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If you play the role of an Agilist (or a similar one), you’re going to be working in a new environment, and you don’t know where to start, here’s my suggestion.

Assess the team’s level of visibility

Most places find themselves in a myopic situation about their own reality, overshadowed by false certainties and day-to-day perceptions and without quality to make good decisions.

The lack of visibility and transparency within organizations often triggers a series of serious problems, such as:

  • Mistrust and micromanagement;
  • High cost of coordination;
  • Too many meetings and requests for reports;
  • Communication misalignments and noise;
  • Stress and internal and external conflicts;
  • Wrong decisions;
  • Low efficiency and effectiveness.

Stop to think, and you will see that the origin of these and many other problems begin with scenarios of inadequate visibility in one or more aspects.

Increase visibility

So, simply consider increasing the level of visibility and understanding of things as they currently are.

This is perhaps the biggest contribution you can make at this first moment and it usually has a very low cost compared to other initiatives, in addition to generating little resistance. After all, you’re not changing the way things happen, you’re just giving transparency of how they happen.

Where to start working as an Agilist?

Practically, here are some suggestions of where you can start:

  • Does the board reflect your actual workflow? With all its stages and also the queues?
  • Are the cards representing the demands always found in the places they really should be? Can we trust the statuses we see on the board?
  • Are the locks and dependencies always well-signposted visually?
  • Are priorities, particularly emergencies, clear and easily identified on the board?
  • Are the rules and agreements made by the team clear to everyone and explicitly displayed in an easily accessible place?
  • Are the objectives to be achieved from the deliveries made clear to everyone and explicitly described in them?
  • Are the attributions and responsibilities of the roles that exist today clear and exposed to everyone?
  • Are the problems identified by the team recorded and openly exposed to those involved at the appropriate time?
  • Are there metrics that help generate visibility of results and progress achieved, opportunities for improvement, and current performance?

See that we can work on the visibility of our current state at several different points. And for most of them, we can just start doing something about it, without big permissions or investments.

The simple fact that these things become more explicit to everyone should already bring more clarity and alignment, offer support in decision-making, strengthen teamwork, and positively disturb, encouraging necessary reflections and discussions.

It’s simpler than it looks! Let’s try it.

João Paulo Grabosque, Agile Coach at BRQ