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Electronic Board

Mark Garland
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 11, 2006
Posts: 226
One of our project managers here has been reading about Agile development, and is very keen to promote it here within the development team.

We've been having regular 'Scrum' meetings every morning, where we are to give a minute (no more) update of our current progress, and any impediments.

As part of this, the Project Manager has set up a board, where we apply post-it notes and move them to the relevant areas of the board when complete, and he has drawn a graph of our progress.

My question is whether you are aware of any electronic versions of the boards? Post-its have a tendency to fall off and are difficult to see. If, instead, there was a web version (for example), we could all see it from our screens (I'm thinking about home-workers), and if projected, it may be easier to see.

Cheers,

MG
[ October 30, 2007: Message edited by: Mark Garland ]

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Ilja Preuss
author
Sheriff

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 14112
My team had some serious trouble with an electronic solution. It was basically impossible to really collaborate on updating it. Also, the resolution of post its is quite unbeatable...

I would suggest to look out for Super Sticky Post Its - they are really great: http://www.3m.com/us/office/postit/products/prod_notes_ss.html?WT.mc_id=keymatch

Get bigger ones to make them easier to see, and think about whether you can move the board to a better location.

Homeworkers are a problem. I might try a webcam, but don't have any experience in this regard.


The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny - it is the light that guides your way. - Heraclitus
Lasse Koskela
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Sheriff

Joined: Jan 23, 2002
Posts: 11962
    
    5
There's also CardMeeting.com that Jim Shore was also giving birth to.


Author of Test Driven (2007) and Effective Unit Testing (2013) [Blog] [HowToAskQuestionsOnJavaRanch]
James Shore
author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 21, 2007
Posts: 46
I'm no longer involved with CardMeeting, but the project's carrying on without me.

The problem with electronic tools (even CardMeeting) is that they are very limited compared to physical cards. Physical cards are tactile and can use a huge display area. They're 300dpi and can be spread out over a 10' table, then hung up with magnets on a whiteboard and rolled back to the team room. The whole team can participate at once. You can physically take the card you're working on and clip it to your monitor. When somebody makes a request, you can whip out a card, have them write it down, and then walk over to the planning board and insert it into the plan... immediately. You can even have electronic backups by taking a digital picture of the whole board. (8 megapixel cameras have enough resolution to capture the whole board in one picture.)

Electronic tools are incredibly clunky in comparison. They're good for just one thing: multi-site teams. In fact, our design goal with CardMeeting was to replicate the experience of multiple people using physical cards around a table.

Unless you have a multi-site team, I recommend sticking with physical cards.


James Shore, coauthor of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Art-Agile-Development-James-Shore/dp/0596527675" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">The Art of Agile Development</a>. Website and blog at <a href="http://www.jamesshore.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.jamesshore.com</A> .
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
 
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