An empowered project management team – especially in the agile development process – is productive, fully-engaged project management team. And full disclosure or project information is a necessary ingredient to keep the team fully engaged, empowered and ready to make decisions that affect the successful outcome of the project.
For an agile team to be able to adapt, information must be open and free-flowing. Traditional managers have long prevented this openness and freedom because of a fear that it will result in chaos. Because of this fear, traditional managers have controlled information and meted it out on a “need to know” basis. On traditionally managed projects, teams often feel like they don’t know what is going on – only the project manager has the “master plan” and only the project manager interacts with the project sponsor. In the agile PM world – the opposite must be the case in order for the project to be successful – information is freed to leverage its power. Collective code ownership encourages everyone to contribute to the project. Customer and developer are placed in close proximity via on-site customer to promote an open exchange of information.
To promote open information, the project manager, team, and the organization as a whole can try a variety of techniques:
- Place team members within close proximity of each other whenever possible.
- Make use of information radiators such as whiteboards, charts, etc to disseminate information
- Rather than have status meetings with the project sponsor(s) in an office or conference room, bring him/her to the project room for public status reports and hands-on demos.
- Use a team wiki, a Sharepoint site, or a social media group such as a Facebook group (or similar closed group situation) to share information.
- Establish daily status meetings to promote the flow and exchange of information.
- Sustain open information exchange between business domain experts and the development team.
Information for this article was derived, in part, from CCPace’s book entitled, “Agile Project Management.”