The word “transparency” can be easily misused. Even dictatorship regimes are convinced they are transparent. Companies advocate transparency while they dis-empower their teams for mediocrity. I have more examples to share, but the point here is: What does transparency mean in Agile?
Is transparency used in an empty sense? Can we have an objective definition of transparency in Agile? Does this definition vary based on the culture of the group, the company, or even their country at large?
I notice how teams react when I start using this word. I have decided not to talk about transparency but instead to take specific actions.
Many failure scenarios can happen in Agile projects because of lack of transparency. Examples include the following:
- The product owner or management reduces the estimates that the team has created.
- The product owner does not want to include technical stories as part of his prioritization.
- The product owner does not want to become involved.
I present here six specific actions that can promote transparency. These actions are for the product owner, while supported by the Scrum Master and other groups in the organization.