How healthy is “YOUR”Agile team or team of Agile teams?

We need to know the top drivers for Agile Adoption in your company for us to start the journey. There are common & top drivers for Agile Adoption from IT industry perspective HOWEVER, still we need to be very clear on why Agility is embraced & promoted for your client or in your company for that matter?

We need to see whether the Agile manifesto’s shared value statement is reverberated in the agile transformation journey that we planned to embark on.

Move from Silos to Collaboration. From Silos working independently handing off work to each other NOW we handle Cross-functional teams working collaboratively to deliver on a common target. Community of Practices will take care of specific competencies in agile world.

Also have Solution Lead to present the Technical Vision of the product. Hence your core team is SM + PO + Team (Dev, QA, Deploy) + Solution Lead. Solution lead could be one or two people who help the team to figure out the vision for the “how”.

Have a Burn Up Chart and related measurements. What’s your cadence and throughput? Try to interrelate these. Have a robust Iteration Zero (0). Use velocity to study the predictability aspect & don’t view it in Silo.

Program (Scrum of Scrums) Leadership Team need to understand the groundwork of agility. Once this is stabilized now move to build or scale up to Enterprise stable team. Have a conceptual model up to the Product line management team in place.

Create your own Team Health RADAR with parameters like Foundation, Clarity, Performance, Culture & Leadership etc. Have your own way of assessing the maturity level of your teams. These five critical areas are used by me in earlier assignments with one of my client who is a leading US based bank – relationship. Each critical area will in turn have criteria(s) to assess that particular dimension.

Have clarity on both leading & lagging indicators in your own landscape. Had seen teams have knowledge on lagging or trailing indicators but NOT on leading indicators. This is one of the critical aspects so pivotal for the success journey. Ask it early enough.

Be it agile or waterfall we still need managers to drive certain activities from an account or organization perspective as we are still working on projects, programs or portfolios. Do these managers understand the true spirit of agile? There are only very few clients who fund the value streams & NOT projects. Many clients still fund projects.

Technical excellence promotes CI & CD. DevOps – in my humble opinion is actually a glorified version of XP practices. Of course, Devops has other elements much more than XP. Development team creates change like adding or modifying features whereas Operations team creates stability in terms of creating or enhancing services. In DevOps, Change and Stability Co-exist! Had we mastered this art of co-existence?

Team Structure – with right size & skills. Are they allocated the right way? Are they stable? Do they have a team health retrospective assessment been done atleast once a quarter. Iteration level retrospective is different from team health retrospective. This is more strategic than tactical. Create growth plan as output of the retrospectives.

Address organizational systemic issues by collecting team health radar charts for multiple teams. Identify the common gaps & address the low-hanging fruit. Goal is NOT to compare teams BUT to identify the common pattern areas to address improvements as a larger goal. Bubble up all the team level charts and roll it up to organizational agility charts.

How can finance (budgeting or project funding) and HR be made more aligned to IT way of executing projects? True Agility is beyond IT.