Agile Readiness – When Can Your Organization Adopt Agile?

I’ve come up with a short quiz about agile readiness. It has never been tested anywhere. Rather, it represents my observations about what conditions have been in place in organizations where agile has taken root and flourished vs. places where attempts at agile have failed.

Agile Readiness Assessment Worksheet

Empowered Agile Process Facilitator

This person is responsible for the success of the agile process used on your project. They help your teams and your organization deal with the obstacles to becoming agile. They facilitate an explicit learning process. They avoid “command and control” approaches to managing work. An excellent source of such people is those who have taken the training available from Agile Masters.

Your situation is best described by:

Score: 0 – No one available for this role
Score: 3 – Someone is available and empowered by management, but he/she is inexperienced
Score: 3 – Someone is available and experienced, but not empowered by management
Score: 6 – Someone is available who is both experienced and empowered

Your Score: _______

Management Support

Management support provides protection from the “old way” of doing things, and enables a team to self-organize, cut through red tape, and establish a “new way”. Initially, this is often done with a pilot project. It can also be done with special task force teams. In the long term, it requires upper management to understand and support with clear goals and measures the change needed.

Score: 0 – Management insists on full compliance with existing internal project process
Score: 2 – Management does not know that the team is doing Agile
Score: 4 – Management accepts Agile, but is ambivalent about methodology
Score: 8 – Management is excited about doing Agile
Score: 8 – Management is unconcerned about method and cares about results only

Your Score: _______

Team Readiness

A team must be ready to take on work. If the team is already familiar with the work to be done, and the team has worked together previously, then the team is ready to take on the new challenge of agile work practices.

Score: 0 – no team has been created for the project
Score: 2 – team has been created but has never worked on this domain
Score: 4 – team has been created and members have worked in the domain previously
Score: 6 – team has been created and members have worked in your organization in the domain previously
Score: 8 – team has been created and worked together previously in your organization in the domain

Your Score: _______

Team Experience with Agile

Past experience with agile practices can have a substantial positive effect on the outcome of the project launch.

Score: 1 – no experience and not interested in Agile
Score: 4 – no experience but very interested in Agile
Score: 6 – some experience with Agile and still interested in it
Score: 8 – very experienced with Agile

Your Score: _______

Project Readiness

The project must be funded (or otherwise materially supported) in order to be launched. A strong champion can often ensure funding is in place before project launch commences. It is also critical that the project is satisfying a real need in the organization.

Score: 0 – Project has no champion nor has it been funded by the organization
Score: 1 – Project has a strong champion but no funding yet
Score: 5 – Project has no single strong champion, but it has funding
Score: 9 – Project has both a strong champion and confirmed funding

Your Score: _______


Sum up the scores for each aspect of readiness.

0 – 12, or 0 on any single aspect: Definitely NOT ready to launch an agile project. You need to do some basic work to prepare.

13 – 27: Your organization is ready to take on the launch of an agile project… but with assistance! Consider hiring a coach.

28 – 39: Go for it! You have enough experience/support/excitement to have a good chance of doing it on your own successfully.

(NOTE: this assessment is an indicator not a guarantee.)

Affiliated Promotions:

Try our automated online Scrum coach: Scrum Insight - free scores and basic advice, upgrade to get in-depth insight for your team. It takes between 8 and 11 minutes for each team member to fill in the survey, and your results are available immediately. Try it in your next retrospective.

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