Agile methodologies – daily scrums, standup meetings, iterative development cycles, sprints… there is a whole lot of hype around these concepts in the software development world. They are certainly the “IT” things at the moment. Pushing past the hype and the excitement, there are some really very useful tools out there that make light work of the paper work. I can really see myself using some of these for real, and not just because I have to! For this very reason, TASK BOARDS have jumped out at me as something really useful.
Joss, John and I got together this afternoon and had a really good brainstorm around the Task Board. I’m so glad we did, I was looking at it from a really high-level, long-term perspective and John had a short-term, sprint-focused perspective. John helped me realise that you don’t need task board that encompasses EVERYTHING – you can have many task boards that are focused on specific aspects. Once we thrashed that around a bit, we registered at http://www.seenowdo.com and did a dummy-run on “SPRINT 1 – the HUB”. Afterwards I jumped into the “Multi-purpose Venue” stage that we identified in our rich picture and knocked up a task board for that. Here it is:
Task Boards are definitely a tool I will use for my project next semester, and probably even for smaller task (like assignments!) A physical board,covering a wall would be great – incredibly visual and tactile. The virtual version offered at http://www.seenowdo.com is brilliant as well, and is really set off with a touchscreen interface! I love it.
As I get into some of these elements / tools, I am beginning to see how they are all closely integrated. None of the ones I have looked at so far are any good without the others. As an example, the kickoff meeting incorporates so many other tools, and results in the user stories that we then used for the Task Boards, which we modified with estimates from planning poker. I think I am beginning to grasp what a “methodology” really is now, it is a collection of closely related tools / concepts that when combined are immensely powerful.