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Agile Team Doctor

How to check the health of your Agile team

25 August 2014

Tamma Rajkumar Manda
Wells Fargo

The Agile team doctor -- don't be intimidated! It's not a new role. It can be executed by any team member in order to assess the health of the team.

I'm not talking about comparing teams but stressing that self-evaluation can be done by teams to perform better. Coaches, ScrumMasters, team members . . . anyone can perform this quick check. The primary motive is to succeed as a team in Agile. These aren't sophisticated techniques -- just common sense.

Nor am I talking about the solutions! Because those should come from you, as you are the person who knows the team and the required dynamics.

So here are some areas that can aid in knowing the health of the team:
  • Check the team pulse, i.e., its "Comfort Factor." This gives an idea of how well the individuals are gelling within the team.
  • Check the "Cheer Factor," which gives the happiness quotient of the team at work.
  • Check the "Complacency Factor," which will give an idea of whether the team is pulling the work proactively or is just happy with the things on their plate.
  • Check the "Collaboration Factor," which gives an idea of how good the team is when dealing with internal/external entities.
  • Check the "Commitment Factor," which gives an idea about the team's commitment and delivering on that commitment.
The 5Cs (Comfort, Cheer, Complacency, Collaboration, Commitment) can act as the decision factors to tell whether the team is "Terrific" or "Terrible"! So do the 5C Check and immediately act on anything that comes up short.

Opinions represent those of the author and not of Scrum Alliance. The sharing of member-contributed content on this site does not imply endorsement of specific Scrum methods or practices beyond those taught by Scrum Alliance Certified Trainers and Coaches.

Article Rating

Current rating: 1.5 (2 ratings)


Tim Baffa, CSM, 8/25/2014 9:23:42 AM
I don't believe that the 5Cs you propose are anything new; in fact, they should be constantly considered by the Scrum Master on how the team is operating.

I would propose that the 5Cs are a few of many areas that should constantly be evaluated in each retrospective by the entire team and improved upon each sprint. I would discourage any individual team member attempts at evaluating how the whole team is working (wasteful). The 5Cs should be an exercise that involves the entire team and each team member's input.
Attila Nyeste, CSP,CSM, 8/26/2014 7:06:20 AM
@Tim: From what I understood, each team member gets asked in a form of questionnaire or something similar (only assumption it's nowhere mentioned) and the results are aggregated.

@Tamma: I have to agree with @Tim. These 5C's don't take you too far when it comes to agile transformation on a team level as succeeding with agile doesn't solely derive from team comfort. There's much more to it. I can recommend the self-assessment questionnaire from the "Art of agile development" book where the book articulates on Releasing, Planning, Thinking, Development, Collaborating.

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