Measuring team effectiveness at Atlassian
"How are your teams doing?" is a loaded and complicated question to answer. Check out our comprehensive approach to measuring team effectiveness.
Our approaches IRL:
we use various metrics at different levels to gain an overview of how our teams are actually doing
This company wide survey asks Atlassians about how they are feeling about various aspects of their work, so we can determine how happy, motivated, and fulfilled they are.
Because a person’s team has a huge impact on their work life, several questions are focused around the participant’s feelings regarding their direct teams.
"Do you agree with this sentiment,
'I feel like I belong on my team'."
We aggregate the data at multiple levels (team, department, organization) and flag the low scores.
We especially emphasize team-related low scores. We found that individuals who are not satisfied with their direct team are less likely to be engaged at work.
Many of Atlassian’s teams are cross-functional software development teams, and proficiency metrics are an indicator of how well a team is performing at its discipline.
These metrics may include issue and pull request cycle times (the time that passes from code first committed until it reaches a production deployment environment) and deployment frequency (how often a team successfully deploys code into a production environment).
Unlike engagement surveys which capture individuals' feelings about their team, proficiency metrics pulled from our own products such as Jira and Bitbucket are indicators of team performance.
Beyond bi-annual engagement surveys, our teams regularly survey effectiveness by asking about psychological aspects of team effectiveness.
These aren't questions about feelings, but also a team's thoughts and behaviors. Questions like "My team takes the time to develop new ideas" or "My team ensure that everyone clearly understands our goals" usually relate to the extent which teams engage in goal setting, time spent innovating, etc. which are integral behaviors for high-performing teams.
These highly-customizable surveys are evidence-based and significantly relate to a team's performance. They provide more regular insights and can prevent problems before
they come up.
The big picture is in the details
We examine team effectiveness by measuring a team's thoughts, feelings, behaviors and performance. And this goes for both direct and cross-functional teams across different departments and levels of the organization. Like how there's not just one approach to work, there's not just one way to collect data. And by diving deeper into each of these factors, we’re able to gain a more comprehensive picture of team effectiveness at Atlassian.
For more information on how we measure team effectiveness at Atlassian, please feel free to reach out to Dr. Mahreen Khan, Psychologist and Senior Researcher.