The Sprint Board Rules

When teams are co-located sprint boards are often kept offline, and as everyone is able to talk there is a general awareness of what people are working on. In a distributed team the only way for people to be updated is by a dedicated communication (maybe an instant message, maybe a video or phone call), or by keeping a digital sprint board up to date.

Many IT workers are used to using Jira, but in my experience most of them don’t actively keep the sprint board updated. In a distributed team it is important to ensure that tasks are assigned and moved to the appropriate column at all times. By ensuring it is up to date it prevents two people from working on the same task, helps to communicate with the rest of the team what progress you are making, and also ensures that those depending on a task know when it is ready to be progressed.

# My Experience So Far

As mentioned before, most teams I’ve worked in have not been good at keeping online sprint boards up to date. When an entire team is good at it, the board has been a very useful tool, not only for managers, but for everyone in the team.

Forming a habit of updating the sprint board took a few attempts for me. I had to remind myself to update it every time I started or finished a task. One of the ways I found to achieve this was to encourage the whole team to aim for smaller tasks; not only did this reduce the risk associated with each task, but it meant I had to update the board several times per day.