Health Checks for Agile Teams — From Spotify to The Liberators to Self-Made

Health Checks for Agile Teams

Agile teams thrive on continuous improvement and adaptability. Self-assessment isn’t just a health check measuring tool but a compass guiding teams toward their potential. It enables teams to understand their strengths, identify areas of improvement, and delve deeper into work dynamics beyond mere output.

The true essence of self-assessment in Agile is fostering transparency, collaboration, and relentless improvement. It’s not an audit; it’s a mirror reflecting a better version of your Agile team.

This article comprises a few well-known self-assessment tools; use them or have them inspire you to create your own assessment.

Health Checks for Agile Teams —

🏅 Check out the discussion on LinkedIn: Health Checks for Agile Teams.

🗞 Shall I notify you about articles like this one? Awesome! You can sign up here for the ‘Food for Agile Thought’ newsletter and join 47,000-plus subscribers.

Advanced Professional Scrum Master Training in Berlin w/ PSM II Certificate — October 24-25, 2023 —

🎓 Join Stefan on October 24-25, 2023, in Berlin: Advanced Professional Scrum Master Training in Berlin w/ PSM II Certificate — October 24-25, 2023.

📖 Get notified when the Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide book is available!

Health Checks for Agile Teams: Self-Assessment Tools

Here’s a collection of notable health check self-assessment tools for inspiration:

1. The Spotify Squad Health Check

The Spotify Squad Health Check Model, introduced by Henrik Kniberg, is a tool designed to assess the health of a team or “squad” within an organization. The model primarily uses a color-coded system to gauge responses. This feedback is collected on a set of eleven indicators, each representing a different facet of the team’s function:

  • Easy to release
  • Suitable process
  • Delivering value
  • Fun
  • Speed
  • Learning
  • Mission
  • Health of Codebase
  • Support
  • Pawns or Players
  • Teamwork.

Source: Squad Health Check model.

2. Crisp Happiness Index

Quote: “Our primary metric is “Nöjd Crispare Index” (In English: “Happy Crisper Index” or “Crisp Happiness Index”). It’s the only thing we systemically measure and follow up. Scale is 1-5. The data lives in our dashboard (a shared Google spreadsheet).”

Source: Crisp DNA: Happiness Index.

Cannot see the form? Please click here.

3. The Liberators: Scrum Team Survey

Quote: “We created the Scrum Team Survey to support Scrum teams in their continuous improvement loop. The first step in that loop is to create transparency around where you are right now, and then to work together as a team to identify improvements and make adaptations. We designed this do-it-yourself workshop to help invite your team while paying attention to risks and issues of safety and diagnosing the results together. Because a careless invitation, and a haphazard approach, can cause more harm than you intend.”

Source: How To Make Your Team More Effective With The Scrum Team Survey.

4. Jimmy Janlén: Team Barometer

Quote: “The barometer is executed as a survey in a workshop. The survey consists of 16 team characteristics, packaged as a deck of cards. Team members vote green, yellow or red for each card in the meeting (or before the meeting as an anonymous survey). Once all cards have been run through, the team reflects and discusses the results. You can, if you want to, run through the exercise in thirty minutes, but I recommend to set aside an hour.”

Source: Team Barometer.

5. Atlassian: Health Monitor

Quote: “The Health Monitor is your team’s chance to take an honest look in the mirror. You’ll assess your team against the eight attributes most commonly found among healthy teams. At the end of Health Monitor session, you’ll identify strengths to exploit as well as challenge areas to grow.”

Source: Atlassian Health Monitor.

6. New Relic: Team-Health Assessment

Quote: “My core team took those 250 responses and boiled them down until we had 22 health standards that felt true and believable. We wanted everybody in our organization to believe in them, and we wanted them to project the standards of a healthy team.”

Source: New Relic Team-Health Assessment.

7. Selfmade I: Scrum Value Radar

Another good use of a regular anonymous poll is the state of Scrum values within a Scrum team. For these health checks, you create a poll of five questions, covering commitment, courage, focus, openness, and respect, using a Likert scale. (“1” might be “The Scrum value not practiced at all” and “5” might represent “the Scrum team is perfect at [Scrum value].”)

If you run the poll several times and visualize the data with a spider diagram, you can easily track the Scrum Team’s progress regarding Scrum values:

Health Checks for Agile Teams: The State of Scrum Values —

Source: Agile Metrics: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

8. Selfmade II: Sprint Poll

In addition to the Scrum Value Radar exercise, I also like to run an anonymous poll at the end of every Sprint. These health checks comprise four questions that are each answered on a scale from 1 to 10:

  1. What value did the team deliver the last sprint? (1: we didn’t deliver any value; 10: we delivered the maximum value possible.)Health Checks for Agile Teams: Customer value delivered – Age of Product
  2. How has the level of technical debt developed during the last sprint? (1: rewrite the application from scratch; 10: there is no technical debt.)
  3. Would you recommend a job opportunity in this organization to a friend with an agile mindset? (1: No, I value the friendship more than this organization; 10: Without hesitation.)
  4. Are you happy working with your teammates? (1: No, I am already looking for a new job; 10: Yub, I cannot wait to get back to the office on Monday mornings.)

The poll takes less than 60 seconds of each team member’s time, and the results are of course available to everyone. Again, tracking the development of the four qualitative metrics provides insight into trends that otherwise might go unnoticed. Again, the data provides good input for a Sprint Retrospective.

Source: Agile Metrics: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.


Self-assessment is crucial for agile teams, guiding continuous improvement and adaptability. Not merely a measure of effectiveness, it helps teams recognize strengths, uncover growth areas, and understand deeper work dynamics. It’s a reflective tool fostering transparency and relentless improvement.

How is your team keeping track of its health and growth? Please share with us in the comments.

Useless Agile Metrics — Related Articles

Useless Agile Metrics

Faking Agile Metrics

Agile Metrics: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Agile Metrics Survey 2021

Download the Agile Metrics Survey 2021

📅 Scrum Training Classes, Workshops, and Events

Learn more about health checks with our Scrum training classes, workshops, and events. You can secure your seat directly by following the corresponding link in the table below:

DateClass and LanguageCityPrice
🖥 💯 🇬🇧 April 23-24, 2024GUARANTEED: Professional Scrum Master (Advanced) Training (PSM II; English; Live Virtual Class)Live Virtual Class €1.189 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 💯 🇬🇧 May 7, 2024GUARANTEED: Hands-on Agile #61: Toyota Kata Coaching for Agile Teams & Transformations with Fortune Buchholtz (English)Live Virtual MeetupFREE
🖥 💯 🇩🇪 May 14-15, 2024GUARANTEED: Professional Scrum Product Owner Training (PSPO I; German; Live Virtual Class)Live Virtual Class €1.299 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 🇬🇧 May 28-29, 2024Professional Scrum Master (Advanced) Training (PSM II; English; Live Virtual Class)Live Virtual Class €1.189 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 💯 🇬🇧 June 6, 2024GUARANTEED: Hands-on Agile #62: From Backlog Manager to Product Manager: From Outputs to Outcomes w/ David Pereira (English)Live Virtual MeetupFREE
🖥 💯 🇬🇧 June 13-July 11, 2024GUARANTEED: Advanced Product Backlog Management Cohort Class (PBM; English; Live Virtual Cohort)Live Virtual Class €399 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 🇩🇪 July 9-10, 2024Professional Scrum Product Owner Training (PSPO I; German; Live Virtual Class)Live Virtual Class €1.299 incl. 19% VAT

See all upcoming classes here.

Professional Scrum Trainer Stefan Wolpers

You can book your seat for the training directly by following the corresponding links to the ticket shop. If the procurement process of your organization requires a different purchasing process, please contact Berlin Product People GmbH directly.

✋ Do Not Miss Out and Learn more about Health Checks — Join the 12,000-plus Strong ‘Hands-on Agile’ Slack Community

I invite you to join the “Hands-on Agile” Slack Community and enjoy the benefits of a fast-growing, vibrant community of agile practitioners from around the world.

Large scale agile: Join the Hands-on Agile Slack Group

If you like to join all you have to do now is provide your credentials via this Google form, and I will sign you up. By the way, it’s free.

Support your team’s efforts regarding health checks by pointing to the free Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide:

Download the free Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide by PST Stefan Wolpers — Product Backlog Refinement First Principles — Tags: agile metrics, Scrum Team