Taskboard

What is a taskboard, how is it used in Scrum and what advantages does it offer?

Visualise tasks with their progress

A taskboard is a tool that is used by individuals or teams to visualise tasks. A task is written down on a card, which in the course of its realisation moves through the taskboard – e.g. from “to do” to “in progress” to “done”. A taskboard thus visualises tasks with their specific processing states.

Taskboard

The use of taskboards is very easy, because besides the cards for the tasks and some pens only a flipchart, a whiteboard or a wall is needed. Taskboards are also used when working with distributed teams – usually as a digital solution.

The taskboard in Scrum

In Scrum, the taskboard is a central tool around which the developers gather at the Daily Scrum and document the workflow in the sprint. For better orientation, Scrum displays both the sprint goal and the various user stories agreed during sprint planning on the taskboard. The visualisation technique is also used in other methods such as Kanban, Scrumban or Getting Things Done (GTD). Other artefacts – e.g. impediment boards or user story maps – can also be displayed using the same technique.

Advantages and disadvantages of taskboards

Working with taskboards offers numerous advantages:

  • The visualisation of the artefacts and the representation of the progress promotes the cooperation in teams.
  • Often a taskboard is a central point of contact where employees meet to discuss projects, priorities, requirements, etc.
  • In addition, when moving an artefact to a subsequent column, the haptic is often motivating.

However, the physical taskboards have one weakness: traceability cannot be reliably proven. For example, it is impossible – or at best very difficult – to trace who moved a card from “in process” to “done” or how often a card was moved from “done” back to “in process”. Cards may also fall off or disappear from the taskboard. For organisations working in areas with high verification requirements, the (parallel) use of electronic taskboards could be useful.

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