Sunday, September 20, 2020

How AgilityHealth Help Us to Identify Competencies for Improvement?

One of the core mindset in agile is to have continuous improvement, this is to make sure that the team is adaptive enough to change and get better, either in process or ways of working. There's little "but" situation here, identifying areas for improvement can be quite challenging or need time. One of the ways to do this is by spending time brainstorming with the team and hearing their feedback. It can be a bit tricky, sometimes not everyone wants to voice out their opinion loud enough, so it will be overruled by other team members with more vocality. It's not completely wrong or right, at the end the action item that is decided is still for team improvement.

What if there's a better way to identify the continuous improvement based on some analytic data? Lucky for me, AgilityHealth approached us and introduced their methods to have assessment surveys and plot the results on radar for analytic purposes. In summary, this tool helps us identify business agility, health and maturity in agile adoption, and measurement in some competencies. There are five dimensions in Performance, Leadership, Culture, Foundation, and Clarity. And in each dimension, there are some competencies that show measurement of maturity with a scale of 0 to 100.

It's quite comprehensive, because the assessment result in radar shows which competency that team has strength or weakness. It's totally based on feedback from all team members that are captured with a series of questions, that later on are mapped to each competency. That's why it's quite good and will be really helpful, especially when driving the discussion to identify areas of improvement by focusing on the assessment result.

And to make it more interesting and useful, there are fox boxes analysis that show top 5 competencies in strength, weakness, highest consensus, and lowest consensus. Here's one of the samples from one of my team, after further analysis we can see the relationship between the competencies in those boxes. 

One of this team's top competency is "Management - Leadership" and it's supported by 60% of the team who agree with this. Meanwhile in the lowest competency there's "Sustainable Pace" that refers to poor work-life balance. After the discussion with the team, we found out that it's also related with other lowest competencies which are around "Planning & Estimating", "Roles" and "Self Organization". Based on these results, it's so much easier for the team to identify and focus on which competency they want to get better at.

There's a series of activities that need to be done in order to complete the whole process, here's how I did it as a team facilitator.

1. Prepare myself as an Agility Health Facilitator (AHF).
AgilityHealth gave us learning code that I can redeem to perform self-study to be the AHF. They have some materials in articles and videos about the tool administration and on how to do facilitation. It's quite useful to prepare before doing the facilitation. At the end of the course, I'm awarded and certified as AgilityHealth Facilitator.

2. Setup program team and sub-teams.
I got some big help from the AH team to help me on first time team setup. I need to structure the team configuration based on current teams in my program. I just need to fill in the excel template based on my current team structure, once it's ready then just need to upload it to generate the team and program structure. 

We have eight teams currently under the program, so this is how it looks like in the structure.  With this structure, it will help as in I can roll-up the assessment result from team level up to program level.

3. Identify roles and register team members.
There are four main roles that need to be defined, they are stakeholder, product owner, scrum master, and team. While most of the survey questions are the same across above roles, there are some questions that are only available for specific roles, e.g. product owner confident with team questions will only be answered by product owners.

Same goes with how to structure the team, they have an excel template to perform bulk upload by specifying team member's first name, last name, email address, and their role.

4. Setup assessment.
In the assessment admin page, facilitators will need to configure assessment for specific teams, identify team members and roles that need to submit the survey, setup the assessment start & end date, and release the assessment for respective team to their email address. 

5. Plan for execution.
Even though the guideline given is to have survey submission and retrospective at the same time, I did some modification to accommodate team members from different time-zones and based on their availability.

Our team is quite big and we didn't get luxurious time to have all activities with everyone in one single time. So I split some activities into three parts:
  • Submit assessment with some available slots. It's an individual and guided assessment. Anyone can join in any available slot and I guide them if there's some questions when they're submitting the survey.
  • Retrospective with some available group slots. Unlike previous activity, the available slots are based on groups. All team members in respective sub-teams need to choose any available slot then we do retrospective together as a team to identify team growth items based on the assessment result.
  • Inspect & adapt to identify organization growth items with all teams in the program. While each team has identified team growth items in the last retrospective, during inspect & adapt everyone identifies some growth items that might need help from leaderships by creating organization growth items.

In the next program increment (PI), I'm planning to do differently by embedding all those activities as activity in a single inspect & adapt session. While I will be able to measure and compare the previous assessment result and also check the completion progress of both team and organization growth items. Looking forward to seeing the growth trend result from my team in the future.

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