In 2017, a leading healthcare software solutions company found itself introducing new defects on top of existing defects already in the codebase. New features were released much more slowly than desired. As a result, the value delivered to the customer was suffering. The organization knew it needed to focus on maturing the Agile behaviors of its teams in order to get back on track, delivering quality products to the market at a faster pace.
By implementing the TeamHealth® Radar from AgilityHealth®, the world’s leading measurement and continuous improvement platform, the company improved Agile maturity by an impressive 13 percent over the course of six quarters. In addition, performance rose 11 percent. When teams become more Agile, performance and quality goes up. Just what the doctor ordered.
Our customer knew that defects in code, lack of Agile maturity among teams, and releasing features intermittently were keeping the business from optimizing and delivering the best value for their customers. But they were struggling with how to improve in these key areas.
When AgilityHealth was introduced, the client had been practicing Agile using Scrum, Kanban, and SAFe®. However, their performance, predictability and velocity weren’t at the levels they needed for success.
The company had a clear need to deliver additional business value to customers and indicated specific requests as such once engaged with AgilityHealth:
- Document an initial baseline for all scrum teams: create a broad cross-section.
Release features more rapidly.
- Establish predictability of each product team’s committed features and roadmap item delivery.
- Reduce the number of defects introduced and resolve existing defects in the code base.
- Identify, achieve and quantify the growth items needed to recognize improvement in outcomes.
The teams were eager and ready to improve, and began by implementing AgilityHealth. The company used the TeamHealth Radar and the self-learning Growth Portal, which is built into the platform. Team members assessed themselves both quantitatively and qualitatively to measure maturity and performance. AgilityHealth creates insights dashboards to help visualize those results so that teams can leverage actionable insights and create a self-managed growth plan to improve their maturity.
AgilityHealth’s TeamHealth Radar measures the health and maturity of Agile teams.
- Ninety-four teams participated in an initial assessment, designed specifically to create a health and maturity baseline in order to monitor improvement over time.
- During the retrospective, Agile coaches worked with teams to analyze results, gain insights, and create a plan that aligned teams to organizational objectives.
- Since the customer wanted to focus on producing higher output while maintaining superior quality, they focused on the Foundation and Performance dimensions within TeamHealth to administer and track.
A growth plan compiled by the teams and their leaders outlined measurable continuous improvement items for how teams would work to progress and remove organizational impediments. The data was analyzed and the following areas for growth bubbled up as areas for attention:
- Leadership – Assessment questions address how confident the team is in their leadership team members: Management, Product Owner, Technical Lead(s), Team Facilitator.
- Foundation – A healthy team has a strong foundation for agility.
- Technical excellence – Teams should focus on following engineering best practices for Agile teams (pair programming, test driven development, frequent integration, refactoring, automated testing, and emergent design). A team unhealthy in technical excellence is slow to respond to change, thus slow to producing value for the end user.
- Sustainable pace – Here, teams want to keep the volume of work at a level that allows them to be creative, adhere to quality standards, and build solutions that serve their customers. When sustainable pace is not achieved, teams make more mistakes and sacrifice quality.
Between Q4 of 2017 and Q1 of 2019, teams took 200 TeamHealth assessments. In those six quarters, the client realized considerable gains in all competencies measured in the TeamHealth Radar: Leadership, Culture, Foundation, Clarity, and Performance. Go here for more on the background and importance of these chosen dimensions for TeamHealth.
As part of the continuous improvement efforts, 570 Team Growth Items and 190 Organizational Growth Items were created to help achieve the bump in metrics.
As the data shows, teams are performing at a much higher rate. They have more clarity around their jobs and confidence in leadership – things that lead to maturity and ongoing momentum on the transformation journey.
Teams are now poised to continue gaining momentum and realizing results on their transformation journey!
By the numbers:
- From Q4 2017 to Q1 2019, overall organizational maturity increased 13 percent. This drove an 11% increase in performance.
- On a 100 point scale, this moved them from the middle third to the top third among benchmark data in AgilityHealth.
- Overall organization maturity was composed of the following:
- Clarity – 14% increase
- Culture – 11% increase
- Foundation – 12% increase
- Leadership – 15% increase
- Performance – 11% increase
- During 2019, Overall Agility (Performance x Maturity) improved by close to 10%!