The Agile approach has revolutionised the way developers create software. Relying on constant learning, collaboration, planning and improvement across cross-functional teams, organisations can apply iterative processes to quickly deliver applications and respond more flexibly to change. This approach makes it possible to deliver essential benefits throughout the software development process, rather than forcing end users to wait until the project is finally completed for these benefits. Within the suite of Agile project management tools, Scrum is one of the most widely used.
Scrum is an Agile framework providing structure to the Agile methodology and relies on multiple levels of accountability, a backlog detailing the complete body of work that must be completed, and the sprints where teams collaborate to complete and release product increments. Scrum and the Agile methodology make it possible to streamline development processes while reducing overheads, speeding up delivery and increasing project adaptability. Unfortunately, working and collaborating at intense speeds can create confusion among team members. Scrum boards help ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Also called a “sprint board” or “Scrum task board,” a Scrum board is either a digital or physical representation of the progress and ownership of various tasks within the Agile sprint. Typically, the board is divided into four columns, each representing aspects of the sprint and where they are in terms of progress towards completion.
Scrum boards generally follow this structure:
As previously mentioned, a Scrum board can take the form of either a physical board to which tasks are manually attached and on which they are manually updated or a digital variation maintained in the cloud or on local servers.
Although the earliest Scrum boards consisted of physical boards and were deployed within shared workspaces, most modern Scrum boards exist virtually.
This is because digital Scrum boards are effective at coordinating remote teams, whether that means ensuring proper collaboration between offices or floors within the same building or across the globe. Digital Scrum boards can also be further enhanced through automated workflows and digital reports and can be planned much further in advance. These boards update in real time so that every user has access to the same information regardless of how remote they are.
Every Scrum board details a single, specific sprint, which is the time frame in which the team has to accomplish a predetermined goal (such as completing a specific element of the development project). The sprint can be any length of time but should be limited to a defined amount of work. Sprints are not time to do as much as possible; they are better suited to accomplishing specific, pre-identified tasks. Sprints typically consist of four types of events:
Scrum artefacts are essential elements that make up and support the Scrum board. These include:
Perhaps the most essential element of the Scrum board is the team that operates it. Responsibilities within these teams include:
Along with Scrum boards, Kanban boards are another type of framework used to visually represent the Agile process. But while the Kanban board may appear similar to a Scrum board (utilising columns populated by tasks), it follows a different process and is designed to be used by more than just the development team.
Unlike a Scrum board, a Kanban board is not owned by a specific team and does not apply to a single sprint. Instead, Kanban takes a larger view to track progress across all teams within the company’s overall workflow. Kanban is limited to a fixed number of items that can be added to the “in-progress” column and does not include user stories or backlogs. Kanban boards are also simplified for non-technical users; they seldom include data visualisation techniques and are instead surface-level solutions for seeing project progress across the board.
For those organisations that embrace an Agile methodology, the breakneck speed of deployment coupled with an ongoing need for adaptability can make visualising and tracking project progress extremely difficult. Scrum boards within the Scrum framework provide a possible solution. But with so many Scrum tools currently available, how can businesses determine which one is the correct choice for their needs? ServiceNow Agile Development offers the answer.
Built on the industry defining Now Platform®, Agile Development brings Scrum planning, documentation, reporting and project management to a single, centralised location. Coordinate multiple teams across multiple projects. Enjoy real-time visibility into project development. Integrate with a range of tools to ensure productivity and accuracy. Apply advanced automation to keep workflows moving quickly. And through it all, maintain comprehensive, easy-to-follow boards to help do more with less.
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