The Nokia Test for Scrum

Probably, the most popular method for a team to assess at what level [and if at all] they are doing Scrum [arguably the most popular Agile framework] is through the “Nokia Test”. The test was first conceived by Certified Scrum Trainer Bas Vodde in 2005. It is simple [as you can see below] and strict [almost 80% of teams claiming to do Scrum do not even pass Level 1]. The team just answers Yes/ No to these questions [any ambiguity means No]:

LEVEL 1

  • Do your sprints start and end on planned dates [some teams ask Iterations are time-boxed to less than six weeks]
  • Is the software completely tested and working at the end of an iteration [some teams would ask, Is there a definition of shippable code that everyone agrees on and abides by to declare a feature as done]
  • Can the iteration start before the specification is complete

LEVEL 2

  • Does the team know who the product owner is
  • Is there a product backlog prioritized by business value
  • Does the product backlog have estimates created by the team
  • Does the team generate its burndown charts and knows its velocity
  • Does the team have outside people disrupting the work of the team during the sprint

The Nokia Test is not a bible and there have been criticisms of the test [like this one from InformIT]. However, it may be noted that Nokia Test was devised in Nokia [keeping the work culture at Nokia in mind]. it might work or not work for all. Given that its minimal and worked for all the teams in Nokia is a good indication and as long as the teams take this as Step 1 of their Goal [rather than the Goal itself], it should be a good starting point. You can also use slightly elaborated versions like Nokia Test for Scrum Certification and Nokia Test Scoring System.

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2 Responses to “The Nokia Test for Scrum”

  1. […] implementing Agile. Almost 80% of all the teams surveyed so far, have not passed even Level 1 of Nokia Test for Scrum. That tells me, there is a lot of talking, and little execution or if there is a widespread usage […]

  2. […] I also suggest that you can never be doing more Scrum or less Scrum than others. Tests like the Nokia Test for Scrum are a good reference and starting point but the team should be able to come up with their own tests […]

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