Agile Self-assessments

Agile self assessmentsAgile is a journey where you learn and improve continuously. Agile Self-assessments help teams to see where they are to decide on the next steps to increase their agility.

If you want to become more Agile and Lean, my recommendation is to frequently ask yourself the following 3 questions:

  1. How Agile and Lean are you already?
  2. Where do you want to become more Agile and Lean? And why?
  3. What can you do to make the next step?

Agile Self-assessments help you to ask these questions and travel your agile journey.

The Agile Self-Assessment Game

agile-self-assessment-game-by-ben-lindersThe Agile Self-Assessment Game can be used by teams and organizations to self-assess their agility. Playing the game enables teams to reflect on their own team interworking and agree upon the next steps for their agile journey. With this game, they can discover how agile they are and what they can do to increase their agility to deliver more value to their customers and stakeholders.

This game, developed by Ben Linders, has been played at the XP Days Benelux 2016, Oefeningen voor Waardevolle Agile Retrospectives, and at several other occasions. I also use it for in-house self-assessments with my clients and in workshops, masterclasses and training, see Assessing your Agility.

Getting more value out of Agile and Lean

Workshop Agile Lean ValueIf your agile transformation is not delivering the expected results or if you are doing agile and want to deliver more value to your customers and stakeholders, then join my workshop Getting More out of Agile and Lean.

In this workshop, you will experience Agile and Lean practices for teams and stakeholders with advice on how to deploy them, and tips and tricks to become more agile and lean.

Tools and Checklists for agile self-assessments

The following tools and checklists are known to me (70++). They can help you to do a kind of startup/health check or readiness/maturity assessment to determine how agile or lean you are:

If you want to become agile in an agile way, and would like some support on applying any combination of these tools, see my services / diensten, and feel free to contact me!

Background information on Agile Self-Assessments

The articles and books mentioned below can help you to do agile self-assessment or to develop your own assessment:

Recommended books

If you want to use agile self-assessments to help your teams and organization improve, here are some books that I highly recommend.

How about the CMMI for Agile Self-Assessments?

I didn’t mention the CMMI in the list above, although it is a model that is clearly meant to assess organizations. And you can self-assess with the CMMI using class C assessments, I did that many times myself.

My feeling is that the CMMI is not very helpful when it comes to assessing agility or implementing agile (blogged on that long time ago in CMMI V1.3 Agile). Then again, a good level 5 organization that has a deep understanding of the processes and practices that they use and is able to adapt to changing circumstances would be an organization with high agility; Maturity, capability and agility can certainly co-exist!

Missing an agile self-assessment checklist or tool

Do you use an agile checklist or tool that is not mentioned on the list? Or know a related article that helps to do agile self-assessment? Please send me a link with a short motivation why you think it should be added to the list. Thanks!

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Increasing your Agility

Feel free to contact me if you want to play the Agile Self-assessment game to assess your agility or learn more about agile self-assessments, and improving your agility.

 +31 6 2901 3863
 [email protected]
Ben Linders
Ben Linders Advies
Icons-mini-icon_home Tilburg, The Netherlands

(last updated on December 10, 2017)

8 Responses to Agile Self-assessments

  1. Pingback: Self-assessing How Agile You Are | Bridge Global IT Staffing

  2. Marcel says:

    Hi Ben,
    this is an excellent resource! Thanks so much.
    I am wondering though – are all these questionnaires and tools too much inward looking? Yes, we surely need to assess a team’s agility, but I believe there are external factors, i.e. the wider organisation, which, if not supportive of Agile will not allow a project to succeed in Agile fashion. So yes, we need to know about whether a team collaborates, uses velocity and does their standups, and all that ‘correctly’ but I believe these things are relatively ‘easy’ to get control.
    What is far harder to change, in many cases it is not possible to change at all, is the attitude of a client’s organisation or other factors in the project environment.

    So I am thinking of requesting every new client to fill out a questionnaire so we can assess whether the project ‘environment’ is actually supportive to Agile or whether the most agile team would not be able to succeed in that specific context.
    What do you think, does this make sense or am I overthinking?
    I’ve put the Questionnaire here, would be interesting to hear your thoughts.

    • BenLinders says:

      Thanks for your comment. I agree that most questionnaires focus inward, looking at what the team is doing or could do. Taking a systems approach we also need to look at the context as you mentioned. Are the conditions there for teams to work agile? Any barriers that need to be removed? Can we have a good collaboration between the teams and their stakeholders? What can they do to increase agility?

      Your questionnaire can be helpful to explore the system and address issues that could hamper agile adoption, thanks for sharing it! I’ve also added it to the list of questionnaires.

  3. Pavan says:

    Great self-assessments checklist! You can also add Shippable’s DevOps playbook to the list since it shows how to do DevOps the right way.
    You can easily assess your DevOps efforts.

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  • Ben Linders – Independent Consultant Agile, Lean, Quality, and Continuous Improvement

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