Month: December 2014

Visibility and information radiators

I strongly believe that anything worth doing, must be seen easily and frequently. This is a belief of many others that practice all forms of agile that I have come to adopt. Like other mentions on this blog, I have brought to home and personal life what I have learned in the work atmosphere. I can feel like a geek at times but when I find there is value to myself and others, I want to find a way to leverage it.

Information radiators can be anything to convey pushing or reminders of information. It could be a single message like a goal or multiple tasks showing priority. Another attribute is that it can be Self-serve without much explanation for those that need to rely on it or stumble upon it.

The information itself should encourage conversations can can also fight ambiguity. It should be readily updated otherwise it becomes stale and dies. It should embody the concept of change and experiment with what works. Try new ideas, new visuals, new ways to conveying priorities.

We have a story board in the office that shows who is working on what and what state those efforts are in. Also on the board are stated priorities, team mottos/manifestos, reports to show historical progress, and current blockers.

At home, I have sticky notes with prioritized tasks, our family’s menu board, and chore charts. The impact of showing information to our kids does things that I never even expected. It not only eliminates answering some of the same questions but allows them to help prepare and empowers them to help. Maybe they have ideas for shopping lists or efforts to set the table and are influenced by our dinner plan. Before they could read we used pictures of chores and colors to denote assignment or priority.

I am always trying to experiment with information shared and find new ways of showing what was previously only in my head. The book Personal Kanban has secured my belief in this and a good place to start for those that want to visually show the chaos in their heads. Please pick up the book if you want somewhere to start.