Start practicing Shoshin

When you were a child and wanted to learn something for the first time. You chose to learn it from others with an open mind. Take an example of painting the picture. You could experience this when your kids try to mimic you while learning something the first time.

(My daughter Shruti tried to paint the butterfly. She was eager and tried to accept every information with an open mind)

When you acquire knowledge about something your mind becomes more closed. Over the period of time, you become reluctant to accept more information.

I hope you had experienced this at least once. When you try to give suggestion to improve processes like stand-ups, grooming, retrospective or some other agile process, the senior person would refuse to change since he/she thinks that he/she knows everything.

He/she choose to kill your suggestion with her/his closed mind! EGO?

I was introduced to this term by my agile coach when I was working with Tieto education Pune.  Initially, I was not very convinced or sure about it, preconceptions!


However, over the period of time, I saw good behavioral changes in me and my scrum team.

Shoshin clearly encourages good behaviors in you and your team. See below description from Wikipedia.

“If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything, it is open to everything. In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind, there are few. ” ― Shunryu Suzuki

I started attending various agile and software craftsman ceremonies with an open mind like study circles, knowledge sharing sessions, refinements, the storytelling of epic work items and so on. It really helped me and my team to grow as a scrum team.

Believe me, if you choose to practice below-mentioned attitude (SHOSHIN), it will really help you in the long run.

  • Openness

  • Eagerness
  • Lack of preconceptions.

I would highly recommend practicing Shoshin mindset in your team. Even you could include it in your way of working.


See what James Clear says about SHOSHIN:

Dattatraya Kale

Aspiring agile software craftsman, clean code, polyglot, in love with different programming paradigm. I am on a never-ending journey towards mastery of software.