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The importance of transparency

In this video Alex, Adiba and Nathan discuss the importance of transparency when developing products, services, and work cultures.
What transparency maybe does, is it maybe allows you to design in the open. You know, I, you know, I love to work in a project base where you’re designing that in the open and from the early stages you’re inviting the community to take part in shaping that experience. It also opens up the door for accountability in public sector, the local government authorities are, you know their main goal is to obviously improve the life of the people that they look after.
That’s, that’s a key thing and so, you know, to design in the open allows the ability to engage in conversation, to receive critique, to co-design, to hold accountable you know, and not only just in the design and development process, but maybe also the entirety of that service lifetime to always have to, you know to be able to have that space to say, okay we’ve made this change. This is why we’ve made this change. Okay, you know, we invite you now to come speak with us and have this conversation. Is this change right. Is this change, not right. You know and I think that’s where the approach to transparency comes in, in the case of that.
I think that reporting on gender pay gaps is really important. And I think that that also feeds into, you know having raw data so that people can actually see, you know the reality rather than denying that there might be issues around diversity. Sometimes when you have conversations that people have ideas about diversity they might say, it’s not needed. But if you have a report there with a nice infographic which actually lays out the terms and lays out the state of things, it’s hard to to deny that reality. So I think that that’s, that’s part of transparency.
I feel like that’s also just part that, that should be part of the engine and should be a constant thing that is happening at any scale. We’ve got the ethnicity pay gap, we’ve got the gender pay gap which are two examples of organisations trying to be held accountable also there’s a level of transparency there. And I think,
for small SMEs in particular I think some government bodies so take Greater London Authority. They work really hard to make sure there’s a number of toolkits in place to help support SMEs because they recognise that trying to do a pay audit or an ethnicity pay gap for a really small organisation just isn’t feasible. And it requires even more work on their behalf. And there are organisations out there which are there to support them and help them. And I think sometimes that whole idea of consortium what other groups coming together, is one way in which SMEs will be able to deal with some of those challenges.
Probably one of my favourite examples was my time at Transport for London again. And the great thing about TFL is that they’re really good at providing data and one of the things I suggested to them is that they have the diversity dashboard. Now the diversity dashboard was in essence, came of, came from a bit of frustration from my part in that we’re really good at sharing data on our buses, bus time tables and everything else. But we were really bad at sharing data about our ethnicity, the gender split, and many other things. And in the end, TFL has created a diversity dashboard.
And what that is, it’s basically a dashboard shows what’s happening in the organisation, every quarter in terms of some of the protected characteristics and the reason why I sort of pushed for that. And I’m really happy they do have that now is because it, sometimes what you need is you need to see how bad things are or how good things are but you also need something which can hold you accountable and for everyone to see. So I think the example of the diversity dashboard is
it’s really important because that, that element
of transparency being open to critique and yourself in order to improve every day as a business you always think about how you can improve your product how you can improve your communication with customers and how you can improve your recruitment to, to drive your organization’s greatest success.

In this video Alex, Adiba and Nathan discuss the importance of transparency when developing products, services, and work cultures.

Alex talks about designing in the open, which allows you to engage in conversation, co-design and receive critique. Adiba and Nathan note the importance of reporting on gender and ethnicity pay gaps and working with independent bodies or individuals who can help keep organisations accountable.

Having heard these perspectives, were there any approaches you think you could adopt to promote transparency in your context? How do you feel about designing in the open? Share your thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to read and respond to others.

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