Transparency, Agility and Accountability

Written August 16th, 2010 by
Categories: CEO's Blog
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My wife and I have been remodeling our kitchen this summer.  After 7 weeks of washing dishes in the bathtub, I was excited to finally be able to wash the breakfast dishes in the new stainless steel sink, with the touch activated faucet, looking through the enlarged double casement windows, onto the…weed infested raised bed garden?#@#$?

That's when it hit me!  Transparency is indeed at the heart of Agility. 

For seven weeks our garden happily took advantage of the fact that we didn't have a window to look through.  Literally, our garden was overrun.  It spent the last 7 weeks doing what it wanted to do, growing hearty weeds, vines and even allowing saplings to take root.  Not exactly my intention, but definitely enabled by my inattention.  Which, let the record show, was not the plan!  Knowing that we were going to be too busy this year to tend to a garden, at this start of our project, I sprayed the garden with a preventative dose of weed killer and entombed it with a thick layer of mulch.

A perfect metaphor for the role of transparency on Agile projects.

The initial plan was a rational one, but without iterative inspections, it was never verified to be a valid one!  If I had only ventured back there once during the course of the last two months, I could have easily seen that the original plan wasn't fit for purpose.  

Now that we have a beautiful new kitchen window, BOTH my wife and I can see that the garden needs help.  I wonder which one of us is going to take the initiative to clean things up? 🙂

Isn't that also an Agile tenet?  Team's self organize to accomplish a common goal?

So far, neither one of us has volunteered for the job.  Frankly, in the overall scheme of things, tending to a garden in the middle of August in the midst of 95+ degree days just doesn't seem to bubble to the top of our priorities.  But when it does, one of us will raise their hand and claim ownership for the task.

From that moment forward, all the other has to do is gaze out the window to gauge progress.

Sam