When we think about transparency, we automatically think about it in terms of developers being transparent to clients about work, while this is critically important, the responsibility of transparency doesn't just lie wth the developers, it also lies equally with the clients.
Keep reading to find out what we mean.
The obvious reason for developer transparency is that it increases client trust. When the client knows what is happening at all times, they feel more in control. And it can be a frustrating experience to be paying for something and feeling left in dark, hence why we hate the idea of development agencies using gatekeepers. Information and communication should always be able to flow freely between the developer and client.
So why doesn't this always happen? Well, there may be several reasons. One might be what we mentioned before, the agency itself could be the barrier to communication. It could be that the developer may want to withhold issues, so that the client doesn't worry excessively or it could be just that the developer is not a great people person. It could also be that is just difficult to communicate technical concepts to a non technical person. Regardless of the reason, there are ways to overcome these kinds of issues, one of our favorites is a devout devotion to the daily stand up.
Be Transparent with Code
Another less obvious reason for developer transparency, is that a better product can be built if a developer is completely transparent with code to his colleagues. When everyone can see what is being worked on, it opens the door to feedback and more efficient workflow. A senior developer could work out issues in a few hours that might take a junior developer a few days to figure out.
Most people understand why a developer may need to be transparent but why should the same level of transparency be required of the client? Isn't the client the boss? Technically, yes, but it also just so happens that the client or product owner also tends not to be technically inclined. While that in and of itself is not an issue, it can cause communication issues.
Be Transparent About Goals
You may think this is obvious, but when we say transparency we mean full transparency. Be specific about what you want to achieve with your product. This will give developers the chance to creatively tackle any obstacles you may not have the foresight to see.
This is exactly what it sounds like, don't assume that any changes or new ideas you have will have little or no impact on work being currently done even if it is for the future. If you are transparent about everything you want or need your project to be in real time - adjustments can be made in real time saving everyone time, and frustration, and consequently saving you money. Also be aware that what might seem like an easy fix to a non technical person, may not be easy in reality at all. Being involved every step of the way and bringing up issues as you see them is the best way to avoid going over budget and delaying timelines. At the end of the day, the more everyone knows about a project, the better the product will be.