Top 5 Most Interesting Scrum Boards

Scrum board is one of the most essential tools to ensure a smooth project and while most choose the traditional scrum boards for their teams, there are a few that decide to innovate and improve the traditions to fit their needs. Therefore this week we gathered up the 5 most interesting (at least to us) boards and present them to you!

The wall

The first example comes from Agile but Pragmatic. Instead of dealing with a traditional scrum board, they suggest to expand it into a whole wall. This allows the team to put additional information such as results of retrospective – decisions and actions to take in the current sprint, parking for not active tasks, the sprint calendar and other things. By dedicating the whole wall to the scrum board, the team expands their ability to have all the information in one place.

Scrum board wall

Source: Agile but Pragmatic.

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The Arrow that will change Kanban

We all know about the basic kanban board, the three columns and the WIPs, however, when you have been using kanban for a while, this is usually not enough anymore. At this point most of the teams chose to innovate themselves or start looking for the innovation elsewhere. However, with such little information available, they are truly grabbing on straws. That is why, we were extremely interested in and are excited to introduce to you the arrow approach for the kanban board by Tomas Rybing.

The arrow approach is aimed at transforming one of the key elements of the practice – the kanban board. It strives to optimize and improve the board, by introducing new elements and expanding its capacities. The main differences here are the priority pyramid and limits for the number of rows as well as stories per row. Even though it may sound complicated at first, it is actually quite straightforward and not only innovates the board, but brings it a whole new shape of an arrow as seen in the picture below.

Source: https://theagileist.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/the-arrow-advanced-kanban-board/

Source: https://theagileist.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/the-arrow-advanced-kanban-board/

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Moving your Kanban projects into Eylean

This week, we continue with the Eylean how-to series by taking a closer look into how your Kanban projects should be created or moved into Eylean. Starting with a new software or a new way of managing your daily tasks can be overwhelming sometimes, therefore we will give you some pointers to make the transition as smooth as possible. However as we always point out, these are only guidelines for when you first start and you should feel encouraged to experiment and to use Eylean in a way that best suits your process and your needs.

First up, you will need to create your board. We in Eylean like to give you choices therefore you are able to copy your existing Kanban board or to use a prepared template to start anew. If you want to have a replica of your existing board, simply enter all the specifics in the settings tab – you will create an exact match. However, if you are new to Kanban or wish to start fresh, you can use the provided template Kanban board that has the basic columns all set. One important thing to remember is that you can adjust and modify your boards at any time, especially if you feel that they do not fit your requirements anymore.


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Plan your first scrum with Eylean Board

Whether you are planning a project for the first time or you have been doing it for years, getting used to new project management software can take some time. That is why we at Eylean Board decided to provide you with a short guide on scrumming with Eylean.

This guide will discuss the main scrum elements – the board, sprints, epics, user stories, and how they are represented in Eylean Board. We hope this will give you a basic understanding of our software for your first scrum project.


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Getting Started With Scrum Task Board

We recently covered how to get started with Kanban boards, and this post aims to help you if you decided to start using Scrum. The first step to getting started with Scrum is to do it with a pilot project. This pilot project will help you get the hang of how it is done and then roll it out to the wider organization. Before you rush out to start trying your hand on Scrum , it is good that you be aware of some organizational problems that may hold you back. Some of the most common issues with using Scrum include lack of training and infrastructure, adoption in silos, and overcomplicating the process. Once you have got these problems out of the way, you are good to start with the Scrum task board.

Below are three basic ideas to help you get your Scrum task board off the ground.

1. Choose the product owner 

Finding out if the product you intend working on has an owner is a great way to help you and your team get organized. Your team needs to determine at the earliest stage whose responsibility it is to make any form of changes to the product. It is also important to know who wrote the first business requirements and this will of course point you to the person who knows the product best and who is speaking from the customer point of view.

2. Get the product backlog organized

Now that the new product owner has been identified, it is time to get together with major business representatives. The purpose here is to plan a workshop that will educate and also help your team prioritize your product backlog. The project requirements should be rephrased into stories. If you are lucky, the product owner may already have the product backlog ready. In case your product owner does not have a story ready, start thinking of how to organize a second workshop to transfer their requirements into stories.  The stories should contain a detailed description of what your clients want and how it will benefit the product.

3. Get a task board

So far, you have succeeded in having your backlog ready and a motivated team to work with, the only thing left is a task board. You may consider a virtual task board, especially if some of your team is located offshore. Alternatively, you can use a magnetic whiteboard for this purpose, which allows most items to stick on it. Or, you can build your boards directly on the wall. To help you choose, we reviewed the pros and cons of virtual task boards previously on our blog.

Enter your vertical and horizontal lines with signs for name tags, columns, team pictures and status tags and you are set with your Scrum task board. Good luck!


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Setting Up An Electronic Task Board

We recently talked about the advantages of using electronic whiteboard. If you are thinking about installing one, there are a few hardware options to choose from depending on your preferences. Here is a review of the most common ones – including our experience with the one that has worked best for us.

1. A projector and a computer

The simplest arrangement is to just use an existing computer and a projector. In such case, the computer is the input device for the board – any changes on the board can be made through the computer.

There are several advantages of this approach. First of all, it is cheap – there is no need for a board or another deployment. It is possible to reuse the company’s hardware instead of investing into a new one.

On the other hand, such arrangement requires space – as the team has to be away from the projector beam. In addition to that, the team cannot interact with the board during meetings – instead, the board needs to be controlled via the computer. If more people are involved, it can get crowded as the team members gather around the computer. Thus, this arrangement does not really work for large teams.

2. Infrared touch monitor or a large screen

The second option is to use a touch monitor or a large screen that reacts to touch.

The advantages of this option include good visual quality and medium price. However, the size of the board is limited, as the price grows significantly if you are looking into larger boards. Also, based on our experience, infrared multitouch systems might be buggy. They typically do not allow for multiple touch points, and if they do – it does not always work as expected.

3. Capacitive touch board with a projector

Capacitive touch board is based on the technology that detects any input that is conductive or differs from air. Therefore, the team can touch the board directly in order to control the software – and this option is by far our favorite.

The advantages of capacitive touch board include enjoying the high quality of touch – it is pleasant to use it and the board responds rapidly. The board can be accessed by the whole team at the same time, standing in front of the board. The look and feel is also the best of the three options as the board is convenient and easy to use.

On the other hand, capacitive touch board is the most expensive of the three options. It also has lower resolution on projectors. However, despite these disadvantages, capacitive board is our favorite – and below is our experience with setting up and using one.

Using capacitive task board for Scrum and Kanban

Capacitive touch board can cost from around 2,000 USD for the cheapest one, up to 10,000 USD for a medium solution and much more for the high-end product. The board typically consists of three components, which can be chosen based on price or other personal needs:

1. Capacitive board. Capacitive board is the whiteboard that reacts to touch and works as the input device. This means that instead of changing tasks via the computer, you can easily do that on the whiteboard.

Typically, the pricier the board, the better resolution for capacitive input points it can offer. The standard resolution of 1024×768 is typically enough for touch-friendly software to operate well, because human finger is large enough and hits several of the touch points at a time.

Multi-touch support that has at least 3-4 separate touch inputs is typically sufficient even for the large boards – but you can choose more advanced multi-touch functionality depending on the budget and needs.

2. Short-range projector. Short range projector is the device that projects computer screen onto the whiteboard. You should probably invest the most into this.

The projector needs to be bright and have a good resolution, as even medium-budget ones usually offer only 1024×768 resolution, which is very low. Such resolution is only sufficient for medium-sized boards, such as 48 inches. So if you are looking for quality, keep that in mind and do not cut the budget for the projector too much.

3. Whiteboard stand. Whiteboard stand is the frame that holds the board. In most cases, it is worth investing a bit into the stand, as later on it comes handy to be able to change its position, angle, height, and many more. This is particularly convenient when bringing the board to conferences and exhibitions.

In addition to that, you will need two other items for the board to work properly:

4. Computer. The computer can be a cheap, low-budget one, depending on the software you will run. There are a lot of resources on how to choose a computer, so we will not dwell deeper into that.

5. Software. If you are setting up an electronic task board, you will also need the software that is touch-friendly. For task management, it is possible to use Eylean or other touch-friendly software. For any other applications, you need to make sure that it works well with touch, is visual, and can be used with an interactive whiteboard.

At Eylean, we are using capacitive Panasonic board – here are a few images on how it looks in action:

Are you using an electronic whiteboard? Share your experience in the comments!

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