Agile methodologies are designed to aid in software design, development, and testing, while at the same time minimizing the total cost of delivery and development time. Further, the essence of the method is iterative development, which empowers teams to create products at a faster pace with a more robust capability to make adjustments when needed.
Due to its flexibility and evolutionary approach, agile is one of the most widely-utilized methods in project management today. In addition, the Agile Manifesto (also known as the eleven principles of Agile Software Development) was first written in 2001 and initially created to enhance the software development process.
As time went on, agile project management gained popularity across a wide range of industries. The various methods incorporate transparent, quality, flexible, and continuous improvement-centered ideas. Since agile methodologies are so flexible, many organizations strive to increase their level of agile maturity. How? They begin by executing an agile maturity assessment.
It’s crucial to note that each agile methodology utilizes a distinct way to structure processes, and their principles are focused on fulfilling client needs and producing a high-quality result. Also, all agile frameworks are based on these foundational principles:
- Concentrate on meeting the requirements of your customers, not tools.
- What may be done at any point in the design process is up for grabs.
- Ensure clients and developers collaborate throughout the development process.
Why Take an Agile Assessment?
Agile has thrived because it performs very well on large projects, and project managers either depend on it or utilize it in conjunction with other frameworks. It is easy to see why; managers find it simpler to accomplish their goals because of agile practices. Agile project management is also unique because it focuses on providing quality and value to the client and finishing the project within the specified project limits. Thus, increasing your agile maturity can ensure the following benefits:
Improve the Customer Experience
When customers engaged in the decision-making process, they tend to have a higher likelihood of remaining loyal. With agile, customers are only involved in the planning stage and have little impact on the day-to-day running of the business, which may limit a company’s flexibility and adaptability. Moreover, agile helps your customers to remain in the know, and you can make project adjustments based on their input to ensure that everyone achieves the desired outcome.
A secondary advantage of using agile for project management is that the time it takes to get to market is decreased substantially. As a result, the Product Owner can profit from the opportunity and, at times, secure the lead position. Customers garner better ROI, and that motivates them to return to your organization for future projects.
Enhance Project Forecasting
When visibility increases, anticipating hazards and devising mitigation strategies becomes much more straightforward. According to Scrum methodology, sprint backlogs and burn-down charts increase project transparency for management, facilitating better ability to make forecasts about how the project will perform.
Moreover, one of the 12 fundamental principles of the Agile Manifesto is working on personal reflection and self-improvement. With each iteration, the process improves so you don’t have to repeat previous mistakes. When utilizing agile methods, a culture of idea-sharing and cooperation thrives. Therefore, team members can benefit from and grow from shared experiences.
What Are the Elements of an Agile Assessment?
Invariably, the capacity to be agile improves with time. Thus an agile maturity assessment is a method for determining how your team is gaining traction and understanding around this effective project management approach. With an agile maturity assessment, the objective is to achieve the following:
- Evaluate and establish a baseline for existing levels of agile adoption. Eventually, you may consider evaluating improvement, but it’s best to begin by selecting an accurate baseline of skills.
- How your team places concerning your objectives of adoption or transformation.
- To determine whether you are ready to go to the next level of practice or adoption, first decide whether you’re there. Have the courage, to be honest, as well as critical.
- When you’ve finished mastering a new talent or capacity, consider what you’ve been able to accomplish with it. It is difficult to adjust to change, so remember to highlight your achievements.
- Sketch out the subsequent initiatives you’ll be working on in the future. Encourage the team to hone in on or restrict their goals.
- Establishing the environment for organizational transformation is necessary. Using an agile maturity assessment as a change management tool can solidify your preferred results.
- Promote the benefits of required training and coaching.
It also helps to work with a partner to get the most out of your agile assessment, especially if you have limited experience in this area. For instance, you can use Ascendle’s tool, to evaluate your team’s agile maturity complete with ratings on 126 observations. Concerning 26 of these positions, the Product Owner, ScrumMaster, and development team are all critical. Additionally, of the 61 tasks, 51 are tied to five Scrum ceremonies:
- Using sprint planning
- Daily Scrum
- Backlog refinement
- Sprint review
- Sprint retrospectives
A five-point scale is recommended because you can use it to measure growth within a few specified practice areas or within an entire competency framework. Not to mention, at least 39 items on the agile assessment are associated with the sprint backlog and product backlog.
There are also several levels of agile maturity:
- Level 0–No agile capability or adoption.
- Level 1–In the introductory stages of agile adoption.
- Level 2–Already using some agile training and reading associated literature.
- Level 3–The entire team is gaining experience and getting used to agile methodologies.
- Level 4–The team routinely uses more sophisticated techniques and analytics.
- Level 5–The innovative level where teams are consistently experimenting with new methods and workflows.
When you have completed your agile assessment, you can fuse your results to demonstrate your current level and areas of measured improvement.
An effective agile maturity assessment doesn’t just report agile adoption levels but also depicts concisely how your agile strategy connects and why measurements matter. It also helps to partner with an agile expert, which is an important way of signaling to your teams that you take their agile progress seriously.