Commencing their Agile journey in 2015, Company X enlisted myself and 2 other coaches in 2018 to provide more insight as to how teams were progressing, as they had not seen any tangible improvements in their transformation overall. Upon observing 10 hand-selected teams, we found that those ranked as high performing were actually struggling with adopting basic agile practices! Clearly, something went wrong in the original assessment completed by their in-house team, using the Agile Health Radar (AHR) tool. Rather than relying solely on a specific assessment tool, we also did many face-to-face interviews, observed, attended team meetings, spent time speaking with key players from the PMO, reviewed assets and analyzed teams dashboards. We were able to paint a much more accurate picture of the current environment and their maturity in terms of agile adoption.
The experience report will share the good and bad about assessments. The story will tell whether tools are only as good as the people using them, what was missing from a governance point of view to help interpret the data, whether the assessment tools can be improved, and address the ambitious question of whether only external teams can conduct accurate agile assessments.
• What a tool assessment is good for if you left your adoption to luck without continuous leadership support (setting expectations for teams and keeping the Leaders responsible and involved, remain central)
• What point in time is an assessment good for if you already take short cuts for your retrospectives, reviews sessions, and do not invest time in reviewing feedback
• Do not use the agile assessment tool to EVALUATE and SUPPORT the performance review process and employee engagement results. You have already given room for gaming the results.