Adventures in Agile: The Scrum Board


For 3-1/2 months, we’ve been using a scrum board — not the one in the photo, but similar — to track tasks on a development project. Tasks start out on the left side of the board in a Not Started column, then move through In Progress, Code Complete and User Testing on the way to Done.

Today someone said, “We need a list of everything that still needs to be done — like the scrum board, but could you put it in a spreadsheet?”

Ummm, I could, but it wouldn’t contain any additional information than what’s on the board.

That was an eye-opener to me. I like the scrum board format because it keeps things visible. It’s easy to see what all the tasks are and it’s easy to see the status of each task.

It never occurred to me that if you record information on Post-Its and stick them on a wall, rather than recording the same information in an “official” format like Excel or Project, there will be people who assume that you’re just screwing around.

NB: It’s not their fault for not getting it; it’s a communication failure by me because I didn’t anticipate the situation.

Thus spoke The Programmer.

  2 comments for “Adventures in Agile: The Scrum Board

  1. steve
    24 Dec 2009 at 8:18 am

    I have copied and adapted your board… and love it.
    Very very useful for me. Thanks Paul!

  2. 10 Aug 2012 at 6:34 am

    I just came home from a developer conference where one of the topics was the Scrum methodology, so naturally I was taking some time this morning to do a little Google-ing on the topic and I came across a collection of your blog posts at

    I found myself reading, not only the Scrum post, but many of the other posts as well. I just wanted to let you know that I stuck the blog on my Pinboard, with the tags, “blog interesting informative scrum programmer programming communication wisdom.” The notable tag is the last one, “wisdom.” I had used all of the other tags on previous pins, but your blog was the first to get “wisdom;” I just wanted to pass that along.

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