Responsibility and Transparency in Teams

Photo by mollybob

Photo by mollybob

I've heard people say that teams need people who will take responsibility for work, and today I heard a story that makes me think responsibility is not enough:

A developer checks in some code, tests it, and realizes there is a minor defect.  He takes responsibility for the defect.  Wanting to get more feedback about his work and knowing that he will go ahead and fix the defect he found, he tells his QA team members to start their testing.  They do, and they report a minor defect.  The same one he already knew about and was fixing.  QA finds out he was already working on a fix and is frustrated that the developer didn't tell them about the defect earlier. 

As I heard the story, the mental image that came to mind was something like this:

It's great that the developer found the defect and took responsibility for fixing it, but not being transparent to QA about it diminished trust within the team.  The ball got dropped even though the developer and QA both took responsibility for their work--there was a lack of transparency.  More communication was needed to maintain trust within the team.

How are you transparent about the work you're responsible for?

Allison Pollard

I help people discover their agile instincts and develop their coaching abilities. As an agile coach with Improving in Dallas, I enjoy mentoring others to become great Scrum Masters, coaching managers to grow teams that deliver amazing results, and fostering communities that provide sustainability for agile transformations. In my experience, applying agile methods improves delivery, strengthens relationships, and builds trust between business and IT. A big believer in the power of community-based learning, I grew the DFW Scrum user group significantly over the five years I served as an organizer. I am also a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, a foodie, and proud glasses wearer.