24.7 The Agilometer slider definitions
(Only Level 5 is discussed – this indicates the highest and most preferred condition.)
24.7.1 Flexibility on what is delivered
Definition of Level 5: Stakeholders are very comfortable with the fact that change is inevitable and needs to happen in order to converge on an accurate product. They are also very comfortable with the role they need to play in prioritizing the work, and they understand that the scope of the work and the quality criteria are being flexed in order to protect the level of quality and the deadline for what is being delivered.
- Stakeholders are ‘change friendly’.
- It is accepted that the detail will change; however, significant changes need to be controlled.
- Everything is prioritized, using techniques such as MoSCoW.
- It is understood by all that flexing what is being delivered will protect deadlines and quality, and specifically that this will prevent quality-checking and testing from being squeezed.
- De-scoping and prioritization will be a team exercise but is customer driven.
- Embracing change at the detail level produces more accurate products.
24.7.2 Level of collaboration
Definition of Level 5: There is a very high level of collaboration amongst all parties involved. This is typified by a one-team culture and excellent working relationships both internally and externally. High levels of trust exist and a desire to be helpful is prevalent.
- There is a ‘one-team’ culture in the project team.
- There is a partnership approach between the customer and the supplier.
- There is an absence of ‘silos’ and ‘turf’.
- There is an absence of ‘baggage’ associated with events from the past.
- Trust and listening epitomize the behaviour of the people involved.
- People work quickly, are helpful and look out for each other.
- There is an absence of a blame and ‘cc: email’ culture.
- There is an acceptance that mistakes will happen due to some communications being informal.
24.7.3 Ease of communication
Definition of Level 5: Communication is very easy amongst all parties involved. The environment is ‘communication rich’ with a lot of face-to-face interaction, and visual information is readily available in such forms as prototypes and models. Retrieval of information is also easy in order to reference knowledge, information or data that is either historical or current.
- There are high levels of visibility and transparency (e.g. plans on walls).
- A lot of information is managed in a ‘low-tech’ and/or tactile way.
- There are high levels of co-location.
- Where there is a less than ideal situation (e.g. the team is physically dispersed), measures have been taken to reduce the impact (e.g. video-conferencing).
- There is a lot of informal communication, face-to-face and over the phone.
- There is a limited amount of formal reporting.
24.7.4 Ability to work iteratively and deliver incrementally
Definition of Level 5: It is very easy to deliver benefit to the customer by regular partial deliveries of the final product. It is also very easy to work iteratively in the sense that products and understanding can be refined interactively by the frequent delivery of formal and informal deliverables. There is a desire to learn, experiment and explore (and fail!) as well as an overarching feeling of ‘think big; start small’.
- The team is happy to experiment and be creative.
- It is understood that things are rarely right first time.
- The project can be broken down into chunks that can deliver benefits early.
- Learning and validation are seen as an ongoing process.
- ‘Little and often’ is seen as a safe way of delivering and a good way of staying in control.
- Incrementalism is seen as good for ‘real’ feedback and gives confidence to the customer as they see things being delivered.
24.7.5 Advantageous environmental conditions
Definition of Level 5: The overall working environment is very supportive of working in an agile way. Personnel are assigned full-time to their work; they are appropriately skilled; they have very efficient platforms to work from (e.g. tooling, communications). Contractual frameworks and compliance considerations are not seen as restrictive.
- People are dedicated to the project and the team is stable.
- Team personnel are experienced in their trades.
- Any third parties are comfortable with working in an agile way.
- Commercial and contractual details do not inhibit the agile way of working and delivering.
- The environment and tooling are conducive to agile.
24.7.6 Acceptance of agile
Definition of Level 5: All stakeholders closely involved are fully aware of the behaviours, concepts and techniques of working in an agile way. They have been trained and have experience. They are not only happy to work in this way but they prefer it and understand the advantages that it brings. Peripheral stakeholders are also aware of the need to carry out their roles in an ‘agile friendly’ way.
- Everyone accepts the agile philosophy and understands the difference from a traditional way of working.
- People have been trained to an appropriate level.
- There are no blockers to using agile from peripheral areas such as procurement or quality assurance (i.e. they understand the philosophy too).