Agile Maturity. The Nokia Test

The test was developed by Bas Vodde, a Scrum coach at Nokia Networks in Finland, to check the Agile Maturity of the Teams working at Nokia. Jeff Shuterland added later the scoring system.

There are several versions of the test. The one I am proposing you consists of nine questions and a ranking system for each question. Questions 1-3 cover the fundamental aspects and low scores in these areas should be acted upon as soon as possible.

Beware, the test is aimed at overall agility, it thus includes both items from the Scrum Framework (i.e. Roles) as well as Practices coming from other frameworks (i.e unit testing, etc).

The questionnaire and the ranking system

Here’s the questionnaire, to be answered based on the scoring system by the scrum master(s) :

Q1-Iterations
No iterations0
Iterations>6 weeks1
Variable lenght<6 weeks2
Fixed iterations lenght 6 weeks3
Fixed iterations lenghts 5 weeks4
Fixed iteration 4 week or less10
Q2-Testing within a sprint
No dedicated QA0
Unit tested1
Feature tested5
Features tested as soon as completed7
Software passes acceptance testing8
Software is deployed10
Q3-Enabling Specifications
No requirements – 00
Big requirements documents 1
Poor User stories4
Good Requirements5
Good User stories7
Just enough, just in time specifications8
Good User stories tied to specifications as needed 10
Q4-Product Owner
No Product Owner0
Product Owner who does not understand Scrum1
Product Owner who disrupts team2
Product Owner not involved with team2
Product Owner has a clear product backlog estimated by team before Sprint Planning meeting (READY)5
Product owner with release roadmap with dates based on team velocity8
Product owner who motivates team10
Q5-Product Backlog
No Product Backlog0
Multiple Product Backlogs1
Single Product Backlog3
Product Backlog has good uses sories that satisfy the INVEST criteria5
Two sprints of the product backlog are in a ready state7
Product roadmap is available and upated reguarly based on team estimiates of Product Backlog10
Q6-Estimates
Product backlog not estimated0
Estimates not produced by the team1
Estimates not produced by planning poker5
Estimates produced by planning poker by team8
Estimate error < 10%10
Q7-Burndown Chart
No burndown chart0
Burndown chart not updated by team1
Burndown chart in hours/days not accounting for work in progress (partial tasks burn down)2
Burndown chart only burns down when task in done (Track Done pattern)4
Burndown only burns down when story is done5
Add 3 points if team knows velocity
Add two point if Product Owner release plan
Q8-Team Disruption
Manager or Project Leader disrupts team0
Product Owner disrupts team1
Managers, Project Leaders or Team leaders telling people what to do3
Have Project Leader and Scrum roles5
No one disrupting team, only Scrum roles10
Question 9 – Team
Tasks assigned to individuals during Sprint Planning0
Team members do not have any overlap in their area of expertise0
No emergent leadership – one or more team members designated as a directive authority1
Team does not have the necessary competency2
Team commits collectively to Sprint goal and backlog7
Team members collectively fight impediments during the sprint9
Team is in hyperproductive state10

Visualizing the results

Results can be visualized in a radar chart and published via the commonly used Information Radiators to be further discussed at the retrospective meeting,

Viewing the above chart I would be immediately worried about poor testing practices. That could severely impact the final product quality and customers’ satisfaction. The team probably needs some training on agile testing. in order to select and implement better testing processes. Once covered that, we could work on the other areas showing low ranks, in a continuous improvement flow.