23 September 2021
How Could Your Team Use a Sprint Board?
If you use Agile methodology, you are probably already familiar with the idea of having a scrum board or sprint board to help you out. Yet, this is an approach that can be beneficial for many other types of team. So, let’s take a look at what it offers.
What Is a Sprint Board?
The first thing we need to consider here is what sprint boards actually are. They are a type of Kanban board, giving you a visual representation of the work to be carried out and the current state of progress.
The name comes from the fact that it covers the work in a single sprint. Therefore, it needs to be a clear, flexible board that lets us see at a glance what tasks need to be carried out. It allows us to see right away that everyone is working on it and to track the progress until it is finished.
Since the Agile methodology involves daily stand-up meetings, it makes sense to hold these meetings with the board in front of you or on everyone’s screens. Using it in this way is great for reviewing progress and quickly capturing how the sprint is going.
What Does It Look Like?
If you have seen a Kanban board, then you have a good idea of what a sprint board looks like. The main difference is that there are 4 columns on it instead of the usual 3. This is because of the addition of an initial column called ‘stories’ that lists the user stories. They are currently sitting in the sprint backlog and now to be split into tasks.
The next 3 columns are the same as on any other Kanban board, ‘to do’, ‘work in progress’, and ‘done’. These sections let you track each task all the way to the end, and you can also add extra columns if you need to cover anything else in the process, such as sending something for review.
The history of these boards is that they were first used on physical whiteboards, with sticky notes moved across the different columns to represent each task’s journey. This worked fine in the original setting, which was factories where everyone was physically present. However, as the Kanban process has moved into different industries a new approach was needed.
We can now use online sprint boards that cover the same process and give the same visual representation, but with added benefits such as more flexibility and the ability for remote team members to provide real-time updates.
What Can You Do with a Sprint Board?
You may already have thought of a few areas where using a sprint board in this way could be good news for your team. Every team will find different ways of using it. But the following are a few of the most common areas that you might want to consider.
- To assign tasks. This is a very simple and clear way of assigning tasks to team members. It makes the task visible right from the start and avoids any uncertainty over who is taking ownership of it at different stages.
- Improve communication among colleagues. Communication is one of the biggest issues in many remote teams, with colleagues sometimes never meeting each other in person. This sort of online tool ensures that there is a basis for a solid communication strategy that everyone involves in.
- Get a greater level of efficiency. The main reason that the Kanban process is in production settings was to improve efficiency. The same theory applies when we use a sprint board in any type of company.
- To see who is working on each task. Anyone who runs a large team can lose track of what everyone is working on at any given time. This sort of digital project board allows them to see at a glance what everyone is doing. And also see how their work impacts the rest of the team.
- Identify bottlenecks and problem areas. One of the biggest benefits of working in this way is that you can very easily identify any areas where the tasks aren’t moving smoothly. It is a highly effective way of identifying potential bottlenecks that might affect the overall results.
- Get More flexibility. When you use a digital workflow board, it becomes a lot easier to move tasks between team members to ensure that they are carried out speedily and correctly.
Who Might Want to Use a Sprint Board?
As mentioned, this type of task management process started out in factories where managers needed to keep track of pieces and processes to increase efficiency. In more recent times, it has proved to be extremely successful in software development teams.
The truth is that you can use it in just about any type of company, large or small. For example, the Kanban process has been introduced to hospitals to help with logistics and chain supply management issues. Major brands like Spotify, Zara, and Pixar Studios have all started using Kanban, while Nike is another large international company that has discovered the benefits of this way of working.
It is easy to see why these boards are ideal for companies with remote teams who need to work through a series of tasks that pass from one person to the next until completion. Yet, you might also find ways of introducing it to just about any type of business.
How to Get Started with Kanbanchi
The Kanbanchi tool gives you an easy way to get started with a sprint board approach, as it is perfectly integrated with Google Workspace and has an intuitive layout. No matter what industry you are in and whether or not you use Agile, this is a slick, easy-to-use tool that will let you get all of the benefits of Kanban right away.