Beyond Whack-a-Mole Coaching – Using Data Analysis to Find High ROI Coaching Opportunities

Determining where to focus Agile coaching and training in a large Tech organization can feel a bit like playing Whack-a-Mole. With hundreds of Agile practices and mindsets to potentially target and hundreds of teams at various levels of maturity and scale, how do you know which ones to target that will really make a difference? How do you decide what to target at the enterprise versus the divisional versus the team level? It’s natural to just focus on the areas that are least mature, rather than on the ones that might have the most impact.

In 2017, Capital One surveyed over 1,200 technology teams (including Product Owners) about Intent, Planning, Frequent Delivery of Value (Flow), Team Health, Scaled Agile Practices, Continuous Improvement, Leadership, Inner-sourcing and Engineering Practices. Capital One’s typical approach to using Agile maturity survey results had been to target the lowest scoring items for improvement. We used a statistical approach to analyze the data and then target the most important items, not just the lowest scoring ones.

In addition to sharing our analysis, we will tell the story of how we used these results in a multi-channel communications strategy to influence change agents towards improving practices with the largest impact rather than just improving the least mature ones.


Outline/Structure of the Experience Report

Description of Capital One's Tech Agility Survey

Survey Launch and Execution in 2017

Analysis of the Results and Key Findings

Communication and Use of Results at Capital One

What We Learned as Agile Coaches

Learning Outcome

  • The benefit of using survey data to focus coaching efforts and influence leadership to support positive change, rather than relying on industry best practices alone
  • The need to package statistical analysis approaches and results in ways that are easy to understand for non-specialists
  • Specific findings at Capital One (organizations would need to investigate their own context for applicability)
    • Specific Intent, Planning, and Scaled Agile practices which impact Frequent Delivery of Business Value
    • Specific Leadership, Continuous Improvement, and Planning practices which impact Team Health
    • Some provocative findings:
      • Teams sizes larger than 5-9 were effective; only at 12+ did team effectiveness suffer
      • Planning activities were highly correlated with Frequent Delivery of Business Value and Team Health, despite internal perceptions of the opposite

Target Audience

People who are passionate about improving team performance, either locally or at scale.

Prerequisites for Attendees

No prerequisites.


schedule Submitted 2 years ago