Organization is key when you’re developing and implementing large-scale projects. While a linear approach to project management may seem like a logical way to maximize efficiency, it doesn’t work well for large-scale undertakings. Adaptation is essential in an ever-evolving environment, and planning everything ahead of time doesn’t always work.
However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t be methodical. Setting up projects with a scrum board helps you take an incremental approach so that everyone on the team can remain flexible and respond to changing requirements while meeting goals.
What Is a Scrum Board?
A scrum board is a project management tool that originated in the software development world. It was developed to help teams stay focused while working on multifaceted projects, delivering results while seamlessly responding to changing requirements.
Much more than a to-do list, a scrum board helps you envision your backlog of ideas, prioritize tasks and accomplish assignments. Perhaps most importantly, it allows for flexibility and adaptation. Instead of planning the entire project before shifting into execution mode, scrum lets you move quickly on the most important tasks and make modifications without derailing your entire project.
Using a scrum board, individuals can focus on a specific task while visualizing the entire workflow. Collaboration is easy because everyone involved with the project can view the status of every element.
How to Use a Scrum Board
A scrum board serves as a resource for project management as well as time management. It’s all about breaking large products down into smaller steps.
A scrum board typically includes the following elements:
- Backlog of goals – Sometimes referred to as stories, this section contains a goal or product that you need to complete.
- To-dos – This is a list of tasks that are necessary to accomplish to achieve one goal or produce one product.
- Works in progress – As team members start to work on various tasks, they should move them to this section to show that they’re being addressed.
- Tasks to be approved – Once tasks are completed, they may be moved to this area if they require review, verification or approval.
- Completed to-dos – Finished tasks are placed in this section. When all of the tasks that correspond with a particular backlog item are complete, the product or story should be good to go.
Another key element of a scrum board is the sprint, which indicates a limited period of time during which the team will tackle the tasks that are required to reach a particular goal. The idea is that projects should be broken down so that one sprint can be manageable and doable within a reasonable time frame. Most scrum proponents say that a sprint should last no longer than one month.
A scrum board is not set in stone. It should be created on a flexible platform that allows for plenty of editing. You’ll need to be able to move tasks from one column to another. You may even decide to scrap or alter some elements completely.
A virtual platform works well because team members can access it from anywhere. A physical scrum board, such as a white board or bulletin board with sticky notes, is another option.
The team members who are working on the project should meet regularly to address the workflow. If something has changed or isn’t working, you can quickly swap it out for a new, more appropriate task.
What Is the Difference Between a Scrum Board and a Kanban Board?
Like scrum, Kanban is a methodology for managing workflows. Both involve breaking large goals into smaller increments and displaying them in a location where everyone involved can access them. These frameworks are visual representations of a project’s developmental stages and progress.
Both methodologies work by limiting the number of tasks and goals that are addressed at one time. However, you will find that a Kanban template restricts operations by limiting the number of tasks or cards that can be in any column at once. On the other hand, scrum limits the amount of time that participants spend on those tasks.
Therefore, scrum may be better suited for developing speed as well as productivity. With scrum, team members must estimate how long a particular sprint will take and how many goals, stories or tasks they can accomplish during that time. As you analyze the effectiveness of a particular board, you can use what you learned to set appropriate deadlines and plan projects more efficiently in the future.
Meet With Your Team to Create Tasks
Scrum is not a set-and-forget framework that one individual builds and farms out to a team for implementation. The methodology involves input from team members and consistent assessment.
Think of it as a way to organize your brainstorming sessions into a productive workflow plan. You can develop tasks together with your team so that you don’t leave out any essential functions.
Return to the scrum board consistently as you work through the project. Some teams do this daily or even more frequently. As you identify strengths and weaknesses in the model, you can apply what you have learned to future projects.
How Do You Make a Scrum Board?
A scrum board is a fairly simple concept. However, using one can become complex.
Instead of making a scrum board from scratch, you may want to consider using a template. That way, you can focus your energy on prioritizing your goals and developing the proper tasks for each story.
Remember that you can simplify projects with a scrum board by breaking down large steps into smaller ones. As you move toward a goal or work with your team, you may even realize that one task can be broken down further to fit realistically within a sprint. Don’t hesitate to create baby steps. Over time, you’ll get a better sense of bottlenecks, directives and time management.
What are scrum boards used for outside of the software development environment? In short, it can be used for any project across every industry. Once you understand how to use a scrum board, you can set one up to manage marketing campaigns, product development, blog post creation and even family meals at home. Project scrum board, here we come.