High Performance Tree

The high performance tree from Lyssa Adkins is one of my favorite coach tools to start in any team. By the way, I am presenting it in my first retro at every team I touch. Here is my way to introduce it.

Personally I am able to resume agile goal in one picture and put it in front of the team space to point it out every time the team needs it.  Normally I start talking about our goal in agile teams. As coach, my mission is  to guide the team to become one “high performance team”.

And we start our first retro as team, people start to share their ideas about “high performance” and we start to talk about agile values (Commitment, Courage, Respect, Openness, and Focus). After a few minutes, we have the root ready and 5 min more to compare our root with one real one.

My next step is star to draw leaves and every “high performance” traits.  At this point, I spend more time to be sure that the full team understand every trait. Some times, in more mature teams, it could be easy this task, but in beginners ones, I strongly recommend spend time here to avoid issues when you point out something in the future.
At the end and after connect the idea of root with leaves, we start to get fruits. Here, I explain every fruit with a good detail. If the team just started with agile, you could point to the first fruit to get (“Faster results”). In the case of one already working team, you need to judge what should be the next fruit.

At the end I enjoy with the team a good talk about how difficult is deploy agile in the right way and get the full benefits of this methodology. Against the think of some managers, who say agile is only few “new” meetings/roles easy to deploy and get all in one shoot, we really express with this “tree” what means agile in an full agile deployment.
Since I am using “adapt and inspect” for every retro I run, here is my first version of “high performance tree” and the last one.

First Version: Sorry, I was not able to keep in mind all, so, I got this:


Last Version: Now, I am able to keep all in my mind when I run my retro…


I really noticed some improvements in my design capacity, right?

Now, that I am able to introduce the “high performance tree” concept in each team, my work as coach to point out issues is easier. I only need to ask what we are missing from our tree or where we are leaking. Each team I touch has their tree in the work space, so is easier to point out issues at any moment. Are you try it? what is your experience with this coach tool? I really want to list you and share our experience.

To close this post, I want to share with you the original video from Lyssa Adkins and the “high performance tree” concept (enjoy it):

More experiences with “High performance tree”:
High Performance Tree experience by Tom Reynolds
High Performance Tree experience by Jean-Francois – in French –

For your reference, here is the list of keywords for our root, leaves, and fruits:


Self organising
Team can do anything
Team success
Own our decisions
Consensus driven
Constructive disagreement

Faster results
Right results
Astonishing results
Room for individual and team growth
A team that can do anything

Thank you,
Omar Bermudez.
Original URL: http://www.agilecafe.ca/high-performance-tree/

Omar Bermudez