Is the Squad Health Check Model right for your dev team?

Ruth Hadari
Ruth Hadari
Agile Advocate, Engineering Ops Expert
Posted on
Oct 15, 2020
Updated on
Mar 26, 2023
Table of Content

If your company or team is looking for ways to visualize and organize their goals and see exactly how the team is doing, then a sprint retrospective is the way to go, yet the Squad Health Check Method might be also what you need. Of course, this depends on what your company’s goals are and how they are being achieved, however this model is very successful for many teams.

So what is a squad health check model? When can it be used? This post will give you all the details you need to know exactly how to run a squad health check model with your team. Let’s get started

What the Squad Health Check Model?

The Squad Health Check Model is also sometimes known as a “maturity model”. They involve a progression through different levels. The main idea of this model is typically to gain a better understanding and sense of where their team is as far as moving towards their goals. They can be used to understand where the focus should lie with regards to improving, singling out problems, and get the entire team on board and motivated to improve in the future.

Rather than simply guessing what can be improved upon, collect data and take some of the guesswork out of it. However, the company must be sure to use this model in the right way. Rather than using it as a way to evoke fear into your team, you should use it as motivation to improve. Be sure that your company is headed in the right direction and that everyone is on the same page and feeling positive about their work experience.

Essentially, this model is an opportunity for dev team members to analyze their current situation based on several perspectives like fun, quality, support, etc. They can discuss it and then show the results in a graphical summary. One way to do this is by creating a green light system. If the team feels very positive about one of the perspectives, then they put a green light by it. If they feel “meh” about it, they put a yellow light. And if they don’t feel good about it at all, they put a red light.

From this data, a company or team supervisor like the scrum master can understand what needs to be changed and improved in order for the dev team to be happy and have a healthy work environment. There are several ways to gather the data that can be used for this model: One way is online surveys while another is getting the team together for a meeting and having them discuss each perspective and vote on which color light they think it should receive. Then, from that data, you can determine how the majority feels and see which areas need improvement.

When should the Squad Health Check be used?

This model can be used at any time. It is important to understand how your team is doing and check in regularly. This is a great model to implement every quarter or twice a year, just to see how things have progressed and how your team is feeling after adjustments have been made.

Who does this model affect?

The simple answer is everyone in the company. The longer answer is that it directly affects the specific team that your company is focusing on for the health check, as well as those who support that team (i.e. team leaders, managers, coaches, etc.). This is an excellent model to see how your team is doing and then come up with suggestions on things that can be changed regarding the data that you have gathered.

Creating a healthy environment for your remote dev team is extremely important. It can mean the difference between success and failure. Everyone should be on board and enjoy their work. That being said, checking in and ensuring that they are all satisfied with how things are going is imperative to keeping things running smoothly. 

About the author

Ruth Hadari
Agile Advocate, Engineering Ops Expert

Highly experienced in leading multi-organizational teams, groups, in-shore as well as off-shore. The go-to person who is able to simplify the complex. An agile advocate, experienced in all common methodologies. Responsible for the entire software development lifecycle process from development, QA, DevOps, Automation to delivery including overall planning, direction, coordination, execution, implementation, control and completion. Drives execution, and communicates on status, risks, metrics, risk-mitigation and processes across R&D.

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