Agile Maturity Assessments: A Leaner Approach
How to simplify the Agile Maturity assessment process.
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
As Agile Coaches, many of us need to gauge the Maturity of our teams, and one of the tools which we all use is an agile Maturity assessment. However many of us tend to over-engineer it or tend to complicate the way our questions are framed and the way we analyze the responses. In this article, I present a very simple yet effective way to get a quick dipstick check on where the Transformation is progressing.
2. Proposed Agile Maturity Assessment Model
As Agile professionals, we all are aware of the 4 Values and 12 Principles enshrined in the "Manifesto for Agile Software Development."
The proposed maturity assessment is based on the 12 principles listed in the same.
3. Assessment Design
The assessment design involves the following steps:
A. Designing the Assessment Questions
In this step, Agile coaches will design the assessment questions to be asked to the participants.
Each question needs to be mapped to one of the 12 Agile Principles (Principle column in the table below):
Please refer to the table below (Abridged table for reference):
(1 To 10)
|1||Does the team have a cadence defined for agile ceremonies (Sprint Planning, Daily Standup, Demo, and Retrospective)?||4||1 Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.|
|2||Does the Team have a product, release, and sprint backlog?||3||3 Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale|
|3||Is the Product backlog prioritized by the Product Owner/Proxy Product Owner in terms of Business Value?||2||8 Agile processes promote sustainable development.
The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
|4||Is there a practice of identifying Acceptance criteria definition for stories?||7||4 Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.|
|5||Is Product backlog estimated by using agile estimation techniques like T-shirt sizing, Planning Poker, etc.?||5||6 The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.|
B. Scoring The Assessment Section
An Agile coach needs to score each question on a scale of 1 To 10 (1 Being lowest and 10 being the highest). The basis of this information is from the Agile coach's interaction with the team, observing Agile Practices, analyzing information radiators, project dashboards, and artifacts, etc.
Recommendation: Keep the Total # of Agile Maturity assessment questions anywhere between 30 to 40 maximum.
Once each of the assessment questions have been evaluated, it is recommended to determine the average score against each of the 12 principles (Refer to the table below).
C. Data Consolidation and Representation
Once all the responses to the assessment questions have been captured, the next step is to roll up/consolidate the data by averaging out the score of responses under each of the 12 Agile principles. We can either use a simple average or a weighted average and come up with a score for each of the 12 Agile Principles as shown in the table below.
The same can then be represented in a radar chart to highlight the strength's & Deficiencies of the team across the 12 Agile principles:
The proposed approach is a very basic and simple tool to get a quick dipstick check on the state of agility of our teams and the following are the key advantages of using this:
- One to One alignment with the 12 Agile Manifesto principles.
- Less time needed to complete the assessment.
- Model is very easy to explain to teams.
- Gets a faster alignment to the Agile Way of working from our teams.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.