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Enhancing your Agile workplace

Some useful tips to enable your team to work in an optimal and collaborative environment, and it all has to do with information radiators and osmotic communication.

Luke Pivac



Enhancing your Agile workplace

As I have said in a previous blogs, information radiators are used as a graphical representation of project information typically displayed in plain site of a shared area. These typically include useful information such as:

  • team notes
  • definitions of done
  • task boards
  • sprint burn downs,
  • and other dashboards.

Information radiators are designed to communicate progress and provide big picture analysis of how the project is going. They can be displayed on large boards or electronic displays. However, the former provides a tactile experience that your team may find more personable, as it adds a finer touch to the crafting and creating ethos many teams like as part of their culture.

Keeping agile transparent in the work space

The information radiators communicate a large truth with simple images. It enables transparency kept at the forefront of the team and stakeholders minds because it is all visible in one space. Moreover, it is even harder to be transparent when problems occur. It is natural for teams to hide problems when issues arise.

When issues are visible you are able to act as a team and address them when they are visible and displayed in a simple and easy to read visual format.

Who is responsible for updating information radiators?

As a team you are all responsible. However, reporting as a whole should be driven by the scrum master.

The scrum master is like a switchboard operator, updating the reports and reconnecting the lines each time something changes. Ensuring the team and stakeholders stay connected.

Working together means staying together

Integrated teams, cross functional teams need to work closely together through the daily grind of the sprint. Promoting a team collaboration helps build trust and team work. It is not an easy thing to achieve and it is a process.

Osmotic communication allows your team to remain lightweight

Osmotic communication is the spontaneous chatter in workspace. This happens when dev teams work together outside of the scrum events. As a team manager, it is important for you to prioritise co-location. Staying together is a good way to keep things lean and reduce organised meetings.

Next steps are establishing your team workspace

When teams work well together they become a thing of wonder. To ensure your teams succeed together, co-locating in one location is just the start. So in time, ensure you consider some of these factors:

  • Ongoing development of the team.
  • Have team cross train to cover skills.
  • Get workers ready ahead of time.
  • Emphasis on getting technical people to focus on soft skills and project related tasks.
  • Get them to understand the principles of project management.
  • Develop personal development plans for them.
  • Difference between managers and leaders. Leaders inspire their teams.
  • Provide big picture and strategy direction.
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