Importance of Transparency in Project Management

Every now and then, business buzzwords come along to announce something new or important. Game changer. Disruption. Omnichannel. Whether we like it or not, we have to deal with these terms as soon as possible so we can keep up and stay current. It’s all part of the business landscape. Today, one of the latest buzzwords is transparency.

Transparency is not new. The concept is as relevant as honesty and as old as information sharing. However, the perception and effects of being transparent is now better understood. In a business environment, transparency enables employees to feel more fulfilled and important. However, only less than half are usually aware of their company’s vision, mission, and goals. This discrepancy and apparent disconnect hinders employees to be more productive. More often than not, it is actually the employers who fail to make clear who they are and what they are about.

Transparency in Project Management

In the past, when project professionals usually default to the waterfall method, transparency is not in the spotlight. Information is on a need-to-know basis. The project manager, and some stakeholders, are the only ones who need to know everything. But even project team members, whatever phase, stage, or information silo they are in, they all work better when there is transparency.

Why transparency is important when managing projects

Transparency makes the project team feel better and work better. In project management, transparency shows clearly how well or worse a project or process is performing. Here are some reasons why transparency should be pursued in project management, as well as in business in general.

Transparency builds trust.

Just like how consumers are likely to become loyal to a brand that offers transparency, project team members are likely to trust each other more, their project manager and other stakeholders if transparency is supported and encouraged in the team and in the organization. Every one believes that any information needed and deemed important will be available and be openly shared to allow any person to perform his or her task well. Moreover, they are inclined to offer help and give their best because they believe in what they are doing, and they know that the team’s or organization’s success is also their individual success.

Transparency keeps work on track.

When a project encounters a delay for any reason, it is in danger of getting derailed and miss its delivery date. It can take only one task to get stuck and trigger a domino effect. The cascading effect on dependent tasks assigned to different people can have a cumulative result strong enough to push the project off track. Transparency in this case is crucial, so that project managers, team members, and other stakeholders can identify the bottleneck and work out solutions to correct the situation before it becomes too late for any action.

Transparency enhances teamwork.

When the entire project team knows their goal as a whole and their role as individuals in the effort, they can function more effectively and cohesively. A better understanding of who is responsible for what by when enables each person to make more direct decision and efficient action. They know exactly who to talk to, what is expected of them, and how much others depend on them. They will gladly go out of the way to help others whenever they can, such as share information or technique that will help in the completion of tasks faster.

Transparency boosts productivity.

A productive team is able to achieve more results than expected. When a team member is performing better than others, transparency helps showcase this. He or she is performing better maybe because of better skills, better techniques, or a better understanding of what he/she has to do. In turn, this team member can help train or inform others, so that everyone runs on a more or less equal pace. The star performer is recognized, and other members get an upgrade of their knowledge or skills. The overall effect is higher productivity for the whole team, and better chance of success for the project.

Transparency fosters relationships.

When companies draw up codes of values and reference them in their websites or as they launch products or services, they become more successful in building lasting relationships with their customers. Similarly, project teams who are more transparent in how they choose team members or vendor partners, in the manner they take care of work and staff, or in how they consider solutions for their clients will be able to build stronger relationships with their stakeholders. Even if there are mistakes or imperfections, people will be more understanding because of the decisions and actions they take in good faith.

Bridge24 – Transparency in Your Project Management

Bridge24 is an online solution that takes project management software to another level. It works with Asana, Trello, Basecamp and AceProject. It enhances the reporting and exporting capabilities of these online PM tools by making project data more transparent.

Users of compatible project management software can connect dynamically and easily to Bridge24. Immediately, they have access to their existing project data with smarter and more interactive views such as through Power Grid view, Calendar view, and Kanban view. Switch views as often as you need. The application provides not only transparency, but additional perspective to help you make informed decisions.

Bridge24 gives you Advanced Reporting tools, so you can find, filter, sort, group and view project information in print-quality format. Create reports of your tasks across all your projects. Look at data from a bird’s eye view or click on links that instantly give you details. Build different types of charts that interactively show the exact group of data you want to zero in.

Being transparent is being able to share information freely. You can easily and quickly export your project data with Bridge24, with more capabilities than your original PM tool. Export in Excel format, CSV or PDF. You can even include custom fields for better tracking, and Task history for a given date range or specific user.

Conclusion

Transparency is more than just a buzzword. It is something that can be adopted to change the culture of an organization for the better. Of course, some things are validly and legally not for everyone’s plain viewing. These include trade secrets, some financial data, sensitive personal information, or other information protected by laws. However, our interconnected world influences the greater demand for transparency. And although transparency is not synonymous with innocence, it is definite that transparency is necessary for trust to begin and to bear fruit.

Jose Maria Delos Santos

Jose Maria Delos Santos

Jose is a subject matter expert and member of the writing team for Project-Management.com and Bridge24. He has written hundreds of articles including project management software reviews, books reviews, training site reviews, and general articles related to the project management industry.

1 Response

  1. Avatar Tarun Nagar says:

    Transparency is about access to information. It is about how honest and open a person, team or organization is regarding his/her/its project or process.Some people avoid transparency to protect their “personal” knowledge for job security, out of ignorance of others’ needs to know or to avoid complicating issues by informing people who might then have something to say about plans, designs or decisions.
    Transparency isn’t something project managers talk about often. In fact, it might even be a topic they avoid discussing. You should embrace transparency within your project management though, as its many benefits often outweigh the disadvantages.

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