Accurately and consistently measuring team health and performance can be a tricky business, as can establishing agreed-upon levels of maturity for teams throughout an organization.
When we initially launched the TeamHealth® Radar in 2014, the assessment questions described the positive/highest level behavior for each competency we were assessing and asked the teams to rate themselves using the Tuckman model of Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing. We noticed many teams, especially those who were newer to Agile, ranked themselves too high using this scale. Teams didn’t know what they didn’t know and most of the team members felt they were doing great, which was subjective. This led to some of the data not accurately reflecting their true team health and maturity.
It’s certainly true that teams go through the Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing stages and that Coaches should tailor their guidance based on the current stage of each team. But from a maturity perspective, we felt there was a more applicable scale and additionally, we wanted to easily provide all teams in an organization consistent guidance on how to build an actionable roadmap for growth.
Additive Scale for Measuring Team Health and Maturity
In 2017, we switched to Crawl, Walk, Run, and Fly as our maturity scale, for the TeamHealth® Radar, as well as many of our other assessments. This scale is additive, meaning the next stage is only reached when the criteria for the previous stage have been met. Our assessment questions were adjusted to provide examples of behaviors that describe each maturity stage in order to remove subjectivity from team members’ answers.
This question format makes it easier for larger organizations to scale the number of facilitators needed for retrospective sessions that analyze assessment results by enabling Scrum Masters, Team Leaders or Coaches to facilitate the sessions more effectively and quickly see where engaging coaches are needed, in a well-defined, consistent manner across any number of teams.
What are the definitions of Crawl, Walk, Run, and Fly?
In some of our radar assessments, you’ll notice Crawl, Walk, Run, and Fly as maturity stages but in others, there will be an additional Pre-Crawl stage. Here’s how each stage is defined:
- Pre-Crawl means a team hasn’t started doing Agile or the focus of the question yet
- Crawl means the team is just starting Agile/the question focus
- Walk means the team has started practicing Agile/the question focus, but still learning and needs support
- Run means the team is practicing Agile/the question focus and is starting to get comfortable with those practices
- Fly means the team is experienced at practicing Agile/the question focus and is also helping others in the organization on their journeys
The Team Maturity Roadmap
Along with a consistent scale to measure team health and maturity, there also needs to be a proven roadmap for teams to follow as guidance for their growth. New teams need different assistance than mature teams but all teams should have consistent guidance across an organization.
We created a maturity roadmap for use with our TeamHealth Radar, as well as a Growth Portal full of recommendations, videos, downloadable resources and coaching opportunities for each competency, which provides self-help opportunities for teams and a standard for coaches to follow when helping teams formulate their growth plan. Below is a snapshot of our maturity roadmap.