Visibility, the ability to see what is in front of you, is critically important for companies in order to remain profitable and relevant in their industry. Imagine how difficult it would be for you to drive a car without being able to see the road. Adding in weather impediment elements can hamper your ability to reach your destination on-time even further. Even the sunniest days can blind your vision causing you to be distracted from where you are going.
Just like with driving a car, it’s a leader’s ability to chart the course with a clear vision for what the customer needs, along with what the teams can deliver, that is key to business success. So it comes as no surprise that 87% of the 10th annual State of Agile survey respondents said that the “ability to manage changing priorities” remains as the top improvement result of implementing agile practices. The ability to change helps foster the #2 item on that list, “increased team productivity” at 85%, and both of those are a result of “improved project visibility” at 84%.* In fact, managing change, increased productivity, and improved project visibility have been at the top of this list for the past five years.
While change and productivity are so very important, visibility is the key that paves the road to agile success. Without visibility, how hard would it be to change course quickly? Without visibility how do you track and measure productivity improvements? And just like in driving, visibility is a two-way street. Teams need to know where they are going as much as the leaders of your organization need to know what the current map looks like, how fast the cars are driving, and how close we are to various destinations.
Whether you are a senior leader, or a member of an agile team, here a few key areas to help your company reap the benefits through better visibility practices:
- Know the important team indicators that drive the company’s success (e.g., velocity, throughput, productivity)
- Align your work items correctly to help influence the success factors and be open to discussing this in your daily and weekly planning sessions
- Be transparent with leadership and encourage them to be more involved in reviews
- Share impediments and bad news as quickly and efficiently as possible
- Practice extreme visibility with all your indicators, make them visible and known far and wide
- Become a trust agent for your teams and remember to always be building trust
- Share company news and the key indicators that drive the company, have the teams help create these key numbers in partnership (e.g. share ownership on scorecards and dashboards)
- Know how the teams operate and understand the value of their processes and ceremonies (act and think more like a team member)
- Celebrate every win and encourage good behavior (vs discouraging bad behavior)
- Ruthlessly remove impediments for the team to help them be successful
Improving the visibility in your organization can produce amazing results. Agile companies strive to provide customer value early and often. The State of Agile Report once again highlights how agile companies are seeing productivity improvements that boost company profits and increase the number happy customers.
Do you have the visibility your organization needs to succeed?
State of Agile is a trademark of VersionOne Inc.
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