Building a culture of Transparency

How can an agile coach help you strengthen the value of Transparency, in your organization and help you build a culture of Trust and Transparency?


When it comes to transparency I highly recommend that you read the book “rethinking Agile, Why Agile Teams Have Nothing To Do With Business Agility” by Klaus Leopold. In his book he introduces something that he calls flight levels and he uses the metaphor a different flight altitudes and the level of detail which is possible to see from each altitude. Each flight levels has their own characteristics and advantages as well as limitations and disadvantages.

Basically, the technique that is used in this book for the different Flight Levels is Visualization. Boards are used to visualize work and dependencies. The three levels defined by Klaus Leopold are the Strategic level, Flight Level 3 where you would see the overall picture, like a flight on very high altitude.

The second Flight Level visualizes the end-to-end coordination, so that is all teams that has to be involved to solve a case, this would perhaps be as a view from a flight lifting from ground and increasingly flying higher.

The first Flight Level visualizes the operational level, so that is what is done within each individual team

Source: Klaus Leopold, book; "rethinking Agile, Why Agile Teams Have Nothing To Do with Business Agility"

From my perspective, the main benefit here is the Visualization for flow and the dependencies. This model creates transparency across all layers in addition, it helps everyone to pull in the same direction. A coach can help you with these types of visualization to create transparency across all layers.

A technique that I have seen used in combined with this visualization is by identifying OKRs from the strategic level all the way to actual work within the teams. A very interesting perspective I will be exploring further.

Another technique that can ve used before the visualization is started is to do a Value Stream Mapping or something similar.

A Value Stream is a Lean Technique used to document, analyse and improve flow of work when working on developing a service or a product. The technique is very useful because it captures more information that what typically is visible in a process map and the intention is to visualize flow, identify bottlenecks and by that be able to remove these.

The most important outcome from using this technique, is to capture everything that has to happen to Work, before we can say it is 100% complete for the customer or end user. We are focusing on the Work, not on people. I highly recommend to do this with any team you work with as an agile coach both when working with teams and when working with projects.

Once you have mapped out the entire value stream you can integrate this in the strategical level of your portfolio and create an understanding of how everything fits together within your organization and you have established a mechanism for coordinated prioritization on all levels in your organization.


There are many techniques you can use to build Trust, read more about it here.

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