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Physical VS Online task boards

Last post 04:32 am January 9, 2016 by Aleksandr Chistiakov
2 replies
08:09 am January 8, 2016

Hello community!

Why do you think the physical board is still popular? I want to share with you some ideas that I found about this topic.

First of all People are More important than the Process and Tools. We have to build tools and process around the people, not vice versa. Use something that works for your team, when you don't know be Agile try something for few sprints and analyse results.

Ok, let's give some colors!

About the Physical board
1) Works like the Information Radiator:
- helps bandwidth of communications(use mimics and emotions that give more information than simple phrase)
- create spontaneous communications around the board
- helps to see and discuss about the progress,
- it easy to see when colleagues(Managers) are interesting in the task board and use it effectively.
2) It's easy to change process. Do you need a new stage, then just add the new column.
3) Easy in use and learn. Don't have the overhead when we update the one board.
4) Physical features: it's great feeling to move the striker in Done.
5) Brain's features: we remember things better which we have wrote than we have typed.
1) We have the overhead for the distributed/multiple team
2) Don't have a history
3) We have to create reports/burndown charts manually
4) We have to be synchronised with Jira manually
5) We have to report about every update physically
6) We can lose striker from the board

About the Online board
1) We can create different reports/burndown charts automatically
2) No problems with the distributed/multiple team
3) Automatic notification about any update
4) Can take the any historical information
5) Synchronisation with Jira/Task tracker tool
1) When we are not chating around the online board, we use only the information from the board that not resolve ambiguity's problem. And it's making bad habits use the guess instead of communications.
2) Doesn't work like the information radiator(If it's not a big screen)
3) Sometimes it's not easy to update the board for the daily Scrum(Scrum Master every time have to ask about that before)
4) For new teams the digital board shift the attention from the process and people to tools

You have a small team and you are working on the startup project then the physical board is best choice for you. If you are working on the big project with distributed/multiple teams I recommend you find a big screen or projector, it can work like the information radiator, and try to find the tool for digital board that is easy in use and in changing.

09:02 pm January 8, 2016

That's a good analysis.

I'd note a couple of antipatterns around board usage:

- An electronic board can be misused as a crutch to justify physical team dislocation, on the grounds that it makes them "virtually" co-located.
- A physical board can be misused as a totem signal that, because of its very presence, a workforce has "gone agile".

04:32 am January 9, 2016

Hey Ian! Thanks for your comment. Yes a lot of things from scrum we can take like totems, don't have the any idea why we use it, and what lay in the basis.

P.S. My congratulations you've gave 1300 advices on that forum!

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