51: Visibility


  • When Gary and I wrote Ready for Remote, we uncovered three principles for remote work.
  • Clarity, Visibility and Trust
  • I usually list them in reverse order putting trust first as trust is fundamental.
  • But trust is given, then reinforced or diminished through our actions.
  • Clarity and Visibility are two of the forces that act on trust positively or negatively.
  • Visibility is so important in a remote working setting as remote is a ‘what you see is all there is’ environment.
  • If someone is visible, there are many opportunities to reinforce trust with our colleagues. You can tell someone is on top of their game, and you can tell that someone needs support.
  • If someone isn’t visible, you cannot tell from where you are what someone is doing.
  • Trust starts to erode because, in the absence of information, we invite the wrong sorts of questions such as ‘What’s Matt doing?’, ‘Is that work item complete or not?’
  • Being proactively visible is an antidote to businesses using spy wear to monitor their employees.
  • Visibility does not mean that we’re posting updates for update’s sake. It’s using the tools at hand to create progress indicators which telegraph to the rest of the team what you’re doing.
  • It’s moving cards on a kanban board and having work-related conversations in slack. It’s Publishing, and following up with meeting notes.
  • These activities create artefacts which create visibility.

  • Reading: Agency by William Gibson (48% Complete)
  • Wordle: 560 -/6

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