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Agile IQ®

Stage Four

Agile IQ® Score: 131-165

What is a "stage four" team?

A team at this stage of its agile journey is in the Ha stage of Shu Ha Ri. A Stage Four team has an Agile IQ of 131-165.

Flow is a big focus for teams in Stage Four. This means embracing flow metrics from Lean, understanding lead time, cycle time and waste.

To get to the next level of agility, these teams start to embrace Systems Thinking principles.

agile iq stage four-800x445

Behaviours to encourage

Focus on reflection in this stage

Teams at Stage Four start to actively reflect on how they make decisions and the impact on flow. What decisions are good decisions if you reflect on the Agile Manifesto and its 12 Principles?


You can’t solve complex problems with complex frameworks and solutions. A focus on simplicity means the team starts to think about maximising the amount of work not done.

Focus on outcomes and impacts

Ensure the team is focussed on delivery of an outcome over just doing tasks and tickets. Making an impact for customers and delivering an outcome is the primary measure of progress for agile teams, not just we delivered.

Improve your technical skills

Ensure there is attention to improving the technical excellence of the team. Good, repeatable, simple designs for complex solutions can enhance agility.

Help create an environment of psychological safety

Reinforce the team’s focus on accountability for delivery, but also that they have the support to raise issues knowing they have the support of the entire team and leadership.

Actions for leaders and scrum masters

Promote predictability

Leaders should be encouraging the team’s throughput to be highly predictable through fixed Sprint size, and fixed team make-up.

Promote transparency

Continue to encourage very high transparency and visibility – it helps supports and strengthens empiricism and management trust in the team’s delivery.

Shift to impact and outcome metrics over reporting on activity

Metrics are actively employed by Stage Four teams so they an assess whether their continuous improvement actions have a real impact. Toyota Kata tends to be a tool that is actively used to frame learning for Stage Four teams.

Decentralise decision-making

Stage Four teams should have proven themselves as teams that deliver great outcomes with high quality. Encourage leadership to decentralise decision-making to the team – they’re now mature enough to make informed decisions on their own while providing leadership sufficient transparency.

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