Scrum is founded on empirical process control, and transparency is one of the three pillars.
Each of the Scrum Artifacts exist to bring transparency to the Scrum Team and the stakeholders. If you feel that there is a lack of transparency for any aspect of your initiative, have a good look with your team at your Artifacts.
Note: transparency is way more than bringing “visibility”. It is about reaching ”a common understanding”.
Let’s take the Increment.
Common understanding about what?
- What are the completed Product Backlog Items? This Sprint, and previous Sprints? What value, features, etc. does our Product contain right now?
Ensure that at any time it is clear what your product contains. Some would call this configuration management, i.e. what is the configuration of your product. Whatever the name, make sure you know. This can for example take the format of a release note, of architecture documentation, of user manuals, of ...
Remember that any information is expected to be consistent with the latest released product version.
- Given the Increment is Done, there is transparency on the quality level of the product, right?
Once a new/updated feature in the product reaches all its quality criteria defined in the Definition of Done, we have a new Increment. And only then: if it reaches all the quality criteria defined in the Definition of Done. Sooner you can't release as the quality level is not good enough.
- What step did we now make towards our vision, and towards our next goal? What is the current value we deliver to our customers and users? Thanks to this Increment, progress is made towards the goal. Clarify where you now are. And what's next, that is shown in the Product Backlog.
- What are known issues with the current version? Make sure this is known to the stakeholders.
Common understanding amongst who?
Amongst the entire Scrum Team and the product's stakeholders.
This also means to your users. Are they aware of the new capabilities you are offering?
It also means to for example marketing: what can they now add in their communications?
And to for example sales: what can they now add in their offers? etc.
Now have a look at the earlier posts about Transparency during the Scrum Events. During which of the Scrum Events will you use your Increment to raise transparency? Really, probably during all of them, yet certainly during the Sprint Review.
Your Increment is expected to bring a common understanding about the current state of the Product, and this to its stakeholders and the entire Scrum Team.
Have a conversation with your team about
- What does Transparency mean to you and your team?
- And how do you and your team raise Transparency using the Increment? How can you improve on this?
I hope you find value in these short posts and if you are looking for more clarifications, feel free to take contact.
If you want to take a deeper dive into the core concepts we are covering in this blog series, then surely check out our Professional Scrum MasterY workshop. We have some scheduled in the coming period.
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