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My wife and I have been remodeling our kitchen this summer.  After 7  weeks of washing dishes in the bathtub, I was excited to finally be able  to wash the breakfast dishes in the new stainless steel sink, with the  touch activated faucet, looking through the enlarged double casement  windows, onto the…weed infested raised bed garden?#@#$?

That’s when it hit me!  Transparency is indeed at the heart of Agility. 

For  seven weeks our garden happily took advantage of the fact that we  didn’t have a window to look through.  Literally, our garden was  overrun.  It spent the last 7 weeks doing what it wanted to do, growing  hearty weeds, vines and even allowing saplings to take root.  Not  exactly my intention, but definitely enabled by my inattention.  Which,  let the record show, was not the plan!  Knowing that we were going to be  too busy this year to tend to a garden, at this start of our project, I  sprayed the garden with a preventative dose of weed killer and entombed  it with a thick layer of mulch.

A perfect metaphor for the role of transparency on Agile projects.

The  initial plan was a rational one, but without iterative inspections, it  was never verified to be a valid one!  If I had only ventured back there  once during the course of the last two months, I could have easily seen  that the original plan wasn’t fit for purpose.  

Now that we have  a beautiful new kitchen window, BOTH my wife and I can see that the  garden needs help.  I wonder which one of us is going to take the  initiative to clean things up? 🙂

Isn’t that also an Agile tenet?  Team’s self organize to accomplish a common goal?

So  far, neither one of us has volunteered for the job.  Frankly, in the  overall scheme of things, tending to a garden in the middle of August in  the midst of 95+ degree days just doesn’t seem to bubble to the top of  our priorities.  But when it does, one of us will raise their hand and  claim ownership for the task.

From that moment forward, all the other has to do is gaze out the window to gauge progress.

Sam

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