Trust brings transparency
*Covid is a fictional character based on my imagination that represents the strain of CoronaVirus that is causing the disease Covid-19.
Covid: Knock! Knock!
Hiren: Who’s there?
Covid: It’s me, Covid again. I missed you.
Hiren: Yikes! Missed me?
Covid: He-he… Missed our chitchat friend. How are things?
Hiren: Phew! It’s a huge mess and it’s pretty bad. Somehow our co-existence is just not working out.
Covid: Aah.. Give it some time. Each day will be better than yesterday, and we both will eventually learn to somehow co-exist.
Hiren: I hope it is soon. We are struggling to save lives and at the same time keep the economy running. Ok, tell me what’s our Scrum chitchat topic today?
Covid: In our earlier discussion you used the term empiricism. What’s the meaning of this term and its significance?
Hiren: An important topic for anyone who wants to understand the beauty of Scrum. Scrum is founded on empiricism. Empiricism means making decisions based on data, facts, experience, evidence, and learnings. We conduct small time-boxed experiments and learn from them. The learnings are fed in the next experiment and this process continues.
Covid: Very simple. Do you need any special ingredients for empiricism?
Hiren: Yes, it is built on three solid pillars –Transparency, Inspection, and Adaptation.
Covid: Transparency? As in presenting the facts as is without hiding or lying?
Covid: Why do you need that?
Hiren: Imagine what would happen if the outcomes of the experiment are not presented factually. For certain reasons, it is manipulated, or falsified or lied about. Won’t you agree this would lead to poor inspection and adaptation?
Covid: Yes, but why would anyone lie or not present data factually? Is your race not good with transparency?
Hiren: Hey hey hey… Be careful! Don’t make any personal attacks against my people.
Covid: My bad. I didn’t mean it that way. Can you please help me understand why would anyone lie or hide facts because it is an alien concept for us?
Hiren: To present truth and facts we need a solid foundation of trust. Without an iota of fear, one should be able to deliver the real message. Unfortunately, it is not as easy as it sounds.
Covid: Fortunately we don’t have words like trust and fear in our vocabulary. But I still don’t understand why would someone follow unethical practices?
Hiren: Because, at times, passing the right message takes respect, courage, and openness. In the environment of distrust, the outcome can lead to embarrassment, punishment, and humiliation and we don’t fancy any of those emotions. So we take an easy route out by hiding or lying. But eventually, when truth prevails, the trust is broken beyond repair.
Covid: Phew! Your race is indeed too complex. Can you give me an example that I can relate to?
Hiren: Hmm… Yes, do you know we don’t have facts about you?
Covid: Whoa! Like?
Hiren: We are unable to come to a consensus about your date of birth and your place of birth. There is a story that you were born in a wet market. Then there is a story that you were synthesized and created in a lab in an experiment that went wrong. Similarly, there are many more stories about you.
Covid: Ooh-la-la! Which story do you believe in?
Hiren: Eh, I would have to whisper that in your ears. But I plan to continue maintaining my social distancing. Ha-ha.
Covid: Hee-hee. What’s the significance of knowing my Birthplace and Birthdate?
Hiren: Well, because that would reveal the source of your existence. This information can help us build focused and very targeted vaccines to overcome this pandemic and thereby save millions of lives.
Hiren: Why don’t you tell me the secret of your birthplace and your date of birth?
Covid: Yeah right… so that you can conquer me. Good luck finding that from me. Ha-ha. To summarise, are you suggesting that Trust is the foundation on which the three pillars of Transparency, Inspection, and Adaptation flourish to embrace empiricism?
Hiren: Beautiful, you are indeed a good student.
Hiren: Hey, why don’t you take a long vacation maybe for a year and come back later so we are prepared to give you a proper welcome?
Covid: Hee-hee! Very smart. I can’t do that, but let me share very sensitive and insightful information that could help you Homo sapiens.
Covid: I have been extremely transparent in revealing everything the Homo sapiens need to know for conquering me. Unfortunately due to the distrust and lack of transparency amongst the Homo sapiens the data exists around the globe but in fragmented form. You find a way to co-exist and tolerate each other and then use the power of collaboration to exchange information about me and very soon you will be able to end this pandemic. Does this help?
Hiren: Absolutely. I will surely relay this message to my Homo sapiens race. Thank you.
Covid: Thank you. Stay home, stay safe, and save lives. And practice social distancing sincerely. Until you find a way to overpower me I will keep stopping for chitchat with you and learn a bit more about Scrum. Bye.
Summary: The Scrum values help build the foundation of Trust. Transparency, Inspection, and Adaptation, the three pillars to embrace empiricism flourish on the foundation of Trust.
Earlier blog: Hiren's Secret conversation with Covid