Yes…I have an infinite number of pet peeves. Let’s focus in on information radiators this go around:
- What’s an Information Radiator: I don’t tend to describe myself as artistic. I do not draw much and my designing abilities are pathetic. However, I (as well as most people) are visual. We learn from what we see. We should be displaying information in formats that not only help share/digest information but also help people identify issues/opportunities within the team. If you have no information radiators in your team, your team is missing chances to improve!
- Don’t look at that, it’s not updated: Then get rid of it!!! Information radiators automatically share information. If it’s not valid, why share it? Buy art instead for the walls.
- That’s somewhere on this wall: Just as the concepts of WIP and multi-tasking apply to people, I believe they apply to Information Radiators too. If you have so many charts, logs, etc on the walls that it’s overwhelming and/or people can’t find what information they need, how is that helping? Yes, it’s all valuable, but focus on the most important information that will add value to the team. For high performing teams, I have never seen the exact same information radiators.
- Why am I updating this every day/week: If you are asking this question, then the answer is probably you shouldn’t? Don’t create busy work…is the information valuable to the team? Does someone need frequent access to this information? The updating part is not the issue but if you feel you are doing it for no value, STOP. You will learn if there was value when people go to find it – and it’s not there. You can always add it back.
- All information radiators should be electronic: There are definitely benefits here especially for distributed teams. However, there are powers behind physical boards: access to change, the act of moving notes increases ownership, huddling around board encourages team collaboration, etc. Find the balance that works best for your team.
- Oh that hasn’t changed in a year: Really? I can’t think of anything that wouldn’t change in a year. Norms…you better be evolving them. Best Practices…they better be growing. And if it really doesn’t change, is that the top thing that needs to be shared after a year?
What are your information radiator pet peeves?