The Box of Transparency

img57616757This blog post is about a little box. A little transparent box. The box contained only one sticky note. A sticky note with a milestone. The milestone belonged to a a large project that concerned a comprehensive organizational change with multiple Scrum teams.

This milestone was special, because it was a milestone the team failed to achieve.

Today we had the first review with all the different teams that are involved with the organizational change. The review had the structure of a “marketplace”. No PowerPoint slides. Every team prepared a flip-over & market stall with the most important deliverables, ups & downs off the previous period and deliverables for the upcoming sprints. With short demo’s of 12 minutes every team presented & discussed their progress with the other teams and stakeholders.

On itself the review was already great, this little box of one of the teams however made it awesome!

Why? Because this little transparent box embodies the heart of Scrum.

  • The team showed ultimate transparency and openness about their progress.
  • The team showed courage to discuss not achieving the milestone with all the other teams.
  • The team showed respect to their colleagues. Being transparent and honest about the progress is a great way to show respect to your colleagues.
  • The team made it possible to discuss the consequences of not achieving the milestone in an early stage. This ensured the team could focus on solutions and move forward.
  • The team showed true commitment. Commitment to do their best to achieve the goal/milestone while maintaining a high quality. Maybe they could have achieved the milestone with a lower quality, but that wouldn’t be fair. Commitment is about focusing on continuous improvement, craftsmanship, and collaborate with all the business people involved.

This is what Scrum is about. Scrum can be beautiful. Just stick to the core values.

One thought to “The Box of Transparency”

  1. In many companies, we see exactly the opposite. People change their talk, behavior the moment CEO, customer or the boss walks into the room. Success moments are celebrated with champagne, but failures are pushed under the rug. Too much importance is given to who said it, than what was said. The term “internal customer” has lost its meaning – there’s only the boss / CEO – and their views align with the firm’s biggest customer. Rest are pawns. Scrum will never work in environments described above.

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