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Attractive Task Boards

10 April 2006

Lisa Owens

You’re a Scrum Team and you want to create a task board. Where do you begin?

I’ve seen and/or heard about a few different approaches to creating task boards. Some teams use a cloth task board and use Velcro to apply story cards to it. Other teams use cork boards and pin their story cards on it. Still other teams tape their cards directly on the wall or whiteboard. Examples can be found here.

Recently I was reading an article in the magazine Real Simple and came up with a new idea. The article was really about designing kids' rooms so that they can decorate their walls with their artwork and then rearrange it anytime they want, but I thought: what a clever idea for a task board!

The basic premise is to create a magnetic wall and then use magnets to secure story cards to it. The article recommended using magnetic paint to make the wall. First, you buy a magnetic primer and apply at least two coats of it to your wall. You can then leave the wall as is or you can paint over it with any paint in the color of your choice without losing the magnetic effect. The three primers they recommended were Magic Wall, $13 for 32 ounces, at Michaels; Rust-Oleum Magnetic, about $20 for 32 ounces available at Lowe’s; and Krylon magnetic spray paint (good for smaller areas), $11 for 13 ounces at Ace Hardware. Office Depot has a lot of fun magnetic supplies, such as visual magnetic strips that could be used to create columns and rows on your task board, or magnetic business cards that could be used to create the titles of your columns.

Alternatively, you can create a task board out of sheet metal, which is what we did. We used two 4' x 8' sheets of normal sheet metal, painted it with colors similar to our company's colors, and screwed the sheets directly into the wall. Make sure you mount the sheets with sheet metal screws and screw them into the studs. We bought magnetic baskets to hold pens and task cards for the next sprint. We use regular index cards for our stories and secure them with magnets.

With a magnetic task board your team can be as creative as they want, and can easily change the board at any time.

Opinions represent those of the author and not of Scrum Alliance. The sharing of member-contributed content on this site does not imply endorsement of specific Scrum methods or practices beyond those taught by Scrum Alliance Certified Trainers and Coaches.

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Bent Myllerup, CST,CEC,CALE,CSP,CSM,CSPO,REP, 5/27/2008 6:33:46 AM
At my company we use self-sticky memo-boards like the 90 cm x 120 cm blue one at and have arranged those as seen at The white lines are made of paper from the maculator. The sticky surface makes them quite useful.
Tomasz Dabrowski, CSM, 10/23/2009 6:38:49 AM
In my company, we have been developing our online taskboard and it works perfectly! It gives us visibility of current progress across whole team located in two different countries. You can try here:
Kim Eckley, CSM, 3/5/2012 10:29:25 PM
Since adopting scrum my company has used cards & a cork board or post-its on a board. Recently, one of our managers purchased a smart board for collaboration, but there is talk about locating a tool and using it as the board for our daily scrum. We have mixed feelings, so I was interested in knowing if anyone has tried this and what opinions are. Thanks!

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