Project Team Health Check

May 20, 2022
engineering manager team health check delivery management

One of the most crucial factors for a company to be successful is to have thriving teams. So for me, the health of the team is a very crucial KPI.

At Appsilon we look at team health at various levels. We use Officevibe to track different team metrics on a company level and within different teams (tech team vs. operations etc.). Engineering managers hold regular 1-on-1 meetings with their reports. They discuss various topics, also metrics related to happiness at work. Also, delivery managers have regular 1-on-1s with Project Leaders.

But, my intuition was that we would benefit from a standardized way of monitoring health within our project teams. Why? Because we already saw in the past that someone can be pleased with being at the company, but can be in a toxic project that impact won’t (fully) be seen in Officevibe. Additionally, I wanted to have a consistent way to compare projects and track health over time.

Team Health Check at Appsilon

I introduced a team health check inspired by Spotify’s Squad Health Check model into our wrap-up/business review process. We ask 10 questions:

  1. Delivering Value
  1. Fun
  1. Health of Codebase
  1. Learning
  1. Mission
  1. Partner or handyman
  1. Speed
  1. Stress
  1. Appsilon’s Purpose
  1. Inclusivity

Some cards e.g. Fun or Learning are taken as-is from Spotify’s model, but others e.g. Stress or Inclusivity are added by us. We modified the initial list by Spotify. This is something that worked and mattered for Spotify in 2014, and we are not Spotify 2014. Appsilon is a consulting company, not a product company, that also has its values.

Our teams use 4 colors to answer the questions:

How to work with it?

Collect feedback from the team and discuss it e.g. it can be done as a retro session if you are using SCRUM. There could be many things that are not “Perfect” especially if you are doing this for the first time. It’s OK! It’s a good thing because there is enough psychological safety in the team to speak about the problems. It’s excellent! However, it’s important to act on the feedback and together decide on the things to address first. We select ONE initiative that the team will focus on. We also decide when we will do the next check and compare the change.

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