An agile board (also known as a Task Board) gives a team an easy way to understand at a glance what they’ve committed to in a sprint and what progress they’re making. The simplest version of this is a set of index cards and a whiteboard.
Create one index card for each of the Stories in your Sprint. The front (unlined) side of the card has the name of the story, along with the estimate (in points).
The back of the card holds other information, such as acceptance criteria.
Make three columns on the whiteboard, from left to right. Label them:
- To Do
Put all of your cards in the first column, with the most important at the top.
People markers (optional but highly recommended)
Create a marker for each of the people on the team. Each person only gets one – after all, you can only work on one thing at a time, right? You can use sticky notes, or magnetic markers on a metal-backed whiteboard.
Put these in the “To Do” column to start.
Putting it to work
Starting at the top of the “To Do”‘ column, determine who’s going to work on the first story card. That person moves the card into the “Doing” column and puts their marker on it. Repeat this until everyone has a task in the “Doing” column.
|Don’t move things until you start working on them! That way lies madness.|
Important Safety Tips
Don’t skip items
If you find yourself skipping items in the “To Do” column, ask why. They’re supposed to be in priority order, so why isn’t the team working on them in that order? If it’s a priority problem, have the Product Owner re-sequence them.
Only work on one thing at a time
You only have one marker for a reason: task-switching is inefficient. Unless you’re actually blocked, you almost always have things to do that will move the story forward. Do those and focus on getting the story to “Done.”
Stay on target
Once you pick up a story, stick with it until it’s “Done.” If you become blocked, indicate this by:
- Turning the card sideways
- Bringing it up in the next Standup
Respect the Sprint Plan
Make sure that:
- There is a card for the work you are doing
- That card is in the sprint