Information Radiators

As the name suggests, information radiator is something that radiates information at the passerby. In agile teams this is achieved with the help of a white board, yellow post its and marker pens. At the end of the sprint planning meeting, the information radiator for the sprint is prepared. Here is an example of one;

An information radiator displays information in a place where passersby can see it. With information radiators, the passersby don’t need to ask questions; the information simply hits them as they pass. Unlike Information Refrigerators, it takes very little energy to view the information.

An information radiator is a large display of critical team information that is continuously updated and located in a spot where the team can see it constantly. The term “information radiator” was introduced extensively with a solid theoretical framework in Agile Software Development by Alistair Cockburn

Here is a link to one of Alistair Cockburn’s  information radiator board

In agile projects using scrum, the information radiator comprises of three columns titled to be done, being done and done. The project related work that nobody is working on as of now, falls under ‘to be done’, the stuff that someone is working today falls under ‘being done’, and the stuff that nobody will work on it again is under the ‘Done’ column. Every post it represents a task, and a group of tasks accomplishes a feature (story).  Apart from the task level information, an information radiator of an agile project will comprise of a sprint burn down chart, issues to be addressed, in some cases a release burn down chart etc…which will be explained in the subsequent posts.


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