Tag Archives: maturity

Team Maturity – Tuckman and Beyond

As organizations go through an Agile transformation or try to scale Agile, inadvertently the focus will turn to “team maturity” at some point. The thinking is that teams go through various stages of maturity during the course of their existence: initially, as it is coming together, a team is less mature and then slowly moves to a higher state of maturity as it begins to “gel” which is typically associated with a higher level of performance.

Key factors that influence a team’s maturity are:

  • Time the team has existed in its current configuration
  • Scrum Master guidance
  • Coaching
  • Training
  • Size
  • Skills
  • Level of experience
  • Ability co-locate the team in the same physical location
  • Organizational stability
  • Individual personalities
  • Etc.

Maturity is usually not static and can change over time. For example: Teams going through significant changes, e. g. team members leave and/or new ones get added, will likely result in teams temporarily going backwards in their maturity.

One common maturity model is Tuckman’s Model of Group Development, which was first introduced in 1965 and has since seen some minor refinements. It proposes the phases of Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing and states that the “phases are all necessary and inevitable in order for the team to grow, face up to challenges, tackle problems, find solutions, plan work, and deliver results”. (See also this informative post from our friends at Trello.)

If you are an AgilityHealth Facilitator (AHF), you may remember that you will want to capture an Agile team’s maturity when you edit an assessment, in the same location where you would store assessment notes:

While the model has been used widely, not all Agilists are bought into Tuckman’s model. We also know that various consultancies and coaches have their own way of thinking of team maturity. What if you want to make it Crawl, Walk, Run, and Fly? What if you just use Low, Medium, or High instead? Or maybe you don’t even like the notion of maturity in the first place and prefer to think in terms of suitability, fluency or proficiency?

Well, with our recent release of AgilityHealth, we’ve created the capabilities to customize all this and more!

Terminology

You can now choose a different term instead of “Maturity” which will be used consistently throughout the application:

Stages

The Tuckman model is still used as a default, but you can now change, add or delete stages to really make the model your own:

Radar Type-Specific Models

AgilityHealth is about more than Agile Team Health as you may utilize other surveys like our DevOps or SAFe Release Train Health radars. For different radars, you may also want to use different models, e.g. you may stick with Tuckman for Team Health while using Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 for DevOps maturity. For this purpose, the settings are now relative to the radar type, so that you can fully customize the model for each type of radar.

Now with all this useful data captured, you’ll want an easy way to visualize the results. For that purpose, AgilityHealth has several useful widgets available:

Bar Chart Widget

This widget on the Enterprise Dashboard replaces the previous pie chart widget. It shows the distribution of the teams across the various stages. As teams get healthier, you may see the distribution move from the left more towards the center or even the right.

 

When the user clicks on a bar, the team names will be shown (provided the user has the appropriate permissions). This widget also enables comparison between different time periods, so it’s easy to see the progression of the teams between periods.

Scatter Chart Widget

This widget resides on the Enterprise Dashboard as well and shows the distribution of teams across the stages relative to their health (Y axis). This may be useful, for example, in identifying teams that rated themselves high, but the AHF ended up noting a lower maturity stage. This may be a good reason to dig deeper.

Hovering over a dot shows the respective team name.

As you’ve seen, AgilityHealth now offers a lot of flexibility to accommodate different terminology choices, maturity models by radar type and it also visualizes the results on the Enterprise Dashboard for further analysis. Hopefully this functionality will be useful in the process of helping your teams get healthier and your organization more successful!