15/12/2011

Information Radiation for Agile/Lean Team

Introduction

Information radiation is important, esp for Agile/Lean team. Personally, I don't like people to ask me about providing updates or so. I prefer the way that the information is at the place if they want. And information about team can be communicated back to business in a more predictable way.

It has been a hard trip for me to make "information fridge" become a "information radiator". Partially it could be that I am not a very communicator even in my mother language Chinese. The following will summarize my experiences.

Info, Info and Info 

There are lots of kinds of information that needs to shared in a dev team and across to other teams in business.

I have categorized into following info:

 . Work Items

 Stories that team is working on and/or is ready to work in next 3-7 working days.

 . Activity Stream

 What team members have been working in past 8 working hours or some other specific time frame. And communication between team and other stake holders.

 . Build Light

 Build success or failure status

 . Quality Metrics

 Like code coverage, Afferent Coupling, Efferent Coupling, Cyclomatic Complexity Number and others

 . General Metrics

 I love cumulative diagram. But sprint burndown, control chart and others are good candidates.

 . Blocker Items

 It is very good to communicate blocker items across team members

 . WIP Limits

 If you use Kanban, WIP limit status is a very good criteria to be communicated to other team members.

 . Next Deployment

 Days to next deployment and related items

 Pullers/Readers

 There are different kind of pullers and readers. And every business has structed their teams different. And I believe there is a need different kind of visualization interface to different user groups in the company.

 I always categorized into different groups. Different groups have different interests.

 Radiate Now

 There are few ways to radiate, the following ways are the ones that I have used:

 1. In Team

 - Standup
 - Grooming Session
 - Retrospective

 2. Across Team

 - Face to face communication
 - Whiteboard with printed metrics
 - In-office screen with tools like JIRA Wallboard
 - IRC like tool, such as Campfire, for distributed teams

 Questions

 Information radiation for distribution teams are big challenge for me. I will share further information when I have some confident about those.
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