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2017 Waste Loss Challenge: Reduce Your Sabotagile Quotient!

January 3, 2017


So it's a new year. New Year, new start, yadda yadda yadda... Maybe you are considering some New Year Resolutions so I wanted to invite you to take our 2017 waste-loss challenge by decreasing your Sabotagile Quotient. This challenge builds upon my previous blog - "Agile or Sabotagile: Help Your Management Understand the Difference". So if you haven't read it yet, please do so and come back.

Before we go further, let's start with some definitions to help clarify the difference between Agile, Sabotagile and to introduce the Sabotagile Quotient...




An organization that applies the Agile Manifesto & Principles to enable self-organizing, cross-functional teams that frequently release high quality, incremental business value as a means to getting market feedback which guides future decisions.



An organization that applies the Sabotagile Manifesto & Principles to command and control teams into releasing feature-packed releases on unrealistic deadlines, usually sacrificing quality and sustainability and delaying feedback from the market.



A number based on empirical evidence, that has an inverse co-relation to an organization’s agility. Calculated as follows...

SQ      = 

{ ∑(Evidence of Sabotagile Manifesto) + ∑(Evidence of Sabotagile Principles) } x 100


1 + {∑(Evidence of Agile Manifesto) + ∑(Evidence of Agile Principles)}

Ranges from 0 (high likelihood of agility)  to 1800 (low likelihood of agility).

Now let's explore how to calculate the Sabotagile Quotient...



So here's how you can calculate the Sabotagile Quotient for your company...

1. Sabotagile Quotient is calculated on a cadence, at least monthly

2. Members of Agile Teams reflect together. Management reflects with peers – ex. Groups of Managers, Directors, VP’s, SVP’s, CXO’s

3. Each participant has access to the Agile & Sabotagile Manifesto / Principles. Use my slideshare presentation as a reference

4. Each participant maintains 2 totals - Agile Total & Sabotagile Total

5. Reflect on the retrospective period & compare significant events and decisions to 18 pairs of statements in the Agile / Sabotagile Manifesto and Principle.

6. There are only 2 possible scores for each pair of statements: 0 or 1. For each pair of statements, assign a score as follows…

•If there were significant Sabotagile events or decisions relevant to this category, increment the Sabotagile Total by 1 and move on to the next item.

•If there were significant Agile events or decisions relevant to this category, increment the Agile total by 1 and move on to the next item

•If there were no significant Sabotagile or Agile events or decisions relevant to this category leave the totals unchanged and move on to the next item.

7. Calculate the Sabotagile Quotient:


(Sabotagile Total) x 100


1 + (Agile Total)


It should be a value between 0 and 1800

9.Average the score for the entire team



This is an imperfect process and tool by intent. Reminds me of something I once read...

“A tool can be a valuable servant but a terrible master.”

- Forgot who said or wrote it and google is not helping much.

There's plenty of ambiguity...

  • What may be a significant event or decision for one team member may be insignificant for another. Awesome!

  • What may be an Agile for one team member maybe SabotAgile for another. Great!


Let’s use this as an opportunity to value interactions between these individuals over the process and tools



Some food for thought...

What might the Sabotagile Quotient tell us about our company?

How might we apply the Sabotagile Quotient to increase value, decrease waste and manage risk for our company?

What might be some risks and unintended consequences? How might we manage them?



I am ending this blog with some invitations...

  1. Calculate your company's Sabotagile Quotient in your next team retrospective.

  2. Compare and contrast perspectives across team members. Disagree without being disagreeable

  3. What would you like your company's Sabotagile Quotient to be? Set a target for December 2017.

  4. If there was 1 experiment your team conducted in the next 30 days to help your Sabotagile Score trend in the desired direction, what would it be...?

You can also view this blog as a presentation on slideshare here

Let me know what you think and discover.

Until the next blog, keep calm and Scrum On!

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