The $\sigma$ profile is presented as a tool to analyze the organization of systems at different scales, and how this organization changes in time. Describing structures at different scales as goal-oriented agents, one can define $\sigma \in [0,1]$ ("satisfaction") as the degree to which the goals of each agent at each scale have been met. $\sigma$ reflects the organization degree at that scale. The $\sigma$ profile of a system shows the satisfaction at different scales, with the possibility to study their dependencies and evolution. It can also be used to extend game theoretic models. A general tendency on the evolution of complexity and cooperation naturally follows from the $\sigma$ profile. Experiments on a virtual ecosystem are used as illustration.