The Dilts Pyramid of Logical Levels (DPLL) is one of the fundamental instruments on which coaching is based. The present technique enables one to investigate a specific target (problem/assignment) by gradually moving up from the level of common life up to the level upon which one becomes fully aware of their mission and purpose—and then, moving in the reverse (downwards) direction, one becomes able to invest new landmark points of understanding and new values in the inferior layers (levels) of the pyramid; one becomes able to enrich their arsenal of action options; and also becomes able to see new ways how to react, through the prism of one’s capabilities and possibilities that arise.

Let us take a look at Agile and the Pyramid of Logical Levels (PLL) and see what we can get from it.

Some Words about the Pyramid

Firstly, let us go through the six levels of the PLL:

1. The Environment Level

Environment is where a person dwells. It is the reply to the following questions: “What?”, “When?”, “Where?” “Who with?”, “Who has something?”. Here, we can see no motion. The motion is to be found as we move up the pyramid. A representative of “the Environment level”, having decided to take courses in a foreign language, halts as soon as the decision to study a foreign language is taken. For such a representative, the very conclusion of a contract to undertake studies is itself already an implementation of their desire to master a language.

2. The Behaviour/Action Level

The Behaviour Level is the answer to the question “What am I doing?”. On this level we can find information about changes and motions. For a person who is currently on the Behaviour Level, it is the process itself that is an important thing— suppose you enroll on language courses, the important thing is that you attend them and not whether/if the language is actually being mastered.

3. The Capability/Competence Level

On this level, we can find strategies underlying one’s behavior and providing an answer to the question “How?”. On this level, knowledge presents itself as the primary human capital. Here, a person cares not about whether they are attending English language courses but what kind of knowledge they gain as a result of the attendance and how this knowledge can be further applied.

4. The Values Level – provides an answer to the question “Why is it so important?”.

If a person, who is striving for knowledge of the English language, possesses a value that is important for them, they will easily manage to master the language in any way. The level of values allows you to remove all of the obstacles preventing you to gain an access to your aim. On this level, there are no justifications of the “Why I could not?” sort. There is only the sole question “How can I do it?”.

5. The Identity Level. The “I/Me/Myself” level

On the “Who am I?” level, one can find out how a person see themselves, who they are, what kind of individuals they are, how they build up their relations with others. Ask yourself: “What will I become if I manage to master the English language?”, “How am I going to change the way I think about myself upon mastering it?” “Am I ready to face such changes or not?”

6. The Mission Level.

This is a strategic level providing answers to such questions: “What for?” “In order to achieve what?” “What is the point of ____?”. If we take the case of studying English, try to provide an answer to the following question: “How would you explain to a 5-year-old child the reason for studying English?”

Are we talking about the upwards or the downwards changes?

Please pay attention to the fact that:

Changes in Agile taking place at the superior levels of the pyramid will necessarily lead to changes on the inferior levels but not necessarily vice versa.

Here is a simple example to your attention. Suppose I go shopping to an artists’ store (the Action level) and buy a set of an easel and paints but this will not automatically turn me into an artist (the Identity level). However, if I am already an artist (the Identity level), then I am most likely to either have already obtained or been in the possession of the aforementioned tools.

How is all of the above related to Agile and changes? Agile is a system comprised of four values and twelve principles (the Values’ chain). If we commence with sticking colored notes and posters onto the walls and/or if we meet in the mornings to participate in stand-up gatherings (the Two Inferior levels), this will not necessarily turn us into an Agile team. The inferior-towards-superior changes are thus not guaranteed. If, however, a Scrum Master possesses the facilitation and coaching skills, then this will inevitably lead to changes taking place at the inferior levels of the pyramid. The higher a stage of pyramid at which we are implementing changes is located, the more effect it will potentially have.

Having taken a glance at the Robert Dilts Pyramid of Logical Levels, one instantly comprehends why such an approach is efficient—as these companies are working to implement changes firstly at the superior levels of the pyramid.

Finally, let us ask ourselves a question: what grander point can there be in all that? We tend to spend so much time and effort to discuss quotidian affairs that eventually forget what the actual reason of all that was.

The Agile Manifesto

Let us reveal more efficient methods of software development and assist others to do so as well

What is the Mission of Scrum Alliance?

To transform the world of work

What is the mission of

To enhance the world of software development.

How can the Dilts Pyramid be applied in Agile practice?

One can use Dilts Pyramid when working with Scrum Masters. We write out skills, competencies, and qualities which an efficient Scrum Master should possess and attempt to correlate them with the Pyramid Levels in Agile. It also allows us to clearly see clearly at which levels we should focus our efforts aimed at implementation of changes.

And remember:  Scrum is Not the Point – Agile is!