Getting a Grip on your test maturity using ambition chart

Today I have given a presentation on the 16th QA&Testing conference on embedded systems. The presentation has the tittle: “Grip on your Test maturity using the Ambition chart”. The presentation was well received and many participants me for the slides. Please find it enclosed in the post below.


Description of the talkAgile test teams access their effectiveness every sprint. The power of retrospectives is that they, when done well, focus on improving in small achievable steps. This ensures that progress is being made and is more than just a far away dream.

Despite the above, I experienced that in and around teams the proposed improvements are measured and valued against the maturity of the agile adoption. I noticed that in several situations people were judging the performance of the team and the proposed improvements against an implicit blueprint; small improvements were fine “for just now” and regarded as a “good first step”. The implication of the above struck me! We all had our own plan and expectations, but these were implicit and not transparent. In reaction I developed the ambition chart. It is a graphical one-pager that gives insight in the current state, the collective ambition and describes the next step to be taken.

The ambition chart can be used to:

  • Discus and align expectations and ambition that individual team members have and create a team goal.
  • To break big goals into smaller steps
  • To prioritize improvement suggestions made in the retrospective
  • To manage dependencies between different area’s of improvement
  • To focus on the next step that needs to be taken, without being distracted by the end goal
  • Manage expectations that management and stakeholders have, e.g. by clarifying that the team does a lot of things very well, but address that it has identified some improvements that are not yet on the agenda.
  • To visualize progress and tell success stories to the rest of the organisation

In this presentation I will explain how to make and use an ambition chart. I will explain situations in which it can be beneficial and share some examples of focus areas.

I wish you success with applying it in your daily work!

About derkjandegrood

Derk-Jan de Grood, works for Squerist as senior test consultant and agile advisor. As Trainer, Consultant and Agile Coach, he is involved with improvements and agile implementations. Derk-Jan is the author of several successful books including TestGoal, Grip on IT and the Dutch Testers association’s jubilee book on future trends in testing. In 2016 he published “Agile in the Real World”, a book on SCRUM. Derk-Jan won several awards including the prestigious European Testing Excellence Award in 2014
This entry was posted in Conferences, QA&Test, Test management, Testing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Getting a Grip on your test maturity using ambition chart

  1. chirpa santhanam says:

    can you please send me the recorded presentation of “Grip on your Test maturity using the Ambition chart” please?


    • Hi Chirpa, Thanks for your interest, I have includes the slide in the post, but there is no recording of the presentation. Best is to look at slides 28 for a step-plan and slides 26 and 22-24 for examples. best of luck. Derk-Jan


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