Many companies modified their fundamental operations in reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic to survive, and many also shifted their whole workforce online. Remote working is a new normal even for the tech teams, bringing new challenges for them to work together. While in the office, it is easier to sense the morale of individuals or teams in certain ways and take necessary measures. However, with remote operations, the task has become cumbersome.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to measure the health of your tech/other teams in a remote working set-up:
Define: Before measuring the team's health, one needs to understand what ‘team health’ is. It can differ from team to team, based on the nature of work and KRAs. For instance, for tech, the definition can be narrowed down to the following areas:-
- Behavioural - teamwork, fun at work, learning at work
- Tech - release management, sprint processes, code quality, monitoring
- Empowerment - delivering values, pawn vs players, a bias for action
By defining certain areas of team health, it is easier to do regular health check-ups.
Measure: It is important to determine how to measure these factors for the team. Typically, it can be challenging to assign binary yes/no responses to these factors, thus it might be helpful to get more information about how the team feels about these various areas in the context of team performance.
One can use the following parameters to measure these aspects:-
- Green - Awesome
- Yellow - OK but not great
- Red - Crappy
Spend some time selecting the right questions to comprehend these various aspects. Typically, 3–4 questions per facet are enough to grasp the general state of a particular area.
Team leads are advised to do this health check with their respective teams at a meeting (one of the retrospective meetings can be used for the same). More information and comments from team members should be recorded in addition to Green, Yellow, and Red to comprehend more. These open-ended comments are frequently quite helpful in analysing and determining the next steps.
Health check report card: This is how the overall health check report card will appear:
Note: The above report card is a visualisation created using a random dataset and does not represent any team/company data.
Based on the results of this health check, the tech leadership might quickly pinpoint important action items. The group becomes more cognizant of both their accomplishments and their goals as a result.
These indications will alter as the needs of the job change daily, but the goal should be to turn red ones into yellow and then green while also making sure that green ones don't turn yellow.
Repeat: Your team should periodically conduct a health check, just as you would with a routine physical. All of these team health indicators will fluctuate based on fresh information, new team members, fresh endeavours, shifting business conditions, etc. The leadership should keep conducting these health checks regularly to maintain excellent health.
While half-yearly inspections are also helpful in monitoring overall team health, quarterly checks are advised if it appears to be a more significant activity given the number of teams and size of groups.