# Home

# Introduction

Introducing TeamLiftr, a new assessment and performance tracking framework. TeamLiftr offers a structured and straightforward way for software engineering product teams to assess their performance and identify which areas they feel should be prioritized for improvement.

We developed TeamLiftr to meet our own need for a framework that offers a high-level overview of team performance. Teams we work with have successfully used TeamLiftr to identify improvement opportunities they would otherwise miss, and have found that the Framework simplifies the process of selecting and onboarding new improvement projects.

The Framework’s design and content reflect current best practices in software engineering and assessment design and have been validated by outside experts. While the Framework aims to be comprehensive, it is ultimately a subjective and non-exhaustive document that reflects the perspectives of its creators.

Our curatorial and opinionated approach to creating TeamLiftr separates it from frameworks that are designed based on survey or interview feedback. These approaches are valuable, but they also reproduce any blindspots held by survey respondents. Our approach ensures that we can address the important topics which survey-based frameworks may miss.

The TeamLiftr framework is complemented by the TeamLiftr app (TeamLiftr.com (opens new window)). The app includes all three TeamLiftr assessments, visualizations of both individual and team aggregate assessment feedback, progress tracking tools, and dedicated collaborative workspaces for each of your team’s improvement projects.

The Framework itself will always be free. The app provides an optional way for teams to keep their entire improvement journey contained within a single platform so that their improvement workflows will be more streamlined, trackable, and transparent.

# The framework's structure

TeamLiftr’s assessment framework consists of three assessments, each with four categories, each with six topics (for a total of 72 topics). The decision to limit the number of topics to 72 was made to keep the scope manageable and easy to follow, while still being comprehensive. The framework’s symmetrical 3x4x6 structure allows users to advance through the assessments and categories in any order they choose, and in lieu of completing an entire assessment at once, users may instead opt to complete the assessments in chunks, one category at a time.

The three main assessment categories are:

TeamLiftr's main assessment categories

Product & Technology
A comprehensive product strategy isn’t necessary to develop a working product, but it is necessary to develop a product that’s competitive and sustainable. This assessment helps teams to identify what product features to prioritize and how to maximize value for end-users.

People & Performance
A strong product needs a strong team. This assessment is designed to help teams to foster an inclusive culture that values and prioritizes collaboration and continuous improvement. Every project’s performance depends on its people, and every team’s competitiveness depends on its ability to help its people improve.

Operations & Risk Management
It’s impossible to control the unexpected, but it’s not impossible to prepare for it. This assessment is designed to help teams identify whether they’re taking the necessary steps to prevent and recover from operational disruptions. Your product’s success depends on your team’s ability to prevent disruptions from occurring (and on its ability to recover when those disruptions happen anyway).

Each topic in the framework consists of a statement for users to evaluate and an explanation that provides further detail on the topic. For example, this is the first topic in the product strategy category, which is part of the Product & Technology assessment:

1.1.1 Product Vision

  • Statement: Your team has an explicit, high-level vision for the product(s) and/or service(s) it is responsible for. This vision clearly describes the problem that the product/service aims to solve, and was developed as a collaborative effort.
  • Explanation: A strong product vision emphasizes the value the product offers to users, and in-turn provides all team members with a shared understanding of the team’s long-term goal. Product visions should be validated by both team members and potential users, and revised as-needed to ensure development stays focused on creating a product that addresses a genuine customer need.

Users complete each topic by scoring their level of agreement with that topic's statement. The scoring system is designed to use the following format: 1 - Untrue, 2 - Somewhat True, 3 - Mostly True, 4 - Entirely True.

# The TeamLiftr Framework

Select any individual category:

1. Product & Technology

2. People & Performance

3. Operations & Risk Management

# How to use with your team

TeamLiftr is designed to foster continuous improvement through a cyclical process: Teams assess their performance, identify what issues to improve, and then initialize improvement projects to address each of those issues. From there, teams will use the framework to reassess their performance periodically, both to evaluate their current progress and to identify new priorities for improvement.

The TeamLiftr process in a nutshell:

Assess Performance → Identify Improvement Priority → Create Improvement Project → (Re)assess Performance.

To get started, your team should complete at least part of an assessment — as noted above, both the assessments and their individual categories can be completed in any order. After completing an assessment, the team should review and discuss its results in order to identify its key improvement priorities.

In order to make it easier for teams to identify their improvement priorities, TeamLiftr organizes the topics in each category according to their immediate importance:

  • Topics 1-3 in each category are “Basic” performance topics — core performance issues that teams should prioritize first.
  • Topics 4-5 are “Intermediate” and Topic 6 is an “Advanced” topic — these issues are for teams that are ready to optimize their performance and out-compete their peers.

After using an assessment to identify a particular area to improve performance in, your team should start an improvement initiative for that topic. By tying your initiative to a specific topic from the assessment, your team will be able to monitor the initiative’s impact by tracking how assessment feedback for that topic changes over time.

This is why it’s beneficial for teams to retake assessments periodically: Using assessments to create an ongoing record of the team’s feedback makes it possible to easily and accurately monitor changes in performance over time, across all the major performance variables that are dealt with in the assessments.

# Further reading

# License

The TeamLiftr Framework can be used freely and without limit, except for commercial use and the creation of derivative works, which are prohibited.

TeamLiftr’s authors are Floris Vlasveld (opens new window) and Jeffrey Cusack (opens new window). The TeamLiftr Framework and its associated assets are copyright Inspire Innovation BV, all rights reserved.