Things I say often: This is your board - change it

· January 16, 2015

I have probably introduce around 80-100 teams to the use of some sort of board to visualize their work. One of the things that I often … ah, always say and also have to repeat is this:

Nobody has told us to create a board. We do this for us. This is great because that it means that we can change it how WE see fit

Many teams that I visit are worried about creating a “good” board or even the correct board. Many times the initial feeling is looking for help from a manager on how it should work and look.

I have never been told to create a board for a team. I’ve many time suggested that teams should have a board to make their work visible, apparent and easy to act on.

This means that we are creating this board for us. Not for anyone else. So we can change the board so that it suits our ways of working. Not according to the views of anyone else. It’s our freedom and responsibility to suit this visualization (or something better) to our context.

Any visualization, especially so vital a board often are for a team, should change as our world changes. Sadly many team don’t view it like that, especially in the beginning. This is the reason I recommend:

  • drawing the board on a white board with (non-permanent, oh - do I have stories on this) markers
  • don’t spend a lot of time making it look pretty
  • don’t use tape to create columns etc.
  • try stuff out if you’re not sure - rather than “leave it”
  • don’t start in a electronic tool (Give me 20 days on the board before you go to the electronic tool)

After awhile the structure of your board and process might stabilize, then you can make it fancy or even move it to a tool. If you think that would help you.

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