Hello, Agile

We Asked the Project Management Community: What Steps Do You Take to Track and Measure the Buy-In of First-Time Agile Team Members?


We asked the project management community: What steps do you take to track and measure the buy-in of first-time agile team members?


“It’s important for first-time agile team members to have a clear understanding of the delivery approach so they’re not just relying on arbitrary reading material from the internet, which can leave a misguided impression. We have developed an agile-readiness assessment that helps us to understand if first-time agile team members—and the team as a whole—are prepared with the right understanding of agile. We also have built a team onboarding checklist where new team members are expected to read a scrum guide and study other knowledge.

We always recommend that new team members practice some basic concepts of agile/scrum/Kanban so they have a better appreciation of the distinctions. For example, we recently conducted a “Personal Kanban Day,” in which all team members created a Kanban board at their desk listing all personal and work-related items. Such steps help first-time agile team members understand the intention of agile concepts. To that end, having agile innovation games is another powerful way for new team members to learn agile concepts.”

—Rahul Sudame, PMI-ACP, PMP, delivery partner, Persistent Systems, Pune, India


Your sponsor requests to be involved in all meetings and team communications. How do you keep that sponsor engaged in a way that doesn’t hinder project progress?

Email responses to [email protected] for possible publication in a future issue.


“I focus on the onboarding process to accelerate agile transition. Our teams use an app that uses industry standard workflows to track all the important phases of tasks. The program is tailored in a way that it provides an option to the user to select from a variety of workflows to address their business needs and requirements. Agile team members can use these phases in their tasks to track them. And a summary of these tasks will be shown on a graphics-oriented page for quick review.”

—Atif Shahab Qureshi, senior community manager, TaskQue, Karachi, Pakistan


“There are usually two major indicators teams can track. The first—and the easiest—to gauge for first-time agile team members is their knowledge of agile framework basics. Team leadership can measure this by running internal surveys or interactive retrospectives on agile ceremonies, development practices, processes and tools. These can reveal, for example, that your new team members struggle to tell the difference between sprint review and code review and that you can help them through training.

The second indicator is agile mindset. This is harder to gauge because it’s less tangible. Agile mindset can be observed through team members’ routine interactions within the team and the larger organization. If new team members demonstrate commitment to building in quality, timely delivery, relentless customer satisfaction and work transparency, and they’re not afraid to fail trying innovative approaches, they are probably on track in their transition to agile.”

—Akmal Nasimov, PMI-ACP, PMP, director of agile delivery, Zoomdata, Reston, Virginia, USA


“On software development teams, buy-in and maturity of first-time members have to be assessed on multiple aspects. On the customer front, they need to demonstrate “flow” of incremental value—valuable working software—along-side an adaptive mindset for embracing change. On the technical front, team members need to be continually learning by improving their practices, lowering technical debts and moving toward technical engineering excellence. They also need to collaborate, organize and respect each other’s views. Overall, they need to visibly display the inclination to move past hurdles—which also demonstrates organizational buy-in to the agile transition. Ultimately, it’s about displaying ownership in removing impediments, rather than hiding behind them.”

—Venkatraman Lakshminarayanan, PMI-ACP, PMI-RMP, PMP, associate director, projects, digital business, Cognizant, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Up to Speed

Many organizations have room to grow when it comes to using agile approaches.


The proportion of organizations’ teams using agile:



The level at which organizations are applying agile:


Source: 12th Annual State of Agile Report, CollabNet VersionOne, 2018



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