February 1, 2021

Agile Metrics for Scrum Masters (Part 3): Scrum Team's Effectiveness

This is the third and last video on agile metrics for Scrum Masters. In my previous blog post, I talked about measuring the quality of Scrum implementation on your team and organization. If you haven’t seen the previous two parts in this series, I recommend you do it first and then come back here to continue on this topic.

In this post, we’ll talk about the effectiveness of a Scrum Team.

 

The Scrum Team is high-performing and is continuously improving

The latest version of the Scrum Guide is very specific about this one: "The Scrum Master is accountable for the Scrum Team’s effectiveness. They do this by enabling the Scrum Team to improve its practices, within the Scrum framework."

There are three key points here to evaluate and measure. Same as in my previous post, here I'm mostly focusing on qualitative metrics.

  • How is your team morale and team health?

The simplest self-assessment metric to collect here is team happiness index. Are the team members happy? Do they like working with each other? Do they feel accomplished? Whether you collect a high-level happiness from the team every couple of week or every day, or you conduct a self-assessment survey on a variety of pre-defined topic, it can be a great way to show how well Scrum is working.

Scrum is there to create sustainable great teams that enjoy what they do after all.

You can also use various models to help you with this evaluation. For example, Tuckman stages of group development. Where do you identify your team based on their interactions? Are they in forming, storming, norming, or performing stage?

Another good model to use is the five dysfunctions of a team. Does your team show any of the dysfunctions described? There are many other ways to help you define where your team stands in terms of their morale and overall health.

  • What is the level of cross-functionality and teamwork in your team?

A term we often hear that defines a successful team is ‘high-performing team’. There are many different factors that can help you with that. One of them is, of course, great results. We’ve discussed this in video one where we talked about high-quality Done increments.

You can also evaluate the teamwork factor and the skill spread on your team. Teamwork factor shows the often do team members work together to achieve the goal, whether through pair programming, sharing, and exchanging tasks or other.

The skill spread shows how cross-functional your team is by evaluating number of people possessing certain types of skill. If there is only one person who knows a particular part of your product, this might be a problem in the long run.

  • Is your team improving?

This one should be straightforward. What experiments and improvements have your team implemented? What was their success rate? How often does your team inspect and adapt? How often does your team proactively takes action to get better whether it’s related to their internal processes, communication, relationships, tools or product quality?

Look back at your past retrospectives and their results – it will be a great start.

Agile metrics for Scrum Masters is a complex topic. There is no unique solution that would work for every team. But I hope that I have given you enough to start with.

Remember that the point of this metrics is not to just collect and showcase them. These metrics are a start for a conversation about getting better at what we do. It gives us ideas about what we need to change to create better value for our customers, create better working environment and get the most out of Agile and Scrum.

I hope you learned something new. Share your insights in the comments below.