5 Key Areas to Focus when Measuring Agile Teams
There are numerous ways to measure the success of Agile teams within an organization. Some companies rely on metrics tied to the team’s performance, such as how many story points are completed over a sprint or how few escaped defects the team’s work creates. Another way to gauge the success of a team is by looking at their churn rate, or the stability of the team. Still another measure is often focused on feedback from the team’s leadership and internal or external customers.
Measuring what matters can be tricky when it comes to teams, Agile or not, because success isn’t measured by one metric. How successful a team is dependent on multiple factors, including the health of the team, the team’s performance, and overall maturity. Thankfully, years of training and coaching companies embarking on Agile transformations have shown us the most effective areas to focus on when measuring Agile team success.
The 5 Dimensions
Have you ever been watching a movie where a scene is focused on something…and suddenly the frame zooms out, enabling you to see the whole picture and in that instant, you realize the small item you were focused on before doesn’t really tell you anything about what is actually happening? That jarring experience is what focusing on the right Agile team metrics can help you avoid. Rather than using just one or two measurements that provide a limited view, focus on the big picture to get a true sense of a team’s health and performance…which ultimately makes up their maturity level, or level of success.
To help Agile teams be measured consistently throughout an organization, we believe focusing on these five key dimensions will provide you an overall picture of team health and maturity in your organization.
These five dimensions will provide you insight into all aspects of the Agile teams in your organization and answer questions such as:
- Does the team have clarity on their roles and the company vision?
- Is there confidence in the team’s ability to deliver…and are they actually delivering value?
- How strong is the leadership of the team, both inside the team and leading the individuals?
- Are the team members happy and do they trust each other?
- Is the team self-organizing and are they working at a sustainable pace?
Let’s dive into all the competencies that can be measured within the five dimensions of team health and maturity.
Competencies to Measure
Within each of the five Dimensions, we have identified several competencies to focus on when assessing Agile teams.
Clarity can be broken down into:
- Planning - quarterly/roadmap, monthly/releases, and weekly/iterations
- Roles - roles & expectations and are people working as generalizing specialists
- Vision - vision & purpose, goals & outcomes
Performance metrics should include the following:
- Confidence - from the Product Owner, Team Members, and Stakeholders
- Measurements - predictable delivery, time to market, value delivered, alignment to business outcomes, quality rating (by the Product Owner, Team Members, and Stakeholders), rework %, ability to respond to change, amount of impediments, and team dependencies
Leadership is made up of:
- Team Facilitator - effectiveness, leadership, and impediment management
- Technical Lead - leadership and subject matter expertise
- Product Owner - engagement with the team, sponsors, customers and stakeholders, backlog management, and leadership
- Management - leadership
Culture is comprised of:
- Team Dynamics - happiness, collaboration, trust & respect, creativity & innovation, and accountability
- Agility - sustainable pace, self-organization, software/hardware, process excellence, planning & estimating, and effective meetings
- Team Structure - size & skills, allocation & stability, and physical/remote workspace
How to Measure
Consistently measuring your teams in all of the above competencies and the 5 key dimensions doesn’t have to be overwhelming. AgilityHealth® offers many assessment options that you can roll out to a few teams, or throughout your entire organization. Our platform allows you to visualize maturity and performance insights from your assessments in our stunning radars, including our most popular TeamHealth® Radar. The TeamHealth Radar is the benchmark for measuring the health of Agile teams and assessment questions include qualitative and quantitative data, focused on the five key dimensions.
Typically completed by Agile Team Members including Product Owners, Scrum Masters, and Technical Leads, along with other Team Members, the TeamHealth Radar enables you to:
- Ensure consistent definitions and measurement of team health and performance across all teams
- Roll-up data across multiple teams to identify trends and where to focus improvement efforts
- Develop actionable growth plans at every level of the organization
- Measure team and enterprise maturity over time
- Leverage our growth portal for recommended growth items and enable Agile learning at scale
Our assessments help you quickly measure the current state of your teams, build actionable plans, and enable self-learning and growth at all levels of your organization. The TeamHealth Radar assessment is a great place to start!