Scrum Board: Definition & Examples

Instructor: Stephen Meyer

Stephen has worked as a Project Manager and is PMP certified, as well as certified by the Scrum Alliance.

Scrum is a transparent process where the current state of a project is readily available. This transparency comes through the use of Scrum boards. Understand the definition of a Scrum board and see some examples.

Scrum Board Defined

Dave's development team works in a fast-paced environment where results are expected quickly. Everyone constantly wants to know which work is complete. For the work that is not complete, they want to know the status. Luckily, Dave's team uses Scrum, the most common version of Agile development, which makes the current state of the project readily available. Any time Dave gets a question, he is ready with an answer. He directs them to the Scrum board.

A Scrum board is a tool used to visually display current project work, specifically work that has been taken into the current sprint. At a high level, it shows what has not been started, what is currently being worked, and what has been completed. It benefits individuals who are actively working on the project, such as the development team, as well as those who are not, like stakeholders. Anyone who looks at the Scrum board can see project work and know its status.

Scrum boards can either be physical or virtual, as long as they are accessible and display project work. Physical boards often use a white board, wall, or magnetic board. The project work is written on index cards, sticky notes, or magnets. These are best for teams that are located in the same place. Virtual boards use software designed to look like the physical boards, but they are viewed and changed electronically. These are best for remote teams that are not located in the same place.

Scrum Board Layout

The layout of a Scrum board can vary from team to team. As long as the general purpose of showing the progress of project work is met, there is flexibility. In determining the specific layout for a Scrum board, the main question to consider is the target audience. Is it for individuals working on the project or individuals who just want to know the progress of the project work? Each aspect of the layout is based on this. Dave's Scrum board is laid out for the people who simply want to know the progress of the project work.

When the target audience is individuals who only want to know the progress of the project work, the typical Scrum board layout involves displaying project work as user stories, which are requirements that are broken down and focused on functionality for users or specific tasks. The progress of the user stories is tracked in columns with states of work to be completed, work that is currently being completed, and work that has been completed. Specifically, these columns are labeled 'To Do', 'In Progress', and 'Done'. 'To Do' contains user stories that need to be completed but have not been worked on at all. 'In Progress' contains user stories that are either being developed or tested. 'Done' contains user stories that have been both fully developed and tested.

In general, these Scrum boards are the most basic and simple. The details are kept at a high level so that the target audience can get a quick snapshot of the project work. Dave uses this layout because his target audience is the stakeholders. When he directs them to reference the Scrum board, he expects that they will be able to easily understand the state of the project work.

When the target audience is individuals who are working on the project, the Scrum board layout is low level. This is because the development team needs more detail. The low-level layout can take one of two forms. Each is a slight variation of the standard to do, in progress, and done display of user stories, and each provides the specific detail needed for the individuals completing the project work.

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