What if someone demands transparency from you? What do you do? What does transparency mean?
It can mean that we should keep things in the open, no secrets or that our doings are audited and we can back-trace them every time we need or want to. In other words, saying that there is not enough transparency means that there is not enough trust. Sometimes the word transparency is used masking the desire to know what is going on.
Demanding more transparency smells a lot like green-washed management. Instead of saying “Keep me posted on whatever you do!”, require transparency. I say it is just a management intent in a disguise!
Thus transparency is attached with a bad echo. Especially if the people involved are not co-located or there are no clear backlogs for work. The person demanding transparency wants to gain assurance that everything is going as planned. This leads to micromanagement and reporting.
In other words, there is not enough trust.
Sometimes the word ‘transparency’ is used to replace the word visibility though. Using it this way is in my opinion harmful because it is very easy to confuse with the previously mentioned management-loaded term. Avoid it.
There are at least two ways out of these situations. One is to increase the visibility, especially if people are co-located, to increase communication. The other way is to build up the trust. Trust that the other party is doing her best.