A Scrum board (or Task board, or Story board) is a very simple Kanban board. Kanban boards have been around for a while and are originated with lean manufacturing modeled on supermarket shelf-stocking techniques.
[blockquote type=”left”]In the late 1940s, Toyota began studying supermarkets with a view to applying store and shelf-stocking techniques to the factory floor, figuring, in a supermarket, customers get what they need, at the needed time, and in the needed amount. Furthermore, the supermarket only stocks what it believes it will sell, and customers only take what they need because future supply is assured. This led Toyota to view a process as a customer of preceding processes, and the preceding processes as a kind of store. The customer process goes to this store to get needed components, and the store restocks. As in supermarkets, originally, signboards were used to guide “shoppers” to specific restocking locations.[/blockquote]
The concept of Kanban boards has been taken up by the Lean software development and Kanban communities. Although they are not formally part of Scrum, every Scrum project that I’ve been involved with in the last 10 years has used a Scrum board. They are a very effective way to measure progress. In this video, I show you how to use a scrum board.
A column for work in progress, and finally a column for Tasks Completed. At the start of the sprint, during sprint plan meeting part one. The team will forecast how much work they think they can likely achieve, and they will then take those user stories, and move them onto the task board like this. At the start of the sprint, during the sprint plan meeting part one, the team will forecast how much work they think they can likely achieve.
During sprint plan meeting part two, each of this stories is then broken into a number of different tasks. In our example, the first user story, may be broken down into three tasks. The second user story may be broken down into two tasks and the final user story may also be broken down into two tasks. Our team has two team members.
Alice has no work to do. So she will go to the task board and select some work from the Tasks Not Started column and move it into the Work in Progress column. Similarly, Bob may also take work from the Task Not Started column and move that to the Work in Progress column. The next day, Alice may have completed her task, so she’ll move that task into the Task Completed column.
She’ll then take a new task from the Not Started column, and place that in Work in Progress. Bob may still be working task, so that stays there in the Work in Progress column. The following day, Alice has again completed her task and she’ll move that again into the Completed column and take a new task from the Not Started column.
Similarly Bob may also have completed his work and so he’ll also move that to the Completed column, he too takes a new task from the Not Started column and moves it into the Work in Progress column. We can see a general migration of tasks from the left hand side of the board, over to the right hand side of the board.
The scrum board provides a clear and useful visual feedback, on a teams’ day to day progress. There are a variety and different styles of task boards and here, are few examples.