The Agileometer Tool 

 August 4, 2022

By  Dave Litten

The Agileometer Focus

The purpose of the Agileometer is to assess the agile environment and tailor PRINCE2 in the most effective way. To receive the most benefit from your PRINCE2 Agile approach you will want to adjust and adapt it to suit the context and operating conditions.

When to assess project suitability?

This will be assessed throughout the project, for example during retrospectives. It is particularly appropriate during the pre-project and the Initiation Stage.

The Agileometer is used pre-project, during the initiation stage, and during retrospectives, end-stage and after a release – the assessment results are included in the Project Brief and Project Initiation Documentation as as this helps provide the project board with information to help shape its decision to authorize any work.

It is the project manager’s responsibility to facilitate the agile assessment, as this will affect how the project is managed.

The Agileometer Tool

The Agileometer looks at six key areas and the project manager is responsible for canvassing key stakeholders involved in the project to determine what values to give each category. Each category is represented by a slider.

The Agileometer is a guide to help you make an informed decision as it does not make a decision or offer any recommendations. The Agileometer shows where there are risk areas with using agile as well as where there are benefits with using agile.

It is important to generate responses to each slider, rather than taking an average score across all the sliders since it is there to identify opportunities or risks, and averaging the sliders can obscure such information.

The Agileometer

Monitoring The Agileometer assessment

The assessment can be reviewed at various times throughout the project for example at the end of a stage or after release periods.

The Agilometer answers the question, “How Agile can we be on this project?

The purpose is to determine how to tailor PRINCE2 Agile in the most effective way. It provides guidance to adapt and adjust to the operational context and conditions to create a level of control and predictability, and the project team members need to understand the risks and benefits associated with Agile to get the best from it

The Agileometer shows both where there are risk areas and where there are benefits to using Agile
If any slider setting is low – use the Agileometer by asking how can this be improved – do NOT use average scores!

After the assessment, ask what can be done to move the sliders further to the right …

Too many “Must” requirements – can they, or their assumptions be challenged?

Then train and educate the customer if unaware of the need to be flexible.

Using The Agileometer
  • Low Collaboration. With low collaboration get people together and break down barriers, and investigate why people are reluctant to collaborate
  • Low ease of communication. Bridge physical gaps by arranging visits, using video conferencing and planning around time zones, Co-locate the team and improving the use of tactile/low-tech presentations
  • Low Iterative and incremental delivery. Challenge the team to consider partial deliveries of some use, ask What could go into a first release, and remember, something “of use” can have many forms, then Try to calculate the value of delivering something early
  • Low environmental conditions. Would newer tools, would some training help? Can you protect the team more from outside disturbances? Can you sell the Agile way of working more? Can you increase agile awareness to third parties? Can you draw on other people’s experiences?
  • Low Agile acceptance. Would training or informal workshops help? Can you direct people towards helpful Agile information? Can you find key personnel to explain Agile to stakeholders? Would it be helpful to clarify Agile benefits to key stakeholders?

Monitoring and Evolving The Agileometer

Monitoring And Evolving The Agileometer

Any deviation between the prediction and reality suggests a change to the project management or delivery process
Any slider further to the left than predicted suggests a new risk – and further to the right suggests less governance and control is needed

Organizations and their projects need to evolve their Agileometer – by adding specific sliders, but too many sliders can cloud the information. Ask the question “How much Agile can we use?” Tailoring is essential in all projects

For some prevailing conditions, the use of Agile is too risky – The Agileometer score would alert you to use a different methodology approach and would trigger an exception situation.

Agileometer Level 5 Definitions


The Agileometer - Flexibility

There is flexibility on what is delivered, so what does Level 5 look like?

Stakeholders are comfortable with inevitable change and the role they need to play, and are flexible while understanding the work scope and quality criteria. Stakeholders are “change friendly”

Detail changes are okay, large changes are controlled, and detail level change leads to accurate products. We understand that flexing will protect quality checking, testing, deadlines, and quality

De-scoping and prioritization are done by the team but are customer driven and everything is prioritized.

Level of collaboration

The Agileometer - Collaboration

So, what does level 5 look like?

High level of collaboration and trust with a desire to be helpful, a one-team culture, and excellent working relationships.

There is a “One team” culture and partnership between customer and supplier, there are no “silos” and “turf” – no past event “baggage”, and an absence of blame and back-stabbing.

Everyone involved trusts and listens, people work quickly, are helpful and support each other, and acceptance of mistakes due to informal communications.

Ease of communication

The Agileometer - Communication

So, what does level 5 look like?

The environment is “communication-rich” with lots of face-to-face interaction and visual information is readily available as is information retrieval of knowledge or data.
There are high levels of information visibility and transparency, Information is “low-tech” and tactile.

There are high levels of co-location and a limited amount of formal reporting – If the team is NOT co-located, the impact has been reduced e.g., video conferencing, with a lot of informal communication, face-to-face and over the phone.

Ability to work iteratively/deliver incrementally

The Agileometer - Iterative And Incremental

So, what does level 5 look like?

Easy to deliver customer benefits by regular partial deliveries. Lean. Experiment. Explore. Works iteratively and regularly through the refined understanding of formal and informal deliveries

The team is happy to experiment and be creative and expect that things are rarely right the first time
“Think big, start small. Breaking the project down into chunks for early benefit delivery

Learning and validation are seen as ongoing processes. “Little and often” is seen as a controlled and safe way to deliver, and incremental delivery gives good feedback and confidence to the customer

Advantageous environmental conditions

The Agileometer Environmental Conditions

So, what does level 5 look like?

Supportive Agile environment with full-time appropriately skilled personnel.

Efficient Agile tooling and communications with non-restrictive contractual and compliance considerations.

The team is stable, the personnel is experienced and dedicated full-time.

Commercial and contractual details do not inhibit the Agile way of working and delivering

Third parties are content to work in an Agile way

The environment and tooling are conducive to Agile

Acceptance of Agile

So, what does level 5 look like?

The Agileometer - Acceptance Of Agile

All stakeholders are trained, experienced, and fully aware of the behaviors, concepts, and techniques of working in an Agile way, they prefer the Agile way of working and understand its advantages, and roles are carried out in an “Agile friendly” way.

Everyone accepts the Agile philosophy and understands the difference between traditional ways of working.
There are no blockers to using Agile and this includes ALL peripheral areas such as QA or procurement.
People have been trained to an appropriate level.

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Dave Litten

David spent 25 years as a senior project manager for USA multinationals, and has deep experience in project management. He now develops a wide range of Project Management Masterclasses, under the Projex Academy brand name. In addition, David runs project management training seminars across the world, and is a prolific writer on the many topics of project management.

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