Assess Your Agility With 'ABetterTeam.org'
Sebastian Hermida has put together a free online tool to help teams get a better understanding of how well they're doing adopting agility. The site, abetterteam.org, is based on the "Assess Your Agility" quiz Jim Shore and Shane Warden include in their book, The Art Of Agile Development.
The site takes the quiz authored by Shore and Warden and gives it to teams via a tool that helps them get the most out of their answers. The team uses abetterteam.org to answer just over 50 questions covering the 5 majors areas discussed in The Art Of Agile Development, those being Thinking, Collaborating, Planning, Releasing and Developing:
Once completed, the team is then provided with a visual representation of how they score in each of these areas, and, more notably, what level of risk these scores present to their situation. Based on this risk assessment, the tool also then provides recommended practices that the team might benefit most from improving on next:
The site also helps teams track their progress over time, as it stores and displays the results of successive quiz runs:
Beyond these tangible features of the tool itself, what abetterteam.org stresses as a primary benefit of using this quiz is its ability to initiate and facilitate useful discussions within the team about how things are going with their adoption of agile.
About his own experience with this, Sebastian told InfoQ the following:
When I got my hands on the Art of Agile Development book last year by Jim Shore and Shane Warden, I saw a big potential in a quiz included in the book called "Assess your Agility". I completed the quiz by myself on the train on my way home one night and wondered right away what would have been the discussions if I had done the whole quiz with my team. Once I did, what I discovered is that, regardless of my team's agility, the conversations around each of these questions is what I found to be really valuable.
Having the questionnaire guide the discussion around how is the team going to work together is a way to get into knowing each other, building trust, honesty and buy-in into the XP practices. You quickly get to the tough questions: Are we going to write tests? What about writing the test first? Are we going to pair?...
Carve out an afternoon with your team to use the free tool provided at abetterteam.org and see what you think. And remember, as the site stresses, "It's the conversation that matters".
Chris Mattmann Apr 15, 2014