Information Radiator

Applicability: Information radiators have their origins in Lean Kanban where “andon” signals are used to flag impediments and other status indicators to a team. They have subsequently found application by in agile methods and their use is widely accepted.

Consequences: Information radiators usually require team discipline if they are to be kept up-to-date. If they are not updated regularly, their value will decrease and team members will be even less likely to maintain them.

Structure: A team will have an ordered backlog of work items. As items are accepted and worked on, an information radiator will be updated to show the state of progress. The information radiator can be inspected and adapted by the team in order to make sure that its contents remains current, and that it is structured in the most useful way possible.

Intent: Make the status of a team and its work immediately apparent


    • Honesty is the best policy

    • Tell the truth and shame the Devil

    • Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness

Also Known As:

    • Andon

Motivation: Lack of timely and appropriate information can lead to faulty decision making and poor collaboration. It is important that a team and their stakeholders have ready access to the status of work in progress, any impediments, any future work that is anticipated, metrics that allow practices to be inspected and adapted, any forecasts or commitments that have been made, and what responsibilities are being assumed.

Implementation: The most common information radiator is a Kanban board or task board. Variants of these can be found in use by most agile teams.

See Also: