My name is Katie, and I love technology. For years, I worked in a child care centre, and now, I volunteer in an adult literacy classroom. In both of thee situations, I have been impressed by the use of technology. I have seen it integrated in a lot of useful and surprising ways. If you want to use technology in any classroom, my blog will help you generate ideas and learn how to use them effectively. I have three kids, but they are all grown, leaving me with ample time to write. Please, get comfortable and explore these posts. Thanks for finding my blog!
While agile project teams often work with the latest technology, most scrum masters still prefer to manage the team's output via a conventional whiteboard. Indeed, if you pass through any office space that's home to an agile project team, you'll often find team members gathered around a large whiteboard. If you're looking to invest in new tools for an agile project team, find out why a whiteboard should sit at the top of your order list.
Easy to customise
Scrum masters and project team members can set out a whiteboard in countless different ways. Through the use of lists, colours, graphics, shapes and charts, the whiteboard becomes the tool the project team best responds to. What's more, as the project progresses, the team can easily adapt the format of the board to suit their needs. Few other visual tools are so easy to change as quickly as a whiteboard.
Gives immediate progress updates
If you want to know how far an agile project has progressed, the team's whiteboard instantly tells you everything you need to know. If the board shows all the user stories on cards to the left of the board, you know immediately that the team has a lot of work left to do. Crucially, the physical presence of the whiteboard constantly reminds the team how much they have to do – and it's pretty difficult to ignore!
A whiteboard is a great focal point for an agile project team. The average project whiteboard serves multiple purposes including:
A whiteboard serves all these (and other purposes) because it's easy to use and (unlike a spreadsheet or electronic document) doesn't rely on version control and sharing permissions. The size and layout of the board actively encourages people to work together in a way that software simply cannot match.
Makes it easy to highlight critical information
Project team members must often filter and work with complex data from multiple sources, which means it's not always easy to get to the most critical information. A whiteboard makes it easier to filter out and highlight critical information because it's easy to see everything. Project software, shared network drives and paper records can often bury information that the team needs to respond to immediately, but you can set your whiteboard out in a way that makes it impossible to miss stuff.
Makes it harder to forget things
When people work off their own to-do lists and action plans, it's easy to overlook or miss important tasks and the other project team members are often blissfully unaware. A whiteboard's visible nature is like a constant reminder of all the tasks the project team needs to complete, and everyone on the team knows which tasks and user stories are outstanding. As people move or take down tasks from the board, it's immediately clear to their colleagues that the project is progressing because they can see the change take place on the white board.
Agile project teams benefit greatly from whiteboards. Whiteboards allow and encourage collaboration in a way that few other tools can match, so it's unsurprising that most scrum masters have so much affection for these trusty visual aids.