“Transparency” is a buzz word thrown around in the business world. Many companies focus on creating transparency in hopes of increasing project knowledge sharing, innovation, communication and performance. However, few companies know the true meaning of transparency and fewer understand how to create it. Transparency can be the determining factor to whether a company succeeds or fails.
In the Best Value Approach, transparency is defined as: When an expert creates a simple explanation of the project that all stakeholders can understand. As a result, this plan increases the motivation of all stakeholders to act in the best interest of delivering the project on time and on budget. Using this definition of transparency, we have four essential principles that are used to create project transparency.
The people working on your project determine how successful it will be. There is no substitute for hiring an expert. Experts make things simple. They can see from the beginning to the end of a project [plan it from the end to the beginning].
Experts understand the technical requirements. Experts always see “into the future”. They understand what is going to happen before it happens. As a result, experts can identity people who are non-performers and mitigate their risk. Projects without an expert are unsuccessful.
Make Things Simple
Simplicity is the partner of transparency. It forces owners and vendors to understand what is going on in their environment on a very basic level [minimizes the details]. Simplicity allows every individual to understand what is going on in a project without knowing all the details. To every person, the definition of simplicity is different.
The only importance of simplicity is that a person understands on a simple level what is and “will be” transpiring. Simplicity is recursive in nature. When something is simple, it can be understood by everyone. When someone cannot understand it, it is not simple.
Communicate with Metrics
The Best Value Approach forces the communication between stakeholders to be in the language of metrics. Metrics transform communication into a simple, non-technical and very efficient language. It brings consensus. Metrics allow everyone to see into the future and increase accountability. They are also used as motivation to minimize risk and to act in the best interest of the project [and not any individual person].
The requirement for metrics also enhances the expertise of some “non-experts” who are trying to service the clients. The metrics force their minds to plan for the future, allowing them to see what normally they wouldn’t see as vendors. The metrics help them to understand their requirement.
The Weekly Risk Report
The weekly risk report (WRR) is a simple excel document, in the Performance Information Procurement System (PIPS) . It tracks and documents project deviation from the initial project plan in terms of cost, time and quality. The WRR is the key to every project. An incomplete or inaccurate WRR is an indication that something has gone wrong in the project . When the vendor does not update the WRR, all parties are at risk.
All parties need the WRR to clearly see the progress of the project and any risks, change orders, and deviations. The WRR is a way to communicates information quickly, assign accountability, and encourage continuous improvement with all major stakeholders on a project.