Do you ever get the feeling that the world is spinning faster than ever. Maybe it has been like that all along, and we’re all having trouble keeping up? I believe so. Or was it easier doing business a decade ago, two decades ago? I don’t know, I’m not old enough and haven’t been in the business that long.

What I do know is that I have an urge to be in control. So, when I get in a situation where I, for some reason, don’t have all the information I want that, I feel the need to be in control. I start to act irrationally, ineffective and very unorganized. It’s a vicious circle.

Loosing control

Whenever that sort of situation appears I know it’s important to take a few steps back and start asking myself questions. Questions that gives me an idea of what’s going on. It usually boils down to the lack of information. I don’t understand things or didn’t get the information I needed in time.

And I’m not alone.

At least I think there are a lot more people like me out there. We want to have relevant information in time. When transparency turns to opacity, it’s easy to get confused.

If we agree that everybody always are trying to do their best, given their capabilities and the information they’re handed. What you really want to do is make your process as transparent as possible. You want a flow of information with a minimum of delays and noise. You want fast feedback as well. This is the essence.

Humans need information that is tailored to the current situation. Let’s see what happens when you increase transparency in a process.

Increasing transparency

Imagine yourself being part of a team, in a project that develops software. You’re team is noticing a trend. The customer are having difficulties in deciding on how the UI is supposed to work and what is shall look like. Something doesn’t feel right and you’re get the feeling that information gets lost. The team makes the bold decision to start delivering more often. By doing this you’re closing the feedback loop earlier and you get relevant feedback more often. Transparency increases.

Two releases later the testing apartment starts complaining. They can’t keep up. Defects slips through and the customer isn’t very pleased. Management hears this and tension mounts. From around the organization suggestions are made that you ‘Go back to the old way of working’. In short, decrease transparency.

Now it starts to get interesting.

An organization that is serious about improvements will start asking questions instead. Why aren’t testing keeping up? A will to try and find the root cause of the problem is key, not closing ones eyes, pushing the problem away or start blaming each other.

Improvement, leadership and feedback

If you’ll keep on trying to increase the feedback in your organization and make sure information flows freely you will eventually get a more transparent process. You won’t get your hands tied up in a web of lies and misinformation that steals energy and focus from what really makes a difference.

When you and the people around you get used to this, you’ll experience a whole different level of control. You’ll notice you waste less energy on what doesn’t matter and you’ll be able to make use of that energy on the important stuff.

If you still think that the world is spinning faster and faster or if you’re having troubles keeping up, you’re probably wasting energy on the wrong things. Maybe it’s time to increase transparency in your life?

The future is now and the new instrument for control is transparency!

It frees up time, resources and money. But it requires a new kind of leadership. One that is characterized by passion, a will to improve and honest communication. Are you ready?

About Ola Ellnestam

Agile Coach, Systems developer, Agile Practitioner and father of three.

One response »

  1. […] Traducido de Transparency, the new instrument for control, por Ola Ellnestam. […]

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