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Improving effectiveness of team boards

In my first weeks at OpenCredo I observed the development teams using team boards to help communicate the state of play for their current sprint, the only problem was that no-one understood the information the boards were displaying – including the developers!

So I decided to run a quick workshop with the teams to explore ideas around how they could improve their team boards and communicate better with the stakeholders relying on them for information.

In short, the teams were given a blank whiteboard and a scenario that they should communicate, to stakeholders, using only the board provided and some stickies, record cards and various markers. Once the first iteration was finished, or before in several cases, the teams could walk around and see how other people had tackled issues. Then onto a second iteration, where the scenario had moved on to the end of the sprint, the teams started to adapt their boards, adding ideas they’d seen elsewhere, or indeed thought up, increasing the ease with which people could understand the information they were trying to convey.

Unfortunately, I didn’t think to take pictures of the team’s boards at the time, but built my own the next morning to show the teams how I might tackle the second scenario.

As is always the case when I run workshops I took new things away myself:

  1. do a paper prototype before you start, it’ll save time in the long run.
  2. a sprint calendar in one straight line gives an easy way of tracking important events throughout the sprint.