Practical Agile Transformation framework - Grasp the current condition

Last updated on: Published by: Asad Safari 0

This is the second part of the Practical Agile Transformation framework. In the first part, we created a shared change vision. The change vision, answers this question “How we want things to be?”. “Not I” “We”. A shared definition of direction and a better future.

In this story and based on the Factful Agility Framework, We want to understand the current condition. “Where are we now?”

Grasp the current condition

I got this great idea from Toyota Kata. If you took a good time to create a shared change vision, the “Grasping the current condition” will be so easy for you.

Today “Data-driven”, is a new buzzword. We would like to measure anything around us. There are lots of data out there, but just some of them will help us during the change process.

We need metrics for:

1- Understand the current condition (“Where are we now?”)

2- Understand the progress during the change process. (“Let’s celebrate, but is there any progress against our change vision?”)

So, What kind of metrics are good for us?

Metric’s quadrant will help you to choose the right metrics:

Lagging and Leading indicators

Based on the KPI Library definition

“ Lagging indicators are typically “output” oriented, easy to measure but hard to improve or influence while leading indicators are typically input-oriented, hard to measure and easy to influence.
For example, A personal goal is weight loss(Direction or Change vision). A clear lagging indicator that is easy to measure. You step on a scale and you have your answer. But how do you actually reach your goal? For weight loss, there are 2 “leading” indicators: 1. Calories are taken in and 2. Calories burned. These 2 indicators are easy to influence but very hard to measure. ”

Qualitative and Quanitivae Indicators

Quantitative data can be counted, measured, and expressed using numbers. Qualitative data are descriptive and conceptual. Qualitative data can be categorized based on traits and characteristics. (Ref)

Put all of the things to practice:

In the first part, we have created a shared vision, like the following image(Please read the first story): 

Take a look at the vision again, we can find our indicators there. Let’s map it to the metric’s quadrant.

Now, I think you have an idea of what you should do? Based on my experience some of the metrics like Bug rate or Technical debt rate are leading and lagging at the same time. 

Leading metrics will lead us to lag indicators. 

Don’t forget, We should know why we need indicators? 

1- Understand the current condition (“Where are we now?”)

2- Understand the progress during the change process. (“Let’s celebrate, but is there any progress against our change vision?”)

How to measure or asses these metrics?

There are 2 ways to measure or assess the current state:

1- Build your assessment tool

2- Use one or a mix of assessment tools

To make it easy for you, I have mapped different tools based on our sample vision:

These are just examples, there are lots of assessment tools, that you can use them. You are free to make your own assessment tool too. 

But about Agile Fluency Diagnostic, I really recommend this tool, it will help you to understand the current state and better plan the road map. 

Measure and Assess 

Each tool has own assessment technique. For example, in the Agile fluency diagnostic, we hold an assessment workshop with teams. 

Or in Comparative Agility, We send assessment link to team members, and they need to fill it by their own pace, after that we will analyze it and the tool will help us to generate a report. 

Some examples:

Visualize it

Based on my observations, visualizing is the most important part of this process. With this visualizing, you are trying to stick to the change. It’s like create a scoreboard for a team. 

“Great teams know at every moment whether or not they are winning. They must know, otherwise, they don’t know what they have to do to win the game.”


4 disciplines of execution have a great discipline: KEEP A COMPELLING SCOREBOARD

“People play differently when they are keeping score. If you doubt this, watch a group of teenagers playing basketball. See how the game changes the minute score-keeping begins, it’s not a subtle change. 

The lag and lead measures won’t have much meaning to the team unless they can see the progress in real-time. Bowling through a curtain is not that much fun. This is the discipline of engagement. People perform best when they are emotionally engaged and the highest level of engagement comes when people who score: whether they are winning or losing the game. It’s that simple.”

In this part, we will visualize the selected and assessed metrics. You can use a big TV. let people see the progress. Sometimes you can celebrate progress in daily standups or …

Let’s start the game, we will win the game 🙂 

In the next story, I will share the exploit part with you.

Please leave a comment for this story as feedback, Is this useful for you or not? Why we should continue if it’s not valuable.

If you have any question or need any help, Don’t hesitate to call me



About the Author:

Asad Safari is an Enterprise Lean/Agile Coach. He has worked as an Agile coach for more than 10 years with several enterprises and startups. He has more than 14 years of experience in the IT industry as a Software Developer, Tester, and finally an agile practitioner. You can follow Asad on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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