Disciplined Agile

Using Visual Controls and Pull to Disseminate Information

If you are not familiar with the terms “visual controls” and “information radiators” please read Visual Controls and Information Radiators before proceeding.

People often associate pull with managing what work to do. But it can also be used as a method for distributing information. One of the key values of visual controls is that they can be used to eliminate the need for status reports. Status reports use a push mechanism. In a large organization this can result in an overwhelming amount of status reports, many of which are never read.

Well-designed visual controls can eliminate the need for status reports. They are the reports and are always available on demand.

  1. The information to be conveyed
  2. When that information was last updated
  3. When viewers who are required to see the information last looked at it

Because visual controls are a pull mechanism, they offer many advantages.

  • There are fewer status reports being generated and sent out.
  • They are less complex to maintain. Only the visual control needs to be updated. There is no need to send emails or maintain distribution lists.
  • The sender knows that people have at least had an opportunity to see the visual control without having to ping them.
  • The receiver knows when the information was last updated.
  • Viewers can attend to projects according to their own schedule and requirements. And whenever they want.

By using visual controls and by talking about how to improve them, everyone in the process will create a better, more effective cadence for communication.