Agile Self-Assessment Tool

Agile Self-Assessment Tool.Quite a while ago now, I published this 42-point questionnaire to help you assess how agile you are.

Now even ThoughtWorks are at it…

ThoughtWorks Studios is a global leader in agile tools and training. Today they announced the launch of a new web-based tool for gauging the status of a software development team’s agile adoption and potential roadblocks to the successful delivery of business-aligned programmes.

The complimentary self-assessment tool consists of 20 questions that cover both management and engineering practices, and provides a customized report with high-level analysis and potential areas for improvement.

Why not give it a try? www.AgileAssessments.com

Kelly.


Photo by okimi

5 Responses to “Agile Self-Assessment Tool”

  1. Robert Dempsey says:

    Hi Kelly,

    How do you feel about a "how agile are you" questionnaire? Many of the companies I work with are adding agile practices on an ongoing basis, finding what works best for them within their own context. Many times this results in a hybrid approach that allows the team to continuously deliver value, albeit not in a "pure agile" manner. Do you think that these type of surveys convey a "you must do pure agile" message, or a "find what works for you" one?

  2. Keith D Swenson says:

    Good blog here. You might also be interested in a list of 26 hints I compiled for agile software development.

    http://kswenson.wordpress.com/2009/10/01/26-hints-for-agile-software-development/

  3. Kelly Waters says:

    Hi Robert

    When I posted my 42 point "how agile are you?" questionnaire, I certainly never expected anyone to interpret it as "you must do all of these things or you are not agile", although obviously I can see why some might interpret it that way.

    All this questionnaire does is allow you to survey the teams and find out how closely you are following textbook agile principles and practices (mainly based on Scrum in my survey).

    Obviously if you don't value any of these principles and practices, or don't feel they are appropriate for your situation, you shouldn't do them. But if you do want to do them, the survey is a way of gauging your status.

    In my case, I used this in my last job and in my current job to see where the teams thought they were up to.

    We then focused on the areas we valued the most highly and yet scored the least consistency. In these areas, we ran interactive workshops to help people understand the principles and practices better and encouraged them to put them into action.

    We ran the survey again a few months later and the scores had improved substantially, along with our performance.

    So, to reiterate, I'm not saying you must implement all of these principles and practices, regardless of your situation, or you're not agile. I'm just saying here is a useful tool to help you assess how many of the principles and practices you have implemented, particularly to assist with your adoption of Scrum by the book.

    Once a team is more established and really understand agile practices and *why* they work, then I think they are in a better position to adapt them. This is the true meaning of agile. At which point of course a survey like this has outlived its usefulness and I would not recommend.

    I hope that helps to clarify my position on this. It's not meant to prescriptive. It's just meant to be an aid to initial adoption.

    Kelly.

  4. Robert Dempsey says:

    Thanks for the response Kelly. I wasn't trying to say that you are telling people how they should do something, I was just wondering if you thought that some people might take it that way.

    Please keep the goodies coming.

  5. The Agile Surfer says:

    Hi Kelly,

    Having completed your questionnaire during your "last job", I have to say that I have since gone back to the original "Nokia" test, and Jeff Sutherland's weighted scoring – http://jeffsutherland.com/scrum/nokiatest.pdf – as the 42 points, though all pertinent, is just too long. I find that the shorter questionnaire is enough to spot the symptoms. A review with the teams then surfaces the causes. But, as you say, you are not recommending that everyone must do all of these things. Whether you use the Nokia test or your 42 points, you should look at what is most relevant to your needs. However, one of the strengths of the Nokia test, is that it retains the idea that Scrum has few rules. When things are not going so well, the first thing to check is whether you are adhering to the basics. It has been interesting to see how often these get forgotten.

    I thoroughly agree with you statement about understanding *why* these practices work. Too often, teams "go through the motions", without realising their importance.

Leave a Reply

What is 10 + 3 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
Please do this simple sum so I know you are human:)

There are 101 ways to approach anything.
To find the best way, sometimes you need expert help

What People Say

“Kelly is an Agile heavy-weight. He came in to assess my multi-million $ Agile development program which wasn’t delivering the right throughput. He interviewed most of the team and made some key recommendations that, when implemented, showed immediate results. I couldn’t ask for more than that except he’s a really nice guy as well.”

DAN PULHAM, DIGITAL DIRECTOR
TELSTRA