Ever wondered what benefits Agile and Lean methods such as Kanban actually provide? Ever wondered what transparency ever did good to the world? I’ll try and provide an example right here, straight from my own ordinary life!
My cohabitant uses a medication. She’s supposed to take it every morning, and that will make her feel better. If she doesn’t take it, bad things can happen during the day. Not necessarily, but they might. If she takes more than one, it’s apparently not A-ok either.
A while ago, I found this thing (photo below), lying on the bathroom sink. Now, if you’ve looked at the picture (and know Swedish) I hardly need to explain where I’m going with this or what the benefits of transparency are in this particular case. But hey, let’s say for the sake of it, that the picture isn’t showing up in your browser.
The thing she brought home is a plastic box, with seven compartments, one for each day of the week. She fills these, one pill in each, so that each time she takes a look at it she knows whether she’s taken the pill that day or not.
You know where I’m going with this now, don’t you? Since this box is in OUR bathroom, I happen to see it too, every time I visit the place. What do you think happens when I see a pill in the Wednesday compartment and it’s Wednesday afternoon?
Another effect of the box in this simple analogy, is that I, an external part of the process, become much more aware of the details of it. Immediately after she started using the box I recognized how often she takes the medication, how many pills she takes each time, the size of them, etcetera. Questions I previously couldn’t have given answers to when asked about. In effect, she’s shared the process with me, in a vary unobtrusive way…
Right, so I reckon transparancy works like this also if you scale it up, and use it in software development. Wouldn’t you agree?