Playing a Game to Self-assess Your Agility
When organizations want to increase their agility they often start an agile transformation by implementing frameworks like Scrum, Kanban, or SAFe. Many organizations have found out that becoming agile is a journey into the unknown, and traveling their agile journey isn’t easy.
Agile self-assessment help organizations and teams to assess how agile they are and decide what to do next to increase their agility. Teams can play the Agile Self-assessment Game to reflect on their own team interworking and agree upon the next steps for their agile journey.
Your Agile Journey
Agile methods and frameworks like Scrum don’t tell you how to increase your agility. The values and principles from the manifesto for agile software development state that there isn’t a standard route to become agile, you have to find your own way. Becoming agile is a journey of continuous improvement. To travel it well, you need to think about where you want to go and how to travel it.
In 2016 I created a game for teams to do Agile Self-assessments. The first version of the game was based on the 42 point test by Kelly Waters, and inspired by the Unofficial Scrum Checklist from Henrik Kniberg and the Team barometer by Jimmy Janlén.
I started using the game in my workshops to teach agile practices and when I coach teams to help them reflect and improve in their own pace. Every time I used it I adapted the game by improving the statements on the cards, dropping cards and adding new cards.
I played the game at several conferences and meetups to find out that people really like it. Playing the game felt natural to them and the in-depth discussions about agile that the cards triggered helped teams to take action.
As a was getting more and more requests from people who wanted to play the game with their teams I decided to go public and offer the possibility to download the game. The Agile Self-Assessment Game consists of 52 cards with statements on applying agile practices. It is supported with an expansion pack for Scrum with 13 cards with statements on specific Scrum roles and practices and a DevOps expansion pack with 26 cards on DevOps values, principles, and practices.
Playing the Game
If you want to find out how agile you are an what you can do to increase your agility, the Agile Self-assessment Game is there to help you. You can uses the game for chartering teams or in your retrospectives to reflect on team interworking and agree upon the next steps in agile.
Some examples are:
- When you’re a new team then you can play the game to discover what you need to arrange to get started.
- Existing teams can do a sailboat retrospective to find out where to improve.
- In an agile transformation the game can be used to decide where and how to invest in agile.
These are just some of the playing suggestions for the Agile Self-assessment Game. As more and more teams are playing the game, new suggestions pop up regularly.
As the name self-assessment suggest, it’s the kind of assessment that teams can do themselves which makes them different from external assessments or audits: Neither the assessment nor the results are imposed on the team, teams are free to decide what to do and how to do it. Playing the Agile Self-assessment game brings value to teams, and it’s fun!