as well. I've added one already here to have an idea of the structure I am planning to present:

      But I'll need some more work to finalise it. 

      Thank you again for your consideration. Have a great weekend. 

      Kind regards,