Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Measuring Agile values

I'm really very proud of the team here, in that I think they've done a lot of work over the past 18 months to adopt the Agile principles and the 'characteristics of a high performing team'. One of the most useful exercises I've done recently is to actually get the team to rate themselves on these values and characteristics. This works, not only because they are able to see a reflection of their own performance, but also because I can share these metrics with our new departmental head, as an indication of how the team is doing.

The graph above represents the outcome of the team rating themselves last week. The task was to read through all of the values and then rate how true they are for the team on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being outstanding. Looking at the graph, I think the team thinks they're doing pretty well, and it also highlights areas that they believe they're particularly good at, such as:

  • Openness
  • Empowerment
  • Consensus driven
Those values really ring true for our team, and when I showed them the graph, it felt authentic to them, as well.

If you want to do an exercise like this with your team, here are the Values and Characteristics.

Scrum Values
Commitment – Be willing to commit to a goal. Scrum provides people all the authority they need to meet their commitments.
Focus – Do your job. Focus all your efforts on doing the work you’ve committed to doing. Don’t worry about anything else.
Openness – Scrum keeps everything about a project visible to everyone.
Respect – Individuals are shaped by their background & experiences. It is important to respect the different people who comprise a team.
Courage – Have the courage to commit, to act, to be open, and to expect respect.

Characteristics of a High-Performing team

1. Self-organising rather than role- or title based.

2. Empowered to make decisions.

3. Believe that, as a team, they can do anything.

4. Committed to team success, rather than success at any cost

5. Team owns its decisions and commitments

6. Trust (rather than fear or anger) motivates them

7. Consensus driven, with full divergence followed by convergence

8. They live in a world of constructive disagreement

Please rate our team on a scale of 1 – 5, with 1 being lowest and 5 being highest.

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