Scrum Boards in Agile Project Management : Design and Importance

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Agile project management has made a name for itself as being the most efficient way to tackle any business goal, especially when it comes to developing software. However, other companies have taken notice too. Now, a version of agile project management, scrum project management, is finding a home in businesses across every industry.

Scrum Board Example
Scrum Board

At the heart of this technique is a very powerful way to track the progress of a project: a scrum board. Whether you design software, create marketing campaigns or build homes, this simple tool can immediately make your team more efficient. 

What Is a Scrum Board?

A scrum board is used to track the progress of a sprint. A sprint is just a single work cycle inside of a larger project. It’s important for breaking down any project into more manageable parts, but those parts also need to be tracked and managed.

We call these parts “stories.” Each story may be broken down further into different tasks. With scrum project management, it is vital that each of these tasks get addressed. This is where a scrum board comes in.

An important point of note here is that there is a very similar type of organizational tool called a Kanban board. These are not the same, though. They look very similar, but they have different labels for their columns and actually take completely different perspectives on how to measure the length of projects. 

The Importance of a Scrum Board

When done correctly, agile project management cuts through the clutter that often keeps teams from reaching the result they wanted by their deadline.

However, the importance of planning and tracking cannot be overemphasized. Agile project management – and by extension, scrum project management – only works when an entire project is dissected into the smallest possible tasks and then the progress of each one is monitored.

Otherwise, this amazing approach quickly devolves into “I’m working on it”, “I should be done next week”, and “I didn’t know that was my job.”

Fortunately, scrum board management is easy. We’ll prove it now by walking you through how to make your own board. 

How to Design a Scrum Board

Agile project management thrives because of its simplicity and the scrum board is no exception. To make one, you just need to create five  columns: Story, To Do, In Progress, To Verify and Done. You also start writing tasks and assignee names on post it or task notes and sticking them in the relevant columns.

In the above example, we’re going to pretend we have three stories in our project. Each of these stories may have any number of tasks assigned to them. Above, we’ve added some in for the sake of the example.

Again, if you’re familiar with Kanban boards, this example should look very similar, but the column names are different and, in scrum, we are measuring this project in terms of iteration. Kanban measures by workflow state.

Now, at the beginning of a sprint, your team would want to look at this board. You could either assign the tasks out or, depending on how your company operates, people may come forward because they don’t have any work at the moment.

There are several ways to make a scrum board. You could do the above on an excel sheet and share it with your workers. You could also create one on a whiteboard and use sticky notes for the tasks. Just summarize the task on the note and then add the person or team who has been assigned it.

Scrum Project Management in Daily Meetings

Scrum project management can easily be used in daily meetings. A really important component to add to your daily meetings would be reviewing the board and seeing if anyone has feedback on certain tasks or the story as a whole. 

In other words, don’t just use these meetings to assign out tasks or track progress. Take the opportunity to enlist feedback as this will make your scrum project management efforts a lot more effective. 

As you can see, using a scrum board is easy, but the impact it can have is clear. If you’re tired of dealing with chaos the moment a project is launched, use this approach in your daily meetings to keep everyone on task. 

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