Assessing an Organization’s Capability to Effectively Implement Its Selected Agile Method

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support the implementation of the principles to which they are connected.  Hence, for Method X to necessarily implement the principles it enunciates, its touted set of practices must correspond to the set of OPP framework practices as determined above.  An inconsistency between the two sets of practices indicates a potential deficiency in the ability of Method X to implement its stated principles.

Clearly, the procedure outlined above assumes that the objectives, principles, practices, and linkages identified by the OPP framework are, themselves, necessary and sufficient for such comparisons.  As previously described, our effort to consolidate the works of many, and to substantiate the linkages prescribed within the OPP framework, provide evidence that an examination process like the above is justified.  Nonetheless, we will also be the first to state that sets of objectives, principles, practices, and linkages are not intended to be closed set.  As such, we continually revisit the composition of each.

Assessing the Extent to which an Organization’s Environment can Support Its Adopted Method
Now that we have examined the internal consistency of the adopted agile method, how do we determine if the organization has the supporting environment to effectively implement that method? The answer lies in examining the characteristics of the organization’s internal environment. In an organization, the characteristics of its people, the process that it adopts, and its projects are reflective of the characteristics of its internal environment. Hence, we use observable properties of the people, process, and project in our assessment of the adequacy of the environment. For example, the presence of open physical environments in an organization is indicative of the organization’s capability to foster face-to-face stakeholder communication and collaboration.

Let us again assume that an agile method, Method X, adopted by an organization touts the objective “Human-centric,” the principle “Constant Development Pace,” and the practice “Constant Velocity.” To assess the adequacy of the environment to support the implementation of “Constant Velocity,” we need to identify the observable properties associated with that practice.  We identify observable properties by asking the following questions:

1. What special skills or knowledge do the people involved in the project need to successfully adopt and implement the practice?

2. What characteristics of the process and/or the environment extend support for the implementation of the practice?

3. Are there any project specific characteristics that support or impinge on the effective realization of the practice?

Asking these questions with respect to “Constant Velocity” provides us with a set of characteristics. Some of those characteristics are given below and also shown in figure 4:

  • The existence of tool-support in the form of burn-up, burn-down, and velocity charts.
  • The lengths of the iterations are fixed and are equal.

4

Figure 4: Properties associated with Constant Velocity

Once the observable properties are identified, our next step is to define assessment metrics for each (practice, property) pair. Aggregation of those metrics will be indicative of the capability of the organization to support the implementation of the practices. Finally, we need to determine the extent to which the principles touted by the method are supported by the organization. This is achieved by a further aggregation of the measures of the practices associated with each principle. Similarly, a further analysis from the principles to the objectives is carried out in order to assess the capability of the organization to support the achievement of the stated objectives.  Our bottom-up approach to assessing the capability follows the process outlined by the Evaluation Environment (EE) methodology [4, 5].

Conclusion
Our approach to assessing the capability of an organization involves examining the internal consistency of the method, followed by determining the adequacy

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