Information radiators are meant to display information at a public place so that the information can be noticed by as many people as possible without making a conscious effort to do so. The idea of information radiator was invented by Alister Cockburn, who was a big believer in effective and timely communication. Information Radiators should display the current information about the project whatever is critical for the team to learn. It could include Schedule, tasks, issues, progress etc.
The Most common forms of Information Radiators are
- TaskBoards or Kanban Boards
- Big Visible Charts such as Burn Down Charts
- Street Lights and Lava Lamps
- Characteristics of Information Radiators which make the Information Radiators work
- Simplicity : The information Radiators should be simple to read and understand
- Stark : Should display the progress and expose problems. Errors should not be masked, instead, they should be used to improve performance.
- Current : Information should always be current. The artifacts should be updated frequently.
- Transient : The information should not be there on the chart for too long. Once the problem is rectified, it should be removed from the chart or board.
- Influencial : The information displayed should help the team to take actions and decisions.
- Visbile : the information should be easily visible. There should be no special effort to see the information.
- Minimal Information : The information should be sufficient but minimalistic. There is no point in showing a truckload of information.