A few months ago, I coached a team as they began their journey from Waterfall to Agile. One technique I employed was an information radiator that I named the Agile Adoption Board
. It worked out well, so I wanted to share the idea.
My goals for the simple Kanban board (backlog, in progress, done) were to:
- Visualize the key things I knew the team would have to think about during its initial transition.
- Provide a place where team members could add their own items (e.g., things they had questions about).
- Provide clarity on what was done and what was not.
- Foster conversations among the team members.
- Facilitate discussions between me (coach) and the team's ScrumMaster.
I added three categories of items to the board (team, backlog, and strategic) and used different colored 3 x 5 index cards to help visualize the difference. Here is the list of items:
- Blue cards (team things)
- Team charter
- Explicit process mechanics
- Definition of Done
- Definition of Ready
- Rally setup
- Kanban board
- Environment setup
- Sprint meeting schedule
- SharePoint site
- Team email distribution list
- Stand-up time and location
- Red cards (backlog-related)
- High-level scope review
- Define epics
- Define two to three sprints of stories
- Size initial backlog
- Release plan and forecast
- Communication of backlog to business stakeholders
- Visually depict backlog
- Process of accepting work
- Yellow cards (strategy items)
- Testing strategy
- DevOps stuff
- Documentation strategy (what and where docs will live)
To create the board itself, I used a 32" x 24" piece of banner paper
and orange painter's tape for the columns. Each column is about 10 inches wide, so that two index cards can fit next to each other. I attached it to the wall using Blu-Tack. The paper is awesome because the cards with tape (or sticky notes) stick much better to paper than they do to a painted wall.
I set up the board on a wall right next to the team's work area so that they would walk by it every day. Every week or so, I would review the board with the team, move things around, and add new items. Typically, I did this right after a Daily Scrum, and it only took about five minutes.
The Agile Adoption Board was a simple way to track transition activities that proved very useful to the team, to the ScrumMaster, and to me as a coach. If you have ideas on how to improve the board or have done similar things with your teams, I'd love to hear from you!