Transparency at Crimson Macaw and Why We Value It

By Craig Convery – Consultant Delivery Lead

At Crimson Macaw we place an extremely high value on Transparency with our Sprints and Scrum+ Framework. Being transparent at Crimson Macaw builds trust across our teams and stakeholders, it builds and supports effective communication channels and allows our decision-making process to be informed at the highest possible level. As a Delivery Lead, we support and encourage our teams to maintain Transparency.  

If quick decisions need to be made during our Sprints, we have confidence that we are making the right decisions because of our solid Transparency base which is embedded and expected within our Teams. 

Transparency scrum pillars

Transparency at Crimson Macaw and why we need it 

Transparency is a pillar that sits alongside Inspection and Adaption in our Crimson Macaw Framework, and all three of these pillars are essential to support the Framework both collectively and effectively. 

To allow us to improve process, or to help decision making due to priority changes, for example, we need to ensure 100% Transparency across our Framework and to Stakeholders to allow us to Inspect and Adapt, especially during Retrospectives or Sprint Reviews.  

Simple Techniques to Increase Team Transparency as a Delivery Lead 

By ensuring that the work tracking tool used by the Crimson Macaw Team (in our case, Jira) is fully up to date as far as Status, Assignee and any work comments are concerned – the comments themselves should not be an overhead or wastage and keeping the comments light can also be highly valuable as they are often ‘only needed when they are needed’. 

As a Delivery Lead, we can use this as a powerful enabler of Transparency by encouraging and focussing our Stand-ups on our workflow tool (often referred to as ‘Walking the Board’). The assignee for a particular work item can talk about their progress yesterday and the plans for the day as we talk around the current status of the Story or Tasks. During Stand-up, we can also highlight any work that is not assigned or is in ‘To Do. This provides Transparency with added value of the team discussing this work if needed at that stage in the Sprint. This in turn encourages discussion and further Transparency (‘sorry, I need to assign this to myself’), ensuring work gets the required focus. 

By updating the workflow tool, the Team are in a much stronger position to protect themselves in case of any unplanned leave/sickness as affected work is instantly recognisable. The work also stands a much better chance of being transferred to a new assignee in a less disruptive fashion. 

As a Delivery lead, I would also recommend opening the Team Retro Board at the start of the Sprint and allowing the opportunity for the team to add comments as the Sprint. progresses. Although this is extremely easy ‘to do,’ it can be a strong enabler to encourage a team mindset for continual process improvement throughout the Sprint. 

Conclusion

In summary, Transparency is a pillar that supports our team values. Transparency is a driver for our view of current work and progress for areas where we have issues to be addressed and it allows us to make informed decisions at our team level. It helps to focus our culture of self-management and openness as a team. Transparency for us is a huge motivator for continual improvement.  

Like this blog? Read more on being a Delivery Lead and how we use Agile in our projects here at Crimson Macaw.