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The Scrum Task Board and the Self-Managing Team

In the initial stages of the scrum, the scrum team usually adopt the manual mode of the work. Generally, they make you use the task board, which is the tool for tracking the work of the team as well as an information radiator. Index cards, sharpies, and spreadsheets serve the purpose of managing the tasks. At that time, for tracking the progress of the work, the team take the glance of the scrum board. But with the advent of technology, people prefer technological advancement than the manual work to make the working process easier. Similar is the case of the agile project work, where some tools are in-built, and some are an add-on to the existing tools. Sometimes, this progressive technology comes with uncertain results, as in the case of extensive consumption of social media by society. Originally it was supposed to save time and efforts of the people, but the ultimate result is the complete isolation of the people from society.

Self-Managing TeamHigh-Tech Tools: More Harm than Help?

The three key factors: collaboration, co-location, and face-to-face communication, co-related with each other, serve a great purpose. It works a great deal in deciding the success of the scrum team, and technology plays an important role in establishing these key factors. Technology helps in enhancing the collaboration of the scrum team members and also potentially hinder a co-located team. But too much dependency is always harmful. Depending on technology can result in making it act as an inadequate substitute for face-to-face communication and collaboration.

While working with two scrum teams, it is quite evident that all the information is available in a high-tech agile tool but less accessible by team members. But the stand-ups work more like a status report for the scrum team than the opportunity to share the information and set a level for the team’s progress in the sprint. While working on a project, we feed the information of a technology-based tool. We do not find it necessary to access them periodically in real-time—this dependency on the tool results in the unpredictable consequences of the technology. For a successful project, more than the team focus, completing a sprint requires individual focus to a larger extent.

Low-Tech Solution

Build a scrum board of your own by taking a task board, put the board on the wall of your office. Take a print of the stories and tasks from our agile tool and recreate the scrum board by pasting them on the board, which will reflect the status of your on-going sprint. During the sprint, stand-up ask every team member to go to the scrum board for addressing the scrum team. While discussing the working strategy on any sprint, ask the team member to take the task card, note down the task, and paste it on the scrum board to the appropriate column.

However, it takes some time to adjust to specific changes in the method of working but will help in increasing the focus of every team member. This physical scrum board will help team members constantly trace the progress of their work and provides self-satisfaction to the team members when they move the task card from the “to do” column to the column “done”. A periodic tracing of the work progress helps them in managing time and resources and also helps in completing the project within the given time frame.

During the evaluation of the mid-sprint, the accuracy of the work progress will fill the team with more enthusiasm to work for the sprint completion. And if the team members encounter any problem, the scrum board can serve as the best option in determining where the problem is and find a solution to it and re-allocate the resources based on the solution. Despite serving the purpose of tracing the progress work report of the team, the scrum board also acts as a primary self-managing tool.

Value of Planning 

The engagement of the team members in planning the sprint is the most important aspect of a successful scrum team. The engagement of the team members in the act of planning is more important than the plan itself. While planning the sprint, the engagement of the team members will ensure that they share a common understanding of what the project is all about and how they can accomplish it.

Things don’t need to always go according to your plan, so it is imperative to replan your strategies and tasks, and every team member must be aware of the change in the previous plan or strategy. And here, the scrum board can act as an effective agile tool in helping you collaborate and work on your strategies or replan your old strategy and focus on the deadline of the sprint.

Ali Zubair is a data processing expert and blogger. He enjoys talking and writing about technology, travel, health and fashion... subjects you can read about on his blog, The Sage Insider.

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