July 9, 2021

The Increment and Transparency - Back to the foundations of the Scrum framework (08)

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.
  • ...

Common understanding amongst who?

Amongst the entire Scrum Team and the stakeholders. This means also to your users. Are they aware of the new capabilities you are offering? To for example marketing: what can they now add in their communications? To for example sales: what can they now add in their offers? etc.

Summary: Does your Increment bring a common understanding about the current state of the Product?

Prompt: With your entire team and the stakeholders, have a look at your Increment. What does it show you? What is the current value it brings?

I hope you find value in these short articles and if you are looking for some clarifications, or if this raises a number of questions, feel free to take contact at steven @ boostyourscrum . com


PS. Next week we'll look at the Product Owner and Transparency.

Don't want to miss any of these? Have the professional Scrum foundations series weekly in your mailbox.

How the Increment brings Transparency