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.
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
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 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.
Source: Agile but Pragmatic.
Despite the fact, that kanban software solutions have been around for quite a while now, there are plenty of teams that still do not fully understand the benefits of switching from the traditional physical board. Instead of innovating to better their standings, they keep on working in the traditional methods and while this does not mean failure by default, it usually does not mean greatness either. Therefore, if you have been using kanban for a while now or if you are just starting now, you should consider this:
Difficulty in fitting all the tasks within the project board sound familiar? When working with a physical board, your space and possibilities are limited. The space you have is all you get, well unless you get a bigger board, bigger wall and probably a bigger office. Because of this, you have to compromise a lot and modify constantly to make sure your board looks good and represents the project visually. With an electronic kanban software solution like Eylean however you do not have to worry about that at all. Make the board as small or as big as you need to and expand automatically when you add new tasks. No matter how big or how small your board is, you will have all the key information on the task cards and will be able to navigate it quickly.
Microsoft Excel is well known for its capabilities far beyond a simple spreadsheet. It is used for calculations, data storage and due to the embedded formulas and programing can become almost any tool you would like. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that besides the uses for statistical analysis and annual reports it has also been widely used for project management. However, here we should focus on the past tense simply because in my opinion the time of Excel in project management is over and if you are still using it, most likely you are not reaching your full potential. Let me explain why.
Excel is a great tool and its applications in various fields prove that without a doubt. However, the time when Excel provided great advantages in project management is over and we are all better off because of that. To replace the king, we have a wide array of prominent candidates – for the last couple of years project management tools have been sprouting like weeds after a good rain and the selection nowadays is wide and great. It is not only that there is a variety of tools to choose from, but also that the tools are being improved and evolved at a very fast pace. By now, they are as intricate, feature filled and diverse as ever and there is really no reason why you should not use one. However, I know you might still be doubting me so I will go ahead and give you 5 simple reasons why you should switch.
Project managers sometimes disagree whether a physical whiteboard or a digital tool is the most efficient way of keeping the project on track. Advocates of physical whiteboards often list various advantages of using a large, physical board. It helps the team see the big picture, focus on the goal, see the bottlenecks, and can be used in daily stand-up meetings, among other advantages. However, it seems that there is a solution – and one that we are big fans of at Eylean – that helps to get the best of both physical boards and digital tools. It is called an electronic (or interactive) whiteboard (IWB).
Electronic whiteboard is a large display board that is connected to a computer and can be controlled interactively. It usually involves a projector, which projects the software or computer’s desktop to a surface, and the board itself, where the users can control the computer by touching or interacting with the board. So in other words, board serves as a simple input device for a computer. An example of such board is below.
So why should you use an electronic whiteboard? Here are seven reasons we compiled – that show how a digital whiteboard outperforms a physical board with a lot of sticky notes.
- Easier maintenance. When working with sticky notes or a physical board, it is often a challenge to keep the information updated. Focusing time and efforts on rewriting changed development requirements on new sticky notes can waste valuable time – and this is an area where an electronic whiteboard can help.
- Durability of the board and especially its items. After some time, sticky notes might show signs of wear and tear, lose the stickiness or be otherwise damaged. They need to be replaced, changed and rewritten – and this problem is non-existent when using an electronic board with a proper software package.
- Ability to work with distributed teams. If you have a collocated team, you might make use of a physical whiteboard – but the issue becomes significantly more complicated when the team is based in various locations. To keep the team on the same page completely, the physical board has to be replicated in an online tool. Electronic board does that automatically.