Assessments are not primarily about where you are. They are about where you want to go. By seeing where you are and what challenges you are having a roadmap for improvement can be made more effectively.
Assessments can be done in several ways. The most popular Agile method is to see how well the company is doing from the perspective of the framework they are following. For example, a common assessment for Scrum is the Nokia test which specifies how well teams are doing Scrum. SAFe has its own assessments. But observe how these are assessments in how well a framework is being adopted–not how well the company is delivering value. We have found that focusing on the work, not the framework is a better approach.
Because FLEX is based on a model of flow, it can be used to see where an organization is having troubles with achieving flow – that is performing its work with few hand offs, turmoil, delays and rework. Reducing these helps achieve business agility. It is more effective to attend to how work is being delayed or how extra work is being created than how well a frameworks’ practice is being followed. An assessment therefore should focus on the value stream and what is impeding the work it.
We’ll walk through a process to do this. The steps to do this are not listed in order of importance, nor do they have to be done in this exact sequence. They are mostly listed according to the value stream. This is because upstream decisions may have a large downstream affect. Here are the major steps:
The following steps are best done while doing most of the above steps. They are more holistic than several of the above.
If you are using Scrum and/or SAFe you can still use this assessment. It just might suggest you do things outside of the framework to be effective.