This post is the second in a Do Agile Right mini-series about about agile maturity. Matt Schenck is a Product Advocate with Atlassian. His experience implementing agile tools at companies of all sizes gives him a unique perspective on how tools and methodology coexist without disobeying the Agile Manifesto.

We closed out an excellent 2013 Atlassian Summit with a plethora of great talks, many of which got me thinking – but none more so than that of Damon Poole, Chief Agilist at the Eliassen Group and his talk on the Enterprise Agility Model. One of the topics that he discussed was the “path to agility.” So often I talk to customers who are focused on achieving agile governance, often time skipping over the fact that they are struggling to run good sprints, or a good release, or even a great program. Most companies realize that going agile is a process, and that it takes education, coaching, and a relatively strict adherence to agile methodologies. A surprising amount of people tend to overlook the idea that it takes work to transition from beginner agile to advanced agile.

Tracking agile maturity in Jira Agile

That’s why we have taken the Agile Maturity Matrix from Eliassen’s Agile Thought Leadership team, and converted it into, well, a Jira Agile project. Understand that the Agile Maturity Matrix is not a quiz to make you feel x% agile, but rather a tool to give you a real sense of where you are at today, and to make incremental commitments to becoming a more sophisticated agile enterprise. In other words, there’s no need to cheat!

With that, I have outlined how to import this project into Jira and assess your agile maturity with “Sprint Zero.” From there, you’ll have the foundation to start making commitments to where your organization is going on the path to agility.

How to upload the Agile Maturity Matrix into Jira

  1. CSV Import ScreenshotsLog in to Jira as a user with the Jira Administrators global permission.
  2. Select Administration > System > Import & Export > External System Import > Import button associated with the Comma-separated values (CSV) option to open the CSV File import page.
    (tick)Keyboard shortcutg + g + start typing external system import
  3. On the CSV File import page, select the Jira Agile Maturity Matrix.csvCSV Import 1
  4. Leave the Use an existing configuration file check box cleared if you do not have a configuration file or if you want to create a new configuration file. Configuration files specify a mapping between column names in your CSV file’s header row and fields in your Jira installation.

    • If you select this option, you will be asked to specify an Existing Configuration File.
    • If you do not select this option, then at the end of the CSV file import wizard, Jira will create a configuration file which you can use for subsequent CSV imports (at this step of the CSV file import wizard).
  5. Click the Next button to proceed to the Setup step of the CSV file import wizard. Select the option for “Defined in CSV.”CSV Import 2
  6. Click the Next button to proceed to the Fields step of the CSV file import wizard. For each CSV field that is presented, you will need to select the exact same Jira Field from the Picker.CSV Import 3
  7. Click the Next button to proceed to the Values step of the CSV file import wizard. Click Begin Import.
  8. This should upload 300 issues successfully. CSV Import Success

  9. In the Jira Toolbar, hover your mouse over the Agile drop down, and select Getting Started.
  10. Select the Scrum section and click Create a new board.
  11. Select the Board from an existing Saved Filter option.
  12. In the Board Name section, enter Agile Maturity Matrix. In the “Saved Filter” section, enter Agile Maturity Matrix.
  13. Configure the Board as follows:
    • Select the Swimlanes tab. In the drop down menu, select Base Swimlanes on Stories.
    • Select the Estimation tab. In the drop down menu, select Estimation Statistic: Issue Count.

View your agile maturity using the backlog

Once you upload the data set and create the scrum board, you’ll see the following backlog with the 50 elements of the Agile Maturity Matrix, all in the form of Jira Stories. Additionally, these stories are grouped into Versions, similar to the Agile Maturity Matrix itself. As you work towards becoming “Ideal” on a User Story, you will start seeing progress along the Version Bar.

Agile Matrix Backlog

Assess your agile maturity – aka Sprint Zero

In order to track your way to Ideal Agile, you need to know where your organization stands when it comes to agile. To do this, create a new sprint, and bring all 50 stories into this Sprint Zero.

Start Sprint 0 - Assessment

Once you have started the sprint, go into your Work mode of your Agile Board. All of the steps towards Agile Maturity are actually logged as subtasks of each Story. As part of Sprint Zero, you need to indicate where you are at but moving all completed steps to the Done column:

Assesment Sprint
In this example, when it comes to the Organizational Structure, the company’s organization is beyond function and project based, and there is an understanding that teams are structured around products and teams, however the organization is still working on consistently becoming a product, team and delivery based company.

Once you have gone through and assessed your organization on all 50 User Stories, go on ahead and close the sprint.

Ok, so now what?

Now you need to decide what to put effort into. This is where model’s like Damon’s Enterprise Agility Guide come in handy. Select a few Agile Stories every Sprint to focus on, and see if you can get from your current state to one step closer to Ideal. One thing we want to reiterate is this isn’t going to be driven by just one person, but rather something that should be adopted at a much higher level. We have seen some companies put together Agile Counsels, and this is a perfect paradigm for these kinds of groups start. Other companies might do this in a Scrum of Scrums Team.

Let us know what your organization has done to progress on the path doing agile right in the enterprise.

What’s next?

In the next post of this Do Agile Right series on agile maturity, we’ll talk about tips for starting your Enterprise Agility journey.


Agile maturity – How agile is your organization?