team on the glass task board
Originally uploaded by Stephan’s Place.
As mentioned before, we were doing Scrum just a while, but we used a software as main basic tool for the project management. Still we had many questions about Scrum, some occurring problems and insufficient results. When I was asking some of those questions my Scrum trainer, Boris Gloger, his answer was often short: “Get your self a physical task board.” Or: “That won’t happen with a task board”
So after the training, we started to look for a physical task board right away. As already told, we finally used a segmented glass wall as our new task board.
Before that point, we had our task in an open source software, anyone could access it and it was sortable and had nice charts and graphics. Anyway, it seemed to just pleasure the team leader who can sort tasks and user stories and print reports and so on.
When we had our first sprint meeting in front of the physical board, suddenly something happened what changed all: a communication breakthrough happened.
The team members were instructed to see all selection and delivery of user stories as team job, and now they started to talk even about tasks that were supposed to be other persons tasks. It turned out that some ideas one contributed made the tasks much more clear and the solution simpler. I do not want to think about what this would have become without that talking!
Second, the physical moving of the task sheet from “work in progress” column to the “done” column made the developer proud and gave him a good feeling. The other guys were eager to do the same.
The fact to gather the team to each sprint meeting in front of the SCRUM-wall helps a lot to encourage communication, not only between programmers, but between programmers and the product owner (and sometimes: the users) too.
The use of a physical story board was a major breakthrough and for the first time I could watch the evolving power of SCRUM.