Visual Managment – Information radiators

Yesterday, I attended a session on Visual Management by Xavier Quesada Allue.
This was a workshop part of the ILearn sessions hosted by ILean at the Cronos offices.

Xavier started by discussing the motivation and goals of visualizing information used by Agile software development teams.

What do we want to achieve?

  • Create process transparancy
  • Nurture open communication
  • Enhance team collaboration
  • Display progress

Alistair Cockburn used the term Information Radiators in his book ‘Agile Software Development : The Cooperative Game‘.
It summarizes the purpose quite well.  Which is to beam information off the walls.  It catches the attention of everyone entering the room.
You don’t need to ask questions, the information simply hits you as you pass.

According to Alistair, the two characteristics of information radiators are:

  • Information changes over time
  • It takes very little energy to view the display
    This is why stuff hanging on the wall works much better than web pages.

The second part of the workshop was to create a taskboard according to some given requirements.
Each team came up with different ways of showing the requirements on their task board.
These are two examples:

Blue team



Green team

I found it to be a very usefull excersise.  Speaking for myself, questioning the information radiators we use during our daily projects is something we spend not nearly enough time on.
By questioning the purpose and value of each detail, you can often improve its purpose.


Related posts:
Project retrospectives
Vanishing tasks

About Nick Oostvogels

Hi, I'm an independent management consultant. My biggest strengths are located in the fields of teamwork, motivation, leadership and continuous improvement. In the IT industry you find a lot of these values in the agile movement, in which I often act as a project leader, product owner or coach. My interests go a lot further, into other industries where we find these values in lean production. Besides that, I try to broaden my horizon as much as possible, always looking for better ways of doing business.

One comment

  1. Pingback: Book review - Agile software development : the cooperative game (2nd edition) « Nick Oostvogels’s Weblog

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