I am performing an assessment on the effectiveness of a development team, the results of which will be used as the basis of introducing change.

Are there any appropriate resources or guides to assist me? ensuring nothing is missed.

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    – Todd A. Jacobs
    Jan 27, 2015 at 16:29

3 Answers 3


When considering such an assessment, there is one overriding priority that should guide you: talk to the team.

A team's effectiveness will be largely governed by:

  1. Their morale and enjoyment of the work
  2. How well they feel they are able to do their work.

Many factors will affect these things, but the only way to identify them for sure, in a way that will improve their effectiveness is to ask them directly. Are they being allowed to explore new technologies and techniques? Are they being provided with the tools and equipment they need? Are they receiving enough training? And so on.

Regardless of the questions, the change should come from their desires. If they get the improvements they feel they need, they will become more effective. If you impose change on them without consulting them, you'll cause resentment and their effectiveness is pretty much guaranteed to decline, quite the opposite of what you seek to achieve.


Measuring effectivness is a really intersting topic, but in my oppinion hard to pinpoint. It is a rather abstract variable, can contain a lot of dimensions and furthermore strongly depends on your viewpoint.

Peter Drucker had some interesting thoughts regarding that topic, take a look at this book.

“There is nothing quite so useless, as doing with great efficiency, something that should not be done at all.”

So if you look at it from a business perspective, a team could be highly efficient at creating a product (velocity increase, no defects etc.), but in the end they produced a product nobody uses. So you could argue that they were quite ineffective.

“Efficiency is doing the thing right. Effectiveness is doing the right thing.”

If you look at it from another perspective, they were quite effective as they used TDD, Test Automation, Code Reviews, shared understanding etc. instead of having dedicated Testers doing manual verification, silo thinking etc.

Does this make sense? :)

  • It does indeed, I like the way you took a step back from the question.
    – pingu
    Jan 27, 2015 at 15:27

Team effectiveness can be measured using metrics (not exhaustive) such as –

  • Number of projects completed by team on time
  • Acceptance of team’s work
  • Team's level of collaboration
  • Team's decision making ability
  • Team's problem-solving ability

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