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Friday 18 October 2019
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Scrum project management and transparency

When we talk about Scrum, we are talking about a framework that encompasses several techniques and processes that are employed to manage the development of a complex product. It allows users to deliver software modules in short periods of time. The three pillars of Scrum that should be respected and followed at all times are an adaptation, verification, and transparency.

About this last concept: transparency, with Scrum there aren’t any hidden processes, and anyone can see and understand what is going on and what is being done. Transparency is exercised inside and outside the team. This means that errors are also visible, and this particular point may cause some trouble or lead to a lack of motivation. It is important to encourage the team to learn from mistakes and to continue the hard work.

How important is transparency in a project?

In plain English: very important. read more here If you want to know why. When in a project each task is visible to the rest of the team, contributors can set a working rhythm that suits the team and makes the project run smoother. Understanding how one’s work affects the work of our colleagues can help us as individuals to set realistic expectations in tasks and processes.

Transparency is a huge promoter of responsibility in that respect. If every member of the team knows exactly what is expected from him or her and how these actions are necessary for the rest of the team, then half of the job is done.

Areas that can be improved with transparency:

Communication in the project

Messages are very easy to deliver to keep the whole team informed. Decisions, meeting, and emails can be shared, and every member of the team will know about the topics that affect or interest them.

Budget information

Sometimes, revealing numbers is not recommended. However, a budget can also be considered in terms of time or funds available. Once this information is shared, it is easier to keep everybody working under a budget. This can also be used to avoid spending too much time, effort or funds in a specific task.

Issues to be solved

Nobody likes to have a red list of issues to be solved but, sharing them with the team can help solve them faster. Team members can offer solutions or suggestions, and therefore issues can be solved faster than if they were kept in private.

Changes

This area is closely related to communication. Changes are coming, all the time. Keeping everybody informed about these changes and how they affect the project is something that can be achieved through transparency.

Disadvantages of following a Scrum framework

Although we have explained all the advantages of transparency in a Scrum framework, there are also some disadvantages or challenges to be faced:

  1. If members are not committed, the overall pace and quality of the product can be jeopardized since individual progress is visible. What a member does will affect the rest of the team working in that sprint.
  1. It works better in small teams that have higher levels of cohesion and trust.
  1. It requires a group of people capable of accomplishing each task. If a task fails, the whole sprint is compromised.

Reporting transparent progress

In Scrum, the use of burndown and burnup charts is very common. When it is necessary to show the progress of a project to the client or owner, showing what has been done and what is still to do in the charts is an easy way of showing how transparent the project is.

What happens is there is no transparency?

Lack of transparency will translate into poor quality and a team that will not feel motivated. Transparency implies openness, communication, and responsibility. Such assets cannot be taken for granted in teamwork. They have to be clearly stated, promoted and monitored. A simple Scrum board can help everybody know where the project is at.

Clear information can be used to speed up certain tasks or to evaluate how other tasks are being done. A change will always be present and having open communication channels will help every member know where they are standing and what to do next.