Determining whether an organization is truly agile can be difficult. Many organizations seem to be agile at first glance but although they are very agile in some ways, in others they are very rigid. Just because an organization has a strong handle on some aspect of agile, it does not mean it does not struggle in other areas. Because of this, it is difficult to determine whether an organization is agile as there is no perfect, simple answer. Agile operates on a continuum. And although some organizations can easily prove to be agile, others are not but are willing to try hard to improve.  

Despite all of the above, you may still be left wondering exactly how agile your organization is. Wouldn’t it be beneficial to have a quick way to assess your organization’s agile framework? Not only should you know for the benefit of your own company but also for that of prospective employees. For example, if a person trained in agile is considering joining your team, he would be sorely disappointed to jump on board fully to later learn out that your business isn’t very agile at all. So you should also know how agile your company is for the sake of job candidates.  

Below is a list of three indicators that can reveal how agile a company (or team) is.  

How Often your Team Fully Integrates Products 

Are your teams structured and cross-functional in a way that enables them to fully integrate quickly? If a company fully integrates relatively often, it signifies something about the company’s agility. The more often a team is able to fully integrate, the greater capacity an organization has to release newly integrated products in a short manner of time for its customers. This is a good sign.  

How your Team Responds to Crises 

One of the best indicators of a company’s belief and performance when it comes to agile is how it responds when a crisis arises. If your team is unable to meet a milestone that was previously agreed upon, does your company throw in the agile towel, saying, “We do not have time to deal with this agile business because we have a deadline to meet?” Or do your team members recognize that agile is even more important when a crisis arises? How your organization responds to such a problem reveals whether agile is a belief held deeply or it is just something that your company’s leadership is open to. 

About Your Greatest Scrum Asset 

Who you point to when asked to reveal your best Scrum Master or product owner reveals a lot about how your company perceives agile.  

Below are some red flags to watch out for when it comes to your company’s Scrum Master: 

  • When looking at your Scrum Master, there are some important things to watch for. Is he spread thin across too many teams?  
  • If your Scrum Master is overly directive, this can also be a problem. Some companies claim to use scrum but leave the role to project manager, which is also a problem.  

Along with red flags for Scrum Masters come some for a company’s best product owner. Product owners should be engaged with teams rather than simply present for a few planning and review meetings.  

More questions can (and probably should) be asked to determine the state of your company’s agile framework but these three are a start. If you feel your agile team may be missing the mark, reach out to us. We can help.