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How To Build Scrum Task Boards that Radiate Information


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Provides an overview of how to build Agile / Scrum Task Boards that radiate information. Explains why physical boards are superior to electronic boards for being information radiators instead of information refrigerators.

Explains the core considerations for designing an effective Scrum Task Board. The importance of basic standards so the board is widely readable.

Discusses using board annotations to leverage the fact that humans are visual creatures. Also stresses the importance of making explicit policies of the team visible on the board, such as the definition of done.

A recommended supply list for building an effective, readable and reusable board is provided as well as steps for a team board building workshop / party.

Published in: Self Improvement, Technology
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How To Build Scrum Task Boards that Radiate Information

  1. 1. Building Agile Boards that Radiate Information Michael DePaoli Lean-Agile Coach cPrime June 2013
  2. 2. Your Speaker @AgileMike Michael DePaoli Sr. Lean-Agile Coach, cPrime  13 Years Agile and Lean experience  27 Years in software industry – roles from developer to CTO, Product Owner, Management Consultant  Experience gained at American Express, Adobe Systems, AOL, Deloitte Consulting, Sapient and NetApp  Specializing in helping companies evolve strategies for Lean-Agile transformation and context specific tactics leveraging systems & interdisciplinary thinking
  3. 3. Why Physical Boards • Information Radiator vs Information Refrigerator • Superior Collaboration • Enables faster mastery of basic Scrum Team disciplines • Utility / Design easily evolved • Good proving ground for board format before electronic tool • Cheaper
  4. 4. Agile Teams Radiate Information Information Information “When you put problem in computer, box hide answer. Problem must be visible!“ -Hideshi Yokoi, Former President of the Toyota Production System Support Center
  5. 5. Start Simple!
  6. 6. Have Some Basic Standards Story Card Format Task Sticky Format Story # Estimate <Story Title> <Story Description> Due Date: <Assignee> Story # <Task Description> <Assignee> To Do Estimates
  7. 7. What Are Your Team’s Board Real Estate Needs? People on Team Stories Tasks Work Cycle Policies
  8. 8. Task Board – Making Progress Transparent Blocking Issue
  9. 9. What Are The Team’s Explicit Policies? Make Them Visible on the Board! 1. All Acceptance Criteria of the User Story are met 2. Code meets general Coding Standard 3. Functional tests are performed by team members other than those working on the implementation of that feature 4. Code is either reviewed or produced with a pair-programming method 5. The code is covered by a minimum of 70% Unit Tests and all tests are Green 6. Automated acceptance tests (Selenium) are prepared for the feature and are Green 7. Integration tests of the affected areas are conducted and passed Definition of Done
  10. 10. Experience Should Drive Board Design Evolution Sprint Retrospective Experience w/ Board Improvements to Board
  11. 11. We are Visual Creatures Leverage That Fact! Image Source: Volcanic Web Design Company
  12. 12. Add Annotations Based on Need BLOCKED Dependency MT-1895 Avatars showing ownership And who’s doing what at a glance Can add some personality & fun Unplanned Work Visualize Between Planned vs Unplanned Work
  13. 13. © 2013 cPrime Inc., All Rights Reserved Example of a Simple Scrum TaskBoard
  14. 14. Recommended Materials Portable Whiteboard (Magnetic is best) Full Stick PostIts for Tasks Pinstriping Tape to Layout Lanes 4x6 Index Cards For Stories Bungee Cords for Columns Highlighting Stickies for Blocking Issues and Dependencies Avatars to show Ownership and WIP
  15. 15. It’s The Team’s Board They Should Build It and Own It
  16. 16. Hold a Board Creation Party Make building the board a fun event, even a celebration! Have treats or if at the end of the day and your company allows it, a happy hour. Image Source: TLC’s How Stuff Works Website
  17. 17. Steps for Building the Board Finalize Task Board Design – Mock it up on a whiteboard Capture Photo of Mocked Up Board Using Photo as a guide to create team task board: 1. Layout horizontal lanes 2. Layout columns for each relevant state for stories and tasks 3. Create Column Titles 4. Place team’s explicit policies on board 5. Create Legend for Board Visuals 6. Place source of blank story cards and task stickies on board 7. Place sources of board annotation stickies, magnets, etc… 8. Take a picture to preserve initial design of task board 9. Place story cards and task stickies as appropriate
  18. 18. When is the board not useful? Not Up To Date Data is not truthful Doesn’t show needed info
  19. 19. Summary • Understand the information needs of your board first. Team and stakeholders • Start simple and evolve • Consider making explicit policies of your team / org visible on the board • Team Definition of Done – Make it visible • Visual Annotations – Ownership / WIP / Dependencies / Blockages • Team should build and own the board • Continual vigilance for providing a ‘safe’ environment so board data is the truth
  20. 20. Retrospective on the Presentation  What did you like about the presentation?  What could make it better?  Write down the one action your going to take based on what you learned today… SEND Me Your Feedback 
  21. 21. Thank You! Radiate Information Now Go Out and…
  22. 22. Questions….Need Help? @AgileMike Drop me a line! Michael DePaoli Sr. Lean-Agile Coach, cPrime