Agility Assessments and Continuous Improvement

When trying to be involved in the concept of continuous improvement with your team, there are many things that can be used to help assess the successes and opportunities that exist for the team. There are even companies that their whole existence is hinged on the measurement of and charted improvement for individuals, teams and organizations. I want to very clearly tell you that with as many ways that there are to assess success, there should not be a single prescribed way to conclude that we are doing well or not with our Agile implementation. To the contrary, we should at regular intervals reflect on how to become more effective, then tune and adjust our behavior accordingly. We should be asking ourselves about potential outcomes, flow of work and the competency with which our teams are moving forward towards more successful ventures. Let’s jump into what that means when using assessments to measure our organizational and team’s agility.


When to do an assessment?


There are different levels of assessments to be conducted such as team retrospectives, team and technical agility assessments, Inspect and Adapt Problem Solving workshops and many other types of ways to determine how well we are doing as an Agile team or organization. The key for each of them is that we have consistency and regularity with which we are doing them. With a very basic level of an assessment, a team reflects after every sprint or iteration on how well they are doing, what is not going well and how they can improve. These retrospectives often times can seem very basic but they are the life blood of continuous improvement at the team level. Done well, a retrospective can help a team generate ideas and solutions for some of the most vexing problems and make them a thing of the past. The retrospective is intended to be something that generates the next ideas on how to improve so immediate correction can happen with things that may have taken us down the wrong path but also to continue on the path that has led to wild success for our team.


technical agility assessment

With that same sense of regularity, a team level assessment can be done to help the team look from a higher lens to see how they are overall applying principles and pertinent practices to become more Agile in their day-to-day activities. These type of Team and Technical agility assessments should never take the place of a retrospective but should help a team ask some deeper questions that are not necessarily revealed during a retrospective. It may lead the team to focus their attention on