Organizing through Scrum Boards

Organizing through Scrum Boards

On a quest to adapt the most efficient productivity and time management tools, I came across a dozen examples. Some I’ve already written about in a series of articles on productivity. There are a few more that I tried. It is an adaptation of an agile project management tool that is used in the software development industry. It is a practical way to track the progress of a project. It is called a scrum board.

What is a scrum board?
A scrum board is used to track the progress of a sprint. A sprint is just a single work cycle inside of a larger project. It’s important for breaking down any project into more manageable parts, but those parts also need to be tracked and managed. We call these parts “stories.” Each story may be broken down further into different tasks. With scrum project management, it is vital that each of these tasks get addressed. This is where a scrum board comes in [1].

I wanted to reduce the stress of coming into work with a full inbox and a million things on my to-do list. While all the productivity techniques work well for me (Eat the Frog is my favorite productivity boosting technique), I find that I had to implement a visual organizing method for all the running tasks I have. That way, I can SEE progress.

How to Scrum?
First of all, get a huge board. I have a 2m x 1m whiteboard that I used from my teaching days. I used to use it for bills and important numbers. That has since been wiped clean and is now being used as a scrum board.

So, first off, start with a clean board. You can get a blackboard or a whiteboard, it’s up to you. Divide the board into 4 columns. I use washi tape but you can always just use markers or chalk. Make the 3rd column larger than the others, I’ll tell you why later.

Column 1 has descriptions of all my running tasks, neatly categorized and color-coded into 4 categories pink = bills, green = work, blue = errands, and yellow = ad hoc tasks. Simply put, it is a legend.

Column 2 is where you put your to-do lists. For example, in a pink post it, I wrote “pay utility bills (water, elec, ISP)”

Column 3 shows tasks in progress. For example, in a green post it, I wrote: “write February articles”. That is posted under the “in progress” column as I still haven’t completed all the articles. Leave space for this as you might want to write notes or reminders in this area, while tasks are in progress. I wrote ¼ beside the green post it since I have only completed 1 out of 4 articles.

Column 4 is where you post all your done or completed tasks. I will be moving the green “write February articles” to this column once I have completed and delivered all articles for February.

This is basically how the scrum board works. It’s usually more complex for industries and large companies but could be scaled for personal use, like how I do it. How about you? Do you have any personal experience with using the scrum board method? Share them with us in the comments. Stay humble and hustle hard!


Written by Jaie O. The Help