In past projects, I have provided various management tiers access into the Sprint backlogs. Often time this gives them insight into the tasks the development team is working on to accomplish a specific product backlog item (PBI). However, I came across the following quote and I believe I have now altered my previous thought on this transparency:
Increasing the Sprint Backlog’s visibility beyond the Scrum Team is an invitation for the three “M’s”: meddling, misunderstanding, and micromanaging. Remember that the Sprint Backlog primarily contains the how and not the what. Allowing stakeholders, or any interested parties to view the Product Backlog or burndown chart (if utilized) is preferable.
I have found that, while I am a huge proponent of transparency, that opening the sprint backlog up to all levels has lead to a high level the M conditions listed above. While managers might not often be in the details, they get wrapped up in the specific task and start questioning the development team regarding their various methodologies or why certain tasks aren’t listed.
I believe that while transparency is important, the trust that must be held by all members is even more important. No need to get wrapped up in the details, trust your team to make the right decisions.
What do you think?