By now, you already know my stance on Self-Assessments. I firmly believe they are drastically underutilized for the value they deliver. I have seen time and time again; Self-Assessments accelerate transformational outcomes and fuel a successful transition to "New Ways of Working."
A good portion of the value is derived from effective facilitation. Facilitating an assessment is much like facilitating a retrospective, times 10! It is an art, one that must be continuously refined given feedback, learning, and experience.
I have many years under my belt facilitating Enterprise, Team, and Individual Self-Assessments. It seems like yesterday, I facilitated my first team Self-Assessment and encountered awkward silence, groupthink, and dominant personalities. Over the years, I have learned methods to help combat these negative behaviors and ensure participants get the most out of the assessment.
It's time I have put pen to paper and documented this approach! With the help of feedback from Lean Agile Intelligence users, I have created this Facilitation & Coaching Guide to help all facilitators get the most value out of the Self-Assessments. Enjoy!
A shortened, graphical version of this document - in PDF format! Click here
Successful facilitation is a product of preparation. It is vital that you understand the team's context, challenges, and maturity, so you can ask powerful questions that will help them improve.
At this point, you want to gain the participants' attention and prepare them for what is ahead. You will want to ensure they understand the purpose of the exercise, participant expectations, and how it works. Encourage engagement, and promote that they will get out of the Self-Assessment what they put into it.
It is now time to collect the data that will fuel improvements! Lean-Agile Intelligence provides alternative methods to collect the Self-Assessment data from participants. This data will then serve as a mirror for the team to self-reflect on and identify improvements. The data will also serve as a feedback loop to leadership indicating where their help is needed to optimize team performance.
Lean Agile Intelligence Results Dashboards aggregates the Self-Assessment data and display it in a consumable and actionable format. It is here that the Self-Assessment Facilitators and participants will be able to glean insights and identify improvements. Lean Agile Intelligence dashboards help tell a story of the Entity's current state (Individual, Team, At Scale) and next steps towards achieving better outcomes.
The purpose of Self-Assessments is to improve. Let me say that again, the purpose of Self-Assessments is to improve! Lean Agile Intelligence directly associates each capability with a Lean or Agile Practice, Behavior, or Metric, accompanied by rich criteria in each Stage. This rich criteria enables participants to self-assess themselves and identify actions to improve to the next level.
What Capabilities participants decide to improve is depended on their context and desired outcomes. We have found that there are two approaches that teams can use to springboard the identification of improvements. Which one the Self-Assessment Facilitator decides to utilize is dependent on a few variables. Once decided the Lean Agile Intelligence “Improvement Assistant” can be used to recommend the capabilities the team should focus on improving the next quarter.