Physical boards are hallmark of Agile based development. Boards have specific value in agile development; they provide one holistic view of the project in a certain point in time. The proverb Just like a picture worth a thousand words is perfectly fits on agile boards. A board view is capable of presenting a heck of information on one single place, which is visible to whole team. Progress monitoring and status changing is so easy. Electronic boards are even better which despite containing a sea of information make it look simple.
Now the importance of boards is evident, we need to see what are the characteristics that a board should have? We come up with a term EASI Boards which divides boards into 4 major characteristics.
E – Easy to manage
A – Accessibility (Accessible to all team members)
S – Smart and Simple
I – Interactive
Easy to manage
Easy to use is fundamental characteristic of an agile board. Complexity denies the concept of Agile which is based on principle of simplicity. Too complex to use board which requires a lot of assistance would kill the idea of agility within the team. Some of the following basic functions should be easily performed on a board. Not all of them may belong to a single board.
- Easy to Create an Object (User Story, Task or Bug)
- Easy to Assign a responsible person
- Easy to change the status of an Object (User Story, Task, Bug)
- Easy to move objects around
- Easy to add and build communication around an Object
- Easy to add helpful data (Attachments, pictures, flow charts etc)
- Easy to See the Progress on the board
- Easy to navigate
- Easy to see information pertaining an Object (User story, Task, Bug)
- Easy to see the KPI’s pertaining a specific board
One of the reasons the concept of board got famous and adopted by the team was the fact that they were available to the whole team. Team could see the progress, assigned tasks to a specific person, new requirements anytime they want to see. That is why physical agile boards are ideally placed at a easy to reach location. Same rule applies on electronic boards. They should be accessible to the whole team so team could get full benefit from the boards. Following characteristics of agile software will make accessibility easier.
- Easy to add or remove team members who have access to the board
- Available and accessible to the remote team members
- Mobile versions, which helps to access the boards on the go
One of the agile principal is “Simplicity–the art of maximizing the amount of work not done–is essential”. This statement portrays the importance of being simple in agile. Teams should not be bombard with useless information on the board. Agile board should remain simple and information should be easy to find.
- Simple UI
- Simple UX
- Easy to find needed information
- No useless data (data pertaining other sprints, other teams etc.)
- No complex graphs (burn-down and burn-up charts are enough)
- Simple to export data
- Easy to navigate
Data on the board is tensile and ever changing. The Key performance Indicators (KPIs) are linked to that data. Change in data should also be presented in KPIs and graphs immediately, so team could see the impact of their action in a jiffy. Following is the few of the useful interactive information may be presented on the board.
- Burn down graphs
- On target Indicators
Yodiz understand the value of boards and preserve the board look for scrums, and extends it by creating other useful boards such as Release, planning and Issue boards.