Blogs about Jazz

Blogs > Jazz Team Blog >

What is your agile fitness?

Have you dabbled in agile and wonder how well you are doing? Is your team just getting started and wants to know which agile practices it should tackle? Or, do you feel that you are making good progress in your team’s agile transformation, but you are now looking for the next steps when it comes to tool support and perhaps even continuously measuring your success?

Take the Agile Fitness survey

Spend just 10 minutes doing our new Agile Fitness survey on for getting a quick impression of how well your team is measuring up compared to the rest of the community. The survey comprises of just eight questions, but these cover core agile topics such as working in increments, estimating your work, continuous integration and testing. The results will give you an initial impression of how well you cover these core aspects. Each question is linked to guidance providing you with pointers to background information about the relevant agile practices and how Jazz applications help improving the adoption and execution of these practices. Give it a try here ( account required) and let us know what you think as we want to put out other surveys related to other Jazz topics in the future.

About the survey tool

This survey tool is powered by IBM Self-Check, a Rational service offering that provides a web-based tool that helps you collect simple subjective metrics like this in your development projects. It is also a vehicle of learning and finding background information on practices and tools. The idea is to take an anonymous quick pulse from your project’s entire development team in regular intervals to see how the team perceives how well it is doing in respect to agile practices. The results of such surveys can be used to stimulate discussion in your retrospective meetings as the tool not only captures overall averages of team members’ responses, but also how much the team deviates in their answers. Uncovering and analyzing such differences of perception within your team can help you make the right decisions when it comes to improving and refining your practices and your team’s collaboration.

There are a couple of added value points that IBM Self-Check provides over its original approach published by Bill Krebs and Per Kroll [1]. The first is that IBM Self-Check is a web-based tool that allows you to collect data in an asynchronous way (team members can submit their anonymous surveys over a period of time) from globally distributed teams. IBM Self-Check has been developed using Jazz Foundation and therefore it can be installed as a standalone server or co-installed with Rational Team Concert, allowing you to log your improvement actions directly as Team Concert work items. Another key advantage is the question catalog that ships with Self-Check, which covers questions from around 25 different agile and traditional development practices. Each question is linked to rich guidance, similar to the guidance you find in our Agile Fitness survey, giving team members pointers for learning more about a development practice. Self-Check is therefore not only a self-assessment tool for agile teams enriching retrospective, but the linked guidance provides a reading list for team members that can be filtered down to just show the problematic topics (the ones with the lowest scores or largest deviations in answers) where it makes sense to invest a bit more time studying and doing research for how to improve.

If you want to find out more, watch this 10-minute video with a demo of IBM Self-Check:

Peter Haumer
Senior Software Engineer
RQM, Common Reporting, MCIF


[1] William Krebs and Per Kroll, “Using Evaluation Frameworks for Quick Reflections”, Agile Journal, February 2008,