Great article on InfoQ about truthfulness on an Agile team. I don’t think this concept is unique to Agile teams (or at least it shouldn’t be) and truth should be the foundation of any great team or company. Having said that, I think Agile is particularly successful in raising these types of problems sooner rather than later.
Retrospectives are a great way to let problems rise to the surface quickly and there should be lengthly discussion and conflict in a retrospective meeting otherwise what’s the point? It’s the job of the Scrum Master to get this stuff out in the open for discussion. Given the chance, people will always do the right thing more often than not but a good technique I like to use is the ‘5 whys’. Keep asking”why” to widdle the complaint down to what the REAL problem is.
Obviously some Team members will see this as being told “you are wrong”, and that’s fine. It’s more important to figure out what the problem is and whether or not Scrum exposed this problem, caused it or had nothing to do with it. If an organization or team can implement a truthful and open culture, it will be successful.