Finally I am back!! I apologize for my temporal aloofness!!
I was reading interesting postings at ScrumDevelopment group about Taskboard and how the progress is visualized so I want to share some ideas from our particular experience.
A very engaging aspect of Scrum (and Agile in general) is to find innovative ways for solving problems found in the Retrospective meetings. By the way, the Retrospectives are are rich well of requests and improvement opportunities. By pandering to those requests (and inspecting at the solutions) you will get a tailored improvement to the process.
How do we at Artinsoft do for keeping track of our Sprint progress using the Task Board? Let me explaining it to you by telling you the story.
We have acknowledged that the following phases are needed in order to set a done criteria for the User Stories we committed:
- Design: Meetings to discusses architectural issues,
- Development: Coding
- Application Quality Improvement: Pair Programming and/or Code Review. We prefer Pair Programming.
- Testing: Quality Assurance in the way of Developer or Integration Tests
- Usability Tests
Additionally, a sixth kind of tasks emerged: Environment, as a mean to say that it is a task that encompasses all the environment setup (technology setup) to accomplish the User Story.
Well, in one Retrospective long time ago we pointed out that some User Stories were lacking of enough quality. Why? …. Got it! one or more aforementioned phases were being skipped when planning and implementing features. Why? We EASILY forget to get sure we get them while planning and even implementing. At the second level of “Why?” we realized we needed something catchy to remember those phases and to avoid the constant tendency of realizing them when the deadline is looming, or even worse: never!
We devised a solution: Use a specific color for each kind of task when doing the Sprint Planning and do a Color Distribution Assessment constantly: Do we have enough of all colors for all User Stories? If not, is there a unanimous and intentional awareness of it?
Along the Sticky notes we also have a supply of red round labels. Why so?
In the diagram, I pictured an hypothetical second day of the Sprint, in the Stand Up. The team member David (hence the “D” in the sticky note) delayed more than the recommended (and estimated) one day for that pink task (Usability) he committed to finished. He sticks a red round label to the task and in that way the Task Board is irradiating to the whole team that we are behind of the Sprint schedule.
Again, this has worked for us and fits to our specific circumstances. What do you think about it? Feel free to give me your opinions, all your comments are needed and welcomed!!