Transparency: The Silver Bullet to Breaking IT and Business Collaboration Gridlock
22 December 2015
After only five years of my 15 years leading projects, it became apparent to me that conflicting priorities during a project would remain the greatest threat to its success. Regardless of the type of project, whether technical in nature or not, there remains competition between which influence will have the greatest sway over its success. Will technical or business considerations drive the life of the project?
Understandably, the business side of a project is usually made up of nontechnical people who focus mostly on the budget. They understand and care even less regarding the project's technical details. I began with "understandably" because guarding the organization's financial resources is primarily their role. Without revenue and profit, there would be no business.
Technical professionals often concern themselves solely with aspects of the project that are related to the software they use or recommended best practices. While it may appear that they ignore or resist contemplating the concerns of business professionals, this is largely the result of a breakdown of communication between both sides.
Scrum to the rescue
Scrum provides transparency through the function of the product owner — a role within the business community, someone who literally drives the project, deciding which features the team will work on, in which order, and collaborate with the team in a very intimate way largely unseen in most projects. The former distrust suspected between both types of team members in a project — those desiring the product versus those delivering its capabilities — are now collaborating and sharing information weekly in various meetings.
This required transparency breaks down walls and allows for greater collaboration throughout the enterprise. More business leaders gain valuable experience engaging with and building products with technical professionals, achieving synergy between two previously frustrated parts of the business.
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