Reading Time: 3 minutes

Transparency & Agile

What does Transparency mean to #People?

Does transparency mean to be open about everything? or does it mean we all need to agree on everything? The answer basically goes back to understanding what’s the context, so “it depends”. Transparency is a vital component that has to be met in order for us to collaborate effectively and understand agile principles and values. Sometimes we lose our thoughts on transparency because we are missing the definition of what does transparency actually mean.

How does #Culture relate to Transparency?

When we start talking about transparency at an organization level, we have to understand the culture and environment around us. Culture is a key, and hence something that we always blame when things aren’t transparent. In an organization where culture is not strong, we see that the blame goes directly to the culture, which is quite ironic because when that happens, it kind of gives you a glimpse of what that organizational culture might be. Would people feel empowered in an environment where blame is being dumped on culture? How do we fix this problem, I tell people to first ask yourself the question: “How transparent am I?”. In order to change the culture, I believe it has to start with the individual first. I encourage people to ask questions listed here:

  • What are we trying to achieve?
  • As a team/organization, what is our vision?
  • Are we all on the same page?
  • What do I need to do to become better and help my team/organization deliver value?
  • How are you doing? 
  • How was your day? 
  • How is it going? 
  • Is there anything I can do to help support you all?
  • [Insert your question here]

These are all good questions but the bolded ones are the most important, in my opinion. Sometimes we get so caught up on work, that we don’t bother asking general questions to empathize with the person you are working with. This is important because understanding the person, and what they are going through can help enrich the dialogue and conversation, and build the TRUST needed to increase transparency!

How does everyone #Value Transparency?

This term “value” has a lot of weight because how someone values transparency can be different from person to person. This is why as mentioned earlier that it is important to come to a common definition of how we would like to define transparency. Individually, you can have your personal definition of transparency, but when you are working with a team, it is also crucial to come up with a team/organization definition of transparency. This mimics sort of a working agreement within a team. This working agreement can be used as a tool to help create guardrails and clarity on the definition of transparency, as well as serve as a medium to help build more TRUST!

Trust and Transparency: Personal Example:

Asking the question “How transparent am I?”, I thought of an idea to put this to test. So knowing the technologies available on our phones today, I recently shared my location with my parents, so they know where I am and my whereabouts, however, what I learned from activating this feature on my phone was interesting. Some may consider that this is too much, some may say I would never do that, but what I did there was actually change our definition of transparency. I realized that improving transparency with my parents, I have now allowed them visibility on my whereabouts, but what I also have done in parallel is taken my trust to the next level. I noticed that they aren’t as worried as they were previously, fewer phone calls as a result. (Disclaimer: Not encouraging that anyone should do this, but this really worked well for us). I take this example to illustrate the concept of how our definition of transparency can change and lead to increased levels of trust. The same concept can be followed in our organizations. If we have people who are not transparent, maybe we can do something to allow us to continuously build trust until we can change the definition of transparency.  Trust is vital, not just in terms of transparency or agile, but also when you are working within a team. To build this trust, think of this example, and start asking “What is the next thing I can do to improve my transparency?”. On the opposite spectrum also ask the question, “What is the next thing I can do to improve trust within our organization?”. Two important questions, because as we can see the relationship between Trust and Transparency are vital for any team to be successful.

Don’t be afraid to speak up, foster positivity, and collectively move towards your goal by changing yourself first.

I hope this helps, but I’m curious to hear everyone else’s thoughts on how they handle transparency within their organizations. How can we collectively share our issues here to learn from each other? Are there other ways we can tackle this issue? Comment below and join our journey.

#AgileMillennials #ContinuousLearning #EmpowerTrust #ImproveTransparency




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *