Transparency - Sure you can deal with it?

Enterprise, you want to go agile - sure you want?

If you honestly do so, ask yourself, as somebody in charge, the question: "Can we handle the effects of transparency?"

Then split the we and insert instead:

Management, people and culture

The effects of transparency spread wide but are deeply routed in your corporate culture. It is about how you deal with problems: Will you welcome them, will you deny them or even worse will you surrender saying: "That is like the way it works - accept it." 

Furthermore it is about how long will it take to solve problems and when does frustration start how will your people deal with it? Key question still is: will you be able to learn how to improve fast enough, before your system gets to annoyed of transparency?

Some questions to sting yourself

By ZooFari (Own work) CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

  • The unsolvable problems will be addressed - will you spend the time and effort in making the impossible possible?
  • Will you take every problem serious that will be addressed?
  • How patient is the culture of your organisation?
  • How long will people wait before they get annoyed by all the problems perceivable?
  • What if your people are stuck, will they solve problems on their own? 
  • What if people are stuck and get frustrated about the amount of problems every day? 
  • What if your people fear or realize that they archive too little?
  • How will your culture handle and react when problems are addressed?
  • How will you react if people are part of the problem? 
  • What if you as a manager are part of the problem? 
  • Are your people comfortable being naked in business? 

There is a lot more to ask, but if you do feel uncomfortable with this rethink your intend about an agile transition. If you do say, transparency is no problem at all, then you might have a great organisation or you've lost touch with the culture of your organisation. 

The only thing I can highly recommend is: Go to the people who work, get firsthand awareness about how work is really done, ask for the problems and get a keen appreciation about improvements. Be humble and help them!


read it in German: click