5 Minutes on Scrum | Transparency

How important transparency was, was something I saw again last week. The simple fact that we created a better visibility about what happens in a couple of teams led to more communication across teams and that created a higher level of trust.

The theory behind this is based in the work of Niklas Luhmann, Valera, Glassersfeld, Gregory Beatson and a lot of other people who worked on the ideas of constructivism. One idea is “autopoesis.” A system can only react on itself. So it will build its structure by reacting on its own behaviour. Or in other words – something happens, that creates a successor event and this will create a structure without managing this structure: self-management. To enable a system to become self-referential it needs an awareness about its own activities. So only if it knows its behaviour, can it steer its behaviour according to a defined goal.

The solution for a system like a Scrum development team was to generate a Taskboard, this reflects the events/tasks of a team. The Taskboard will “show” where we are, what we do and how we interact. So the “system” can look, it can see and imagine how to do the next steps.  The transparency of tasks on a taskboard is therefore not created for reporting issues, but for creating an awareness. Awareness will then enable the team to self-manage themselves because now it can create a new structure.

As advice – if you look at a taskboard and you have the feeling it is “not nice”, overloaded or clumsy, react immediately. If not then the team will be using a taskboard but the taskboard will not be fulfilling its purpose correctly. Taskboards need to be neat, clean and well-designed. Use colours, good markers and good quality material for creating them. And you will have better team-dynamics.

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