Given that universities have significant choices to make about what is retained from our emergency measures, the authors set out to use the record of our biweekly meetings to examine the choices that we have made during the pandemic and how we have made them. In this collaborative reflective article from authors from five different institutions in the UK and Australia, we demonstrate that student-centred decision making emerged unanimously as the core value driving our decision making during the pandemic. In our reflections, supported by our diary notes, we explore and document our decision-making processes relating to educational technology through the lens of agile values and principles in the context of crisis leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. We discuss four prominent drivers for student-centred decision making: a) collecting and rapidly sharing student voice data, b) offering more choice in anticipation of diverse needs, c) giving a high priority to equalising access to technology and d) taking responsibility for students in difficult circumstances. In addition, we discuss five emerging data-driven themes – leadership, operational continuity, student welfare, pedagogy and technology infrastructure – and offer insights into student-driven decision making with examples from our respective institutions. The ultimate aim for our reflection is to establish approaches that we value in higher education leadership that we should sustain and to formulate principles for student-centred agile leadership for university education which can serve us during the pandemic and beyond.