In his ebook IBM Agility at Scale: Become as Agile as You Can Be, Ambler provides some realistic and very valid measures of whether or not a team is really agile:
- Value: Agile teams provide value to their stakeholders on a regular basis.
- Validation: Agile teams do, at a minimum, continuous developer regression testing, and many disciplined agile teams take a TDD approach.
- Active stakeholder participation: Agile teams work closely with their stakeholders, ideally on a daily basis.
- Self organization: Agile teams are self organizing, and disciplined agile teams work within an appropriate governance framework.
- Improvement: Agile teams regularly reflect on—and disciplined teams also measure—how they work together and then act to improve their findings in a timely manner.
Organizational performance can be significantly improved by employing agile and lean practices. Rapid application development using iterative practices and automated build, packaging, testing, and deployment result in better systems. TDD and lean practices also lead to better software. Implementing an appropriate agile process at scale helps to improve team performance resulting in better quality software, enhanced team performance, and satisfied customers.