Tracking Large Scale Customer Releases

A few days back, my colleague, Chad Holdorf, published a video blog post illustrating one way to track enterprise-scale releases (using Rally tooling in this case). The post is here.

They’ll be more on Chad’s work in an upcoming post about John Deere’s implementation of agile at enterprise scale. That should make an interesting case study, which Deere has graciously allowed us to publish as a work in process.

Resource: Agile Process Self-Assessment Survey

In Chapter 22 of SSA, Measuring Business Performance, I described a set of metrics that a team can use to assess their current state of agility, and with ongoing reassessment, they can monitor their progress over time. It’s a detailed, 60+ point criteria survey that is intended to measure all material aspects of team level agility. It can serve as both a survey as well as a checklist of things you can be working to improve. To give you a sense of the survey, a snippet measuring the product owner process is shown below:

Backlog prioritized and ranked by business value  
Backlog estimated at gross level  
Product owner defines acceptance criteria for stories  
Product owner and stakeholders participate at iteration and release planning  
Product owner and stakeholders participate at iteration and release review  
Product owner collaboration with team is continuous  
Stories sufficiently elaborated prior to planning meetings  
Total Product Ownership Score    

If you’d like to see the full survey, I posted it on the Resource page or you can download it here:

Agile Process Self-Assessment Survey in PDF

I suggested that these metrics be applied as a self assessment, to avoid the “process police” overtones that could arise if others became too closely involved in a team’s self-managed ongoing process improvement. Since publication and since I’ve been blogging on enterprise level transformations, I’ve also seen the survey used in advance of a rollout, to assess the readiness of a team or enterprise for an agile transformation.

In either case, the survey appears to be pretty useful and I’ve had many requests to get it in Excel form so you don’t have to go through the brain damage of building one from scratch. I intended to post the Excel file here, but since WordPress doesn’t currently support Excel file types, if you just shoot me an email, I’ll be happy to send you a copy.

Sorry for the overhead.