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How agile is your organization?

Is Agility a business parameter that can be measured or is it a state that can only be sensed? If Agility means flexibility, nimbleness and adaptability, then how can those things be measured?

This article provides a simple survey to evaluate your team or organizations’ maturity. While the approach may not be entirely objective or accurate, it provides a reasonably good range of your agility across ten core areas. Give it a go.

Rate your organizational agility.

  • How are projects generally structured?

  1. They are unstructured

  2. According to systems development lifecycle (SDLC) phases of Requirements, Analysis, Design, Development, Testing and Roll-out

  3. Structured according to technology stacks – Database, Application layer, front-end etc.

  4. As discrete and independent components that are integrated later

  5. Iterative and Incrementally structured around product features

How are project teams generally structured?

  1. As one large team for the entire product / application.

  2. As separate teams structured according to functions or phases such as Business Analysis, Development, Testing, etc.

  3. As separate teams structured according to technologies or work-type such as Front-end, Back-end, Functional, Technical, etc.

  4. As separate teams from customer organization and vendor organization with a common product focus

  5. As a single cross-functional team of 10-12 members (or multiple small teams) working on a set of common product backlog

  • How are project teams generally located?

  1. Distributed across continents

  2. Distributed across the country

  3. Distributed across offices in the same city

  4. Distributed across rooms in one building

  5. Co-located in one room

  • The Project teams mostly communicate through

  1. Formal Documents

  2. E-mail

  3. Phone Calls

  4. Video Conference

  5. Face to face conversations

  • How accessible are end users of the applications / products to Project teams

  1. Don’t know who the end users are

  2. End users are rarely accessible

  3. End users are accessible only during the requirements phase

  4. End users are accessible regularly

  5. End users work closely with the project team, everyday

  • How is the project planned?

  1. Not much planning

  2. Detailed up-front planning

  3. Activity based planning

  4. Just enough planning

  5. Adaptive and continuously planned

  • What is the attitude and ability to accept changes to project requirements?

  1. Changes to requirements are not welcome after they have been “signed-off”

  2. Changes to requirements are resisted during development

  3. Changes are negotiated and only incorporated with an approved change request

  4. Changes are accepted and incorporated within 4 weeks

  5. Changes to requirements are welcomed and incorporated in the next cycle (Wait time is about 2 weeks at the most)

  • What is the approach to testing?

  1. Ad hoc testing

  2. Post-Development Testing

  3. Integrated Testing

  4. Automated testing

  5. Test-driven Development

  • How frequently do projects release software into the production environment?

  1. Once a year or longer

  2. Once every six months

  3. Once every three months

  4. Once every month

  5. At least every two weeks or earlier

  • How is project progress generally measured?

  1. Verbal updates to stakeholders

  2. Through formal status reports to stakeholders

  3. Through demos to stakeholders

  4. Through limited trials to users

  5. Through working software every two weeks or earlier

  • Give yourself 1 point for 1), 2 points for 2), 3 points for 3), 4 points for 4) and 5 points for 5)

  • Add up all your points

  • Ok, what’s your score?

Interpreting the score

  1. 10-20 Poor Agility – Thanks for doing the survey – Unlicensed driver on the Agile Journey?

  2. 20-30 Average Agility – Your organization is still thinking about agility – Learner driver on the Agile journey?

  3. 30-40 Good Agility - Your organization is not bad at all. Provisional license on the Agile journey?

  4. 40-50 High Agility - Your organization is Agile – Full and unconditional license on the Agile journey?


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