Agile Assessment

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Are you as good at Agile as you think you are?
Where do you go next?

Regardless of how far along they are in Agile adoption, our clients often want us to give an objective assessment of their prospects for success:

  • Organizations who have not yet embraced Agile (except perhaps for some minor experiments) want to know, how fertile or arid is the ground in which they will be planting seeds. Is the organization a hostile environment? What can they do to improve the chances for success?

  • Organizations who are more advanced in their Agile adoption may want to know, where do we go from here? An organization who has had some success with Agile may want to know how to build on that success. Should we expand to more teams? How do we apply the lessons learned from the existing Agile teams? What changes do we need to make, beyond the teams?

  • Even Agile veterans often want a second opinion about their future efforts. Are we as good at Agile as we think we are? Where should we focus our attention now, on delivery (for example, by implementing DevOps), or on collaboration with the customer? 

An Objective Evaluation ...

Given the depth and breadth of Cutter’s expertise with Agile, we are exceptionally skilled at performing both qualitative and quantitative assessments. A typical assessment includes the following components:

  • Interviews with team members, people in the rest of the software value stream, the people who manage that value stream, and customers.
  • Short surveys or other tools for generating quantitative data, to supplement the qualitative information collected.
  • Review of any documents that the customer may provide.

From this information, we assess the “Agile-friendliness” of the client’s organization. Where are the opportunities for expanding Agile, or complementary techniques? What are the threats? We deliver this assessment in a presentation to the client, which includes materials for the client’s future reference. This presentation includes the following:

  • An analysis of the organization’s ability to support and sustain Agile, based on the qualitative and quantitative information provided. These traits range broadly across multiple dimensions, such as software engineering practices, project management skills and capabilities, ability to prioritize and use feedback, and other measures.

  • A more focused analysis of any existing Agile efforts.

  • Recommendations for next steps.

While this approach provides a starting point for any Agile assessment, we also tailor the assessment to fit the client’s organization and objectives:

  • Who is the client? The type of organization can have an effect on the assessment. For example, we have experience working with governmental and non-governmental agencies, defense contractors, and other public-sector organizations. We are aware that some of the questions we ask, and some of the answers we provide, for these clients will vary slightly from the assessment for other clients.

  • What does the client want to do next? The client’s goals also shape the assessment. For example, one client had a burning question about how the team working on the back end, mainframe system should work better with several newly-Agile teams building the web-based, customer-facing applications.

Future work with Cutter may also have an effect on the assessment. For example, we offer specialized, long-term help, beyond the assessment, for business intelligence (BI) teams that are trying to adopt Agile. Since that work is likely to start with a look into the status quo of the BI teams, the initial assessment may reflect those specific, BI-related concerns.

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About Cutter's Agile Team

Cutter’s experts in Agile, software and hardware engineering excellence, and product management are helping development teams in organizations worldwide realize improvements in all of these dimensions. From custom assessments and consulting to training and executive education, harness the expertise of Cutter’s thought leaders to boost your team’s performance.

 

Don MacIntyre

Don MacIntyre

 

Pete Kaminski

What's Next?

For more details on how to bring Cutter's experts to your organization to review your existing Agile efforts and find opportunities for expansion, contact your Cutter Account Executive by email, call +1 781 648 8700, or complete the form below.

 

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