It is long past the days where Agile was only about software development and coding. We now have financial, marketing, sales and many other teams successfully adopting the practices in their day to day activities. However, there are some more specific industries that still doubt the benefits and use of Agile in their line of work. One of such cases is the legal industry and those in it often wonder – are there really no benefits of having an Agile process?
Before answering this question, let’s talk about the Agile process adoption in the legal field overall. While some of you might be questioning the application possibility, there is no doubt that Agile could be fitted into the process. Legal firms would be able to treat their clients as projects and gather their needs as user stories which would later be broken up into tasks and performed over a series of iterations.
As we have seen from applications in other fields, some changes to the methodology might need to be made, but in general there is no question that legal teams would be able to use the Agile process. However, just being able to do something doesn’t mean that you would actually benefit from it. So let’s see why would the legal companies actually consider switching to Agile project management.
Being active members of project management community we often encounter questions on what is the best project management software, how to find the perfect solution and what would best fit in one situation or another. And while sometimes a recommendation can lead to a gem in a sea of tools, more often it provides an option that is just okay, but not great. Therefore, it is important to realize that finding the perfect tool is a job you and your team will have to do on your own.
The good news is we are here to help guide you towards that perfect option and have some simple tips on how to get there.
1. It is not a popularity contest
When looking for your next company tool, you will inevitably want to do research online, ask for opinions and statements from other teams that have tried it. And while this is all great, you should always take the opinion of others with a grain of salt. A tool may fit one company perfectly and be completely wrong for another. So before looking into the vast array of options online and trusting the most popular tool is the best, you should lay some groundwork first.
As most of you know, Scrumban is a mixture of Scrum and Kanban methodologies made in search of a stricter Kanban or a looser Scrum. While there are not many companies that go to Scrumban straight out of the gate, many find their way into it after a while and settle in a comfortable balance between strict and loose that this approach brings.
Just as you might expect, every team strikes this balance a little differently and this is very clear looking into their boards. To compare, lets take a look at just a few of the most interesting Scrumban boards.
Back office manager
The board used by Wibas, is a great example of Scrumban. It is a nice mix of the two methodologies that allows the company to manage their back office efficiently and with ease, while keeping the priorities straight.
We at Eylean strongly believe in organizations that work hard to help others. Whether it is an NGO that aims their efforts at the biggest problems out there or educational institutions that are raising and enlightening the next generation, their contribution to the society is invaluable.
To express our support to such organizations, we offer a 30% discount to all non-profit and educational organizations for any of our subscription plans. We hope that Eylean Board will become an invaluable asset in managing projects, teams and time, just like it already has in many organizations before.
To apply for the nonprofit discount or to get more information, follow the link on our pricing page: http://www.eylean.com/en/Planning-board-pricing.
As a project management software company, we are often asked, which of the PM methods are the most popular and most commonly used today. To find the answer to this question, there is no better way but to ask or look into the market itself. So today we take a look into boards, reports and task actions that Eylean users choose the most.
Looking at the top boards, we find a variety of them at the disposal of Eyleaners. There are Kanban, Scrum and Scrumban boards being used by some, TFS template boards, used by others, but the overall winner, however, is the Basic board. This might seem strange with the overwhelming popularity of Agile methods today, however, there is quite a few reasons behind this choice, such as a complicated process, transition between methods, adoption of a new method and so on. Choosing a basic board option, allows the team to start using the tool quickly and to develop the exact process on the go, by modifying the board to suit their needs.
Finding out about and covering various Kanban approaches is always very interesting – we want to stay on top of innovation that you are creating in the market. So when a creator of the Arrow Kanban board, Tomas Rybing, reached out to us with his new invention, we were both eager and excited to check it out. This time, he presented the Volcano – another interesting take on the traditional Kanban board.
According to Tomas, the Volcano was born out of the bugging need to combine multiple teams and multiple projects into one space. Unfortunately, the traditional Kanban board layout was not ideal for such a situation as everything ended up being mixed up and hard to separate. To achieve a clearer and more comfortable Kanban setting, he decided to separate the board into specific sections – one dedicated for the multiple product backlog and one section for each team involved in the project. This separation allowed to plan and prioritize the work globally, while at the same keeping the process of each team away from each other.
Quest for the best mix of project management tools is known to new and veteran managers both. While the supply of such solutions has grown immensely over the years, instead of making the decision easier it actually made it much more difficult. Choosing the right tool for the job, not getting influenced and derailed from your actual needs is what we seek to do, but often fail simply because of the overwhelming information available. To make this decision a little easier, we decided to narrow things down to five categories of tools you will need for your next project.
Few projects can happen with no project management, we need to have order and known when the things are supposed to be done. To make this goal as easy as possible, you will need some sort of project management tool or software. Choose what fits your style and the team you are working with – some will do just fine with a whiteboard and markers, while others will feel more comfortable with a specified software like Eylean Board designed to handle large projects. In any case, this will be crucial to your progress as you will plan, monitor and execute the work ahead according to this tool.
The benefits of data visualization are well known and understood in this busy, no time to stop and read world. Therefore it comes as no surprise that we are constantly looking for measures to improve our process and create ever more effective ways of making project information understandable at a first glance. Agile project management practices have been a go to tool for most teams in this effort, however, we believe, they can be pushed yet another step further with a simple addition of color.
Agile project methods are a great way to improve your project visualization – they provide the basic rules of the board setup, task organization and separation as well as a general sense of what is going on. However, as projects, teams and Agile practices themselves grow ever larger, the constraints provided in the methods become too simple to sufficiently visualize the process. As a result, most teams start looking for another layer of data representation such as color.
Color coding is a well-known practice used in the daily lives by most of us. And while it may seem silly at first, it actually provides a great additional layer of visualization for the Agile task board. Below are our top 5 ways to use color in the board enhancement.
Identifying the item size
Kanban task cards seem like a pretty straightforward thing – take a sticky note, write what you need to do and put it on the wall. However, as teams get bigger and boards are used by multiple teams at once, this is not good enough anymore. We need visualization, clarity and possibility to differentiate the tasks amongst one another. To accomplish this teams innovate and embellish their task cards. Here are our favorite ways to do that.
The simple way
This first Kanban card comes from Daniel Pope at MauveWeb. It is slight but very crucial update to the traditional sticky note approach adding the tracking reference, deadline and the estimate of how long the task will take in specific places of the card. In this way the task card is still kept really simple and does not need any special template, but allows for the team to find the information quickly and have more details on the board.
A few weeks ago we gathered up the top 5 most interesting scrum boards, unveiling the creativity and innovation in scrum. This time we decided to take another popular agile method – Kanban and see how the teams behind this approach have modified and improved their boards to make them more productive or even more fun.
The Space Saver
The issue of available space in the office is well known for most agile teams. While some dedicate their whole office or utilize the office halls, Olivier Lafontan offers a much simpler solution – turning the board into a square. Instead of moving tasks the traditional way from the left to the right column, he suggests moving them clockwise. A simply rearranged Kanban board is much more compact and will save a lot of headaches when starting to use the method.
Source: Olivier Lafontan