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Agile IQ®

Stage Three

Agile IQ® Score: 93-130

What is a "Stage Three" team?

A team at this stage of its agile journey is establishing its agile behaviours in the Ha stage of Shu Ha Ri. A Stage Two team has an Agile IQ® of 93-130.

A Stage Three team has mastered the basics of agile and is now typically focused on learning advanced patterns and practices to add to their team’s agile ways of working.

Moving to Agile Product Management through adding advanced patterns like Lean UX, Design Thinking, and Kanban help create stronger agile behaviours in this stage.

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What does Agile Product Management look like?

Agile Product Management focuses on a longer-term relationship between teams, the Product Manager, and customers. In product management, the team remains focussed on supporting, iterating, and improving the product (or service) until that product is no longer of value to its users and stakeholders. This is a very different way of working to project management where, after the product has been developed, it’s handed over to its owner with a transition to “business as usual”, and the project team is disbanded.

Shifting to Product Management evolves the Team/Stakeholder Relationship

Organisations that start down agile ways of working evolve through three main steps from project to product management.


Actions for Scrum Masters

Scrum Masters are expected to coach stakeholders and business through the transformation of continuous improvement toward agile product management. This includes:

  • Supporting and growing long-lived teams.
  • Phasing out of project management roles, practices and reporting.
  • Training and coaching others on agile product management.

Stage Three Learning Areas

Behaviours to encourage

A focus on creating quality with a sustainable pace

Help the team and the Product Owner to focus on what it takes to deliver a quality outcome at a sustainable pace. Sustainable pace improves predictability and reduces burn-out. Encourage the team to find its rhythm and establish a state of flow.

Continue to support and coach self-organisation

Help the team, including the Product Owner, be self-organising. Don’t solve their problems or impediments for them. Help them to solve their own problems by increasing insight and only escalate issues and impediments if these are outside of their control to change.

Encourage structured experimentation through using Koyota Kata

Complex environments have uncertain outcomes, so don’t be afraid to try a few new things and see whether things improve. Toyota Kata is a useful tool to help set goals, experiment, and learn from the outcomes.

Actions for leaders and scrum masters

Agile practice improvement is a key action

Start adding additional Agile practices and patterns to your team’s way of working. E.g. Kanban, Lean, the practices of eXtreme Programming (XP), Liberating Structures, and Design Thinking.

Ensure your practices align with industry

Consistency is key to repeatability of the improvement outcomes you’re trying to create. Best practice often evolves, so ensure you keep up-to-date so you and your team don’t get left behind.

Understand what it means to be systematic in your improvements

Start systematic process improvement through application of empiricism – inspect and adapt with goals and metrics focussed around the impact your improvements are designed to make.

Servant Leadership

Support people in key agile roles – managers, Product Owner, and key stakeholders – to be Servant Leaders over being command-and-control.

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