When building a scrum board, it is important to clearly understand what type of items, the team wants to visualize. Trying to manage different type of items whose life cycle have nothing to do with each other will dramatically reduce or even eliminate the biggest benefit of the board, ease of reading and simplicity.
Before diving deep into the topic, let us have a quick introduction on Scrum board. While a scrum board topic may sound like boring, but they are incredibly interesting. Over the last few years, Scrum board and its tool have become the most useful and compulsory tools of Scrum and Agile methodologies. Because the main agenda of Scrum is to keep track of the tasks progress in projects. With the Agile and Scrum course training, you can become a scrum board expert and contribute to the success of your organization's projects.
In this guide you will learn about what is a Scrum board, how can we build scrum board and how to use it. Let us also know the best Scrum task which is available in the current year!!!
What is a Scrum Board?
The word Scrum is originated from the sports Rugby, where it will have a formation of the players in the game to have a team work to play the game. So, the word Scrum implies to Teamwork.
To give the basic scrum board definition for Scrum board, Scrum is a framework of the agile methodology. Where the project management can be taken care of based on the activities called as Sprints. Sprints stands for breaking down the larger tasks of the project into smaller tasks for a small period. For working on Sprints, it is possible to adapt to the new changes during the process of development.
As you understood, the Scrums are broken down into Sprints, where each Sprint will be lasting between one and four weeks. But in most of the development teams it is opted for two-week sprint.
Structure of Scrum Board?
As you read above, the Scrum is nothing but the description of a Sprint. The Scrum board represents the digital scrum board and visualized physical data divided into four vertical scrum board columns and multiple rows. Below are the key elements used in the Scrum tasks board:
Stories represent the user story of each Sprint and which has to be developed by the particular development team based on the assignee.
It also indicates the backlogs of the current sprints which needs to be divided into multiple tasks for next Sprints or the existing one
2. To Do
To do indicates, the tasks or the stories which is been assigned but not started yet. The to do tasks are visualized as cards or sticky notes. It also includes the details of tasks like, due date, owners or the assignee, assigner, reporter, watching of the team members who are working on that Sprint.
3. Work in Progress
The Work in Progress, states that, the task has been assigned to the developer or the team member. And the assignee has started the work of that particular task.
Done status comes into picture, when the assigned task has completed all its process in a task, starting from To do, work in progress, in review to Completed or Done.
Types of Scrum Board
The Scrum board can be divided into two types:
- Physical Scrum Board
- Digital Scrum Board
1. Physical Scrum Board
Still in the current generation, where everything is digitized, there are few teams or organizations who still prefer Physical Scrum board. In Physical Scrum board, we can create a task board on any surface, either it could be a whiteboard or a corkboard. So, we will also understand how to create a scrum board.
In Physical Scrum board, divide your board using the keywords provided in the Structure of the Scrum board. Sample of Scrum board example can be given as - dividing column one as To-Do, second column as Work in Progress and last column as Done.
To make it simpler, also the team knows the basics of Scrum board, they can update the Physical Scrum board based on the progress of their tasks.
2. Online Scrum Board
As you know, everything in the current generation is digital, so the scrum board online is easier to manage and update the task sitting anywhere in the world.
The Online Scrum Board represents the Physical Scrum Board in a digital way or digital screen.
Benefits of Using Scrum Board
After understanding the basic of Scrum Board topics like structure, types let us learn what are the major benefits of using the Scrum board.
1. Improves team efficiency and interactions
- The Scrum board brings the whole team together, as you are already familiar with the daily stand-up calls. In a day, where the whole team of meets to update the status of their tasks which will be maintained or handled by the Scrum Master.
- The team member can share the update of their assigned tasks.
- So, it is easier to know, who is working on a particular task - What are all the tasks are getting completed. Where the tasks are getting delayed.
- It makes easier to track the progress of each task.
2. Easy to setup
- As we know we have two type of Scrum Board, Physical and Online Scrum Board. The online Scrum board is easier to setup and use.
- The Project management tools allow user or Scrum master to drag and drop the tasks from different Sprints either it could be a backlog of previous sprint or from the existing sprint.
- It also provides automation and reporting features to help new users to get used with the Scrum Board.
3. Easy to recognize problems
- The Sprint board divides each task based on the Sprint, so it is easy to visualize the top priorities and current status of the important tasks.
- It also highlights the tasks which are progressing slowly, so it is helpful to finish or keep track of the tasks which are delaying.
4. Easy to follow up with status of the tasks
As you already know, each task displays the status of its progress, starting from to do, in progress, In Review, on hold, Completed. So based on this status we can prioritize the tasks.
How do Scrum Board Work?
The Scrum board is a tool to represent the tasks of your scrum team in a visual representation to know the progress and efforts of the tasks and team member.
So, now are you thinking how exactly the Scrum Board works here is your answer:
1. Generate a Product Backlog
- The first task to begin with Scrum software is to create product backlog. Because it is the actual set of tasks you have to deal with, to make the Scrum project done.
- This Product or story backlogs works as an input to Sprint along with new stories.
2. Assign Roles and tasks
- Before creating the actual Scrum Board, it is mandatory or necessary to create the individual roles of every member of the team.
- For example: if the Scrum master is responsible for conducting Sprint Retrospective and reports, the development team to work on the project.
3. Choose a template
- Here we can choose the scrum board template, we can choose based on the organization standards also.
- By choosing the proper scrum board pattern you can save time to answer the queries raised during the Sprints.
4. Build your task board as a team
- In this stage, you have to create Scrum board by adding tasks, user stories, features and requirements based on the discussion which is been conducted with the team.
- All the team members with assigned task should be able to collaborate user stories and complete with the given time.
5. Scrum Meetings
- Building a proper and successful Scrum board is not the final goal of the Scrum master. So, the idea of having the daily Scrum Meeting came into picture.
- The scrum meeting the best way to communicate with the team to understand where they are standing on the assigned tasks.
6. Sprint Review
- As soon as we complete with the Sprint process, the Scrum Master should conduct the Sprint Review meeting to analyze the issues, concerns faced during the Sprint.
- It is good to take the necessary feedback from the team if any modification or implementations are required for any of the tasks before moving into final project deployment.
How do Scrum Board Work?
Below image is a Scrum table example of how the Scrum board Structure looks like:
Who Should Use Scrum Board?
The Scrum board can be mainly used in Software Development teams, sales teams, HRs could also take the benefit of using Scrum Board. And Scrum tasks board examples are generally custom built for Agile scrum board examples and Scrum teams.
Here, how different departments make use of Scrum Boards:
- Software Development: in software development scrum board is used to track the project progress.
- Sales: in sales we can track the deliverables and meet their targets in a short amount of time.
- HR: HR team use Scrum Board to streamline the recruitment process.
How to Use a Scrum Board?
Here are the steps to know, to understand how to user Scrum board:
1. Identify user stories
- During every sprint planning, your team should select each backlog task that would like to work on the current sprint. After selecting the backlog task, they can add it to the Spring backlog.
2. Assign Tasks
- The team should then split the user stories into individual tasks. All tasks are moved to the status – To Do column
- Then your team should begin to work on each Scrum task
3. Work on Project tasks
- As the Sprint progress, team members should move the task status from To-do to In-Progress status.
- The team should update the tasks regularly based on the completion status.
4. Finish all tasks
- When a team member completes a task from To-Do to Done, they can tackle the left-out To-Do tasks to start with pending tasks.
- By the end of each Sprint, all the tasks from the stories should be in the Done column.
5. Review Sprint
- Scrum Master should conduct a Sprint Review, after completion of each Sprint.
- So, in sprint review the team members can discuss what all the tasks are completed and what are not completed.
- Also, one can discuss the problems faced during the sprints
Effective Visual Representation of Data
1. Information on the Cards
Physical Cards usually are post-it notes or sticky notes that carry the User Story/Description, Acceptance Criteria and the Story Points as a minimum. Using post-it notes is a deliberate attempt to keep the story small and avoid loading a lot of work into one story.
In a Virtual board, cards can have exclusive fields to carry information like Project Name/Assignee/Reporter/Created Date etc. These might serve multiple purposes like metrics/reports.
2. Colour-Coded Cards
Color coding is an excellent technique used to convey important information to the audience at the first quick glance. Cards can be color coded based on their work type like User Story/ Technical Task/Production Bugs. Cards could also be flagged (in the case of a Virtual board) or overlaid with a (preferably) Red colored card to convey a risk/dependency that needs attention.
3. Swim lanes
Defining Swim lanes is a very useful mechanism to categorize the work items on a Scrum Board. They are horizontal rows on the board that carry a specific type of work that is different from the normal/ work categorized by a certain parameter.
For e.g. a team that has to resolve emerging high priority production bugs would prefer to use a “Fast Track” swim lane to progress the bug and then continue with their original Sprint work.
A team that works on hardware, firmware and software components in a sprint might want to use different swim lanes for each component.
Swim lanes are for the teams. Creating a swim lane for each team member may not be a good idea since the basic guideline for scrum is to work as a team and this representation might affect a team’s mindset.
In the board below blue cards are User Stories and green Cards are tasks. Red cards are Production bugs. Some cards are flagged red indicating risks or impediments.
Best Scrum Board Software to Use in 2023
Here is the list of software which can be used in 2023:
Other Related Scrum Board Concepts
These terms relate to the Scrum board and their use:
1. Product Catalog: Product catalog gives a list of all the details of the project that must be completed.
2. Sprint Backlog: The backlog tasks have to be chosen and prioritize before starting the actual Spring task.
3. User Story: User stories are the product backlog terms. Represents set of sub stories.
4. Epic: Epics are the large projects which essentially one big user story which is further divided into many smaller stories. Epics usually require multiple sprints to complete.
5. Burndown Charts:
a. It is a representation of the task in the form of a chart, the Burndown charts map the work completed and the work left to do against the assigned timeline. So, we can measure the progress of the tasks or the project.
6. Daily Standups:
a. Daily standups or daily meetings are the ones where the team gathers to talk about work and current challenges.
a. Scrum teams conduct the retrospective meeting at the end of the sprint, where the team talk about the team’s Agile practices, the challenges faced during the sprint and what they can do better in the next sprint.
How Scrum Board Different from Kabana Board?
|Scope of Work||Tracks work in a Single Sprint by a Single Team||Tracks the workflow of all teams working on a project|
|Work in Progress Limits||Team needs to finish more work in a single Sprint.||There will be fixed limit, so it improves the team productivity.|
|Owners||Always owned by one scrum team that is working on a Sprint||Not owned by any specific team, denoted to the company’s overall workflow|
|Board Contents||Breaks down user stories into smaller tasks and adding it to sprint backlogs||Since non-technical teams also use Kanban boards, user stories and sprint backlogs are generally not considered when creating tasks for these boards.|
|Reports||uses Scrum task boards to create velocity charts and graphs. These charts measure the team’s progress rate based on the number of tasks completed in a sprint.||do not use Kanban board data to create charts or graphs.|
The Certification of Scrum Master holds the candidate to stand out first in any of the interviews or in development teams. So, you will have the basics of Scrum and the Scrum lifecycle, how to recognize a team and its project, what are the steps to implement Scrum board and its Sprint transformation we can learn and understand.
There is a promising coaching instructor, if you are up to the challenge. Check out the Knowledge hut courses and enhance your digital career!!!