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No doubt you've seen those images of startups with sticky notes stuck on a wall or a window. And yes, it's trendy! But of course, it is not enough to write beautiful sticky notes to do a good job :) And conversely, you can work in agile without sticky notes!
But why sticky notes?
In fact, sticky notes are convenient. Everyone has them in their office, more or less. It's visible from afar, especially when there are many of them. There are several colours, that allows you to categorize a bit, like person assignation, priority levels...
But above all, it's small. Combined with a big pen 🖍️ preferably than can't be erased, we are sure that people will stick to the point.
That being said, sticky notes for agile board has also its flaws. For example, this annoying tendency to fall :) But on the whole it remains a sure value, to allow everyone to express themselves.
Another limitation is related to the fact sticky notes are physical objects, thus not necessarily compatible with telecommuting. But we'll see that there are many solutions to share tasks or ideas online.
So if you work mostly in person, and you have a small piece of wall, preferably white. You can start installing an agile board.
I wrote an article on the topic that I invite you to read to learn more about this famous kanban board which is the more used type of agile board.
But what is the purpose of this board, and who will update it?
The board is critical because it will allow you to discuss the project and to get an overview of your work and that of your colleagues. No more confused answers to questions as "you know where project X stands?". Now you have an answer : "Well, it's going well, just have a look at our board!".
It will allow you to plan periods of work, especially in anticipation of a delivery.
It is also the discussion support for an essential meeting in agile, the daily meeting. I'll say more about it next time, because from experience, adopting this practice has a significant impact on the fluidity of the collaboration. It is therefore one of the first agile practices people adopt.
📅 To-do list for this week
So, I suggest you experiment with the implementation of the kanban board this week in your company.
👉 Choose a white wall, around which you can gather
👉 "Draw" columns corresponding to steps in your work. The most classic column names are "To Do" "In Progress" "Done", but you can add as many steps as you need. What matters is to adapt to the current process in your company.
👉 With all the project members, write the main ongoing tasks on sticky notes and distribute them in the columns according to their status.
👉 Try to update the agile board regularly by creating new sticky notes or updating the existing one so that the board really reflects the project's status.
Take a step back and look at what your project looks like!
I have a hunch that the board is going to be a popular discussion place in your office. 🔥
Feel free to customize it so that it become your team's board:
✅ Print friendly profiles for each team member
✅ Prioritize topics vertically with dividers called also swim lanes 🏊
✅ Use stickers to put attention on a particular topic like bombs 💣 for example!
✅ Why not print out a project fragment to associate with a topic to make it much more visual and draw attention to it
Once the board is in place, ask your colleagues to update the tasks they are working on and their status.
Some may not see the point and may not buy in. But please continue, the more important point is that the board stays up to date. Otherwise, the interest may decrease if it does not reflect the reality of the project.
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