Kanban and Scrum Starter Guide

  11/09/2018 at 08:49 am

Get to grips with the kanban methodology with this easy quick start guide. 

Kanban is a framework that can help you implement an agile mentality. Tasks are visually represented on a Kanban board allowing team members to be able to view the state of a project at any time. Follow the steps below to start using your own Kanban board.

Setting up your kanban board:

  1. To set up your board initially you will probably need 3 columns. These are ‘To Do’, ‘In Progress’ and ‘Done’. This is the most simple version of a Kanban board so you may want to adjust these columns if needed. 
  2. You then need to set a work in progress limit so that the team doesn’t get overwhelmed with too many tasks all going on at once.
  3. Set aside your coloured sticky notes ready for tasks to be added to the Kanban board.

Using your kanban board:

To use your kanban board you need to write each task on a coloured sticky note. The initial tasks you make will be added to the ‘to do’ section. You need to make sure that the most important tasks are at the top of the column. This means that when each team member pulls a task from the top of the column they know that this task is the priority. The tasks are then moved across the columns from left to right, making sure that the work in progress column limit is never exceeded. When the task enters the ‘done’ stage, a new task can be pulled from the ‘to do’ column.

These are the basics of how a Kanban board works. So get started using the Kanban methodology yourself!

Get to grips with the Scrum methodology with this easy quick start guide. 

The scrum methodology is based around a series of fixed length stages called sprints. Sprints come and go quite quickly which gives the team a feeling of tangible progress giving a real sense of achievement.

The scrum methodology recommends four stages of each sprint. These are:

Sprint planning - The team will come together to decide what will be completed in the next sprint.

Daily stand up/scrum - A daily meeting where the team will decide who is doing what in that particular day.

Sprint demo - A meeting where the team shows what they have achieved in the sprint.

Sprint retrospective - A review of what the team did well in the sprint and what they didn’t do so well to improve the next sprint.

It is also important to allocate a scrum master. This person will make sure that everyone attends all of the meetings and will look for ways to fine tune the process.

To help with this process a scrum task board should be used. To make a simple scrum task board you will need five columns. These are ‘story’, ‘to do’, ‘work in progress’, ‘to verify’ and ‘done’. These terms are explained below. Then each task is moved along the board, visiting each column until the task is done. The scrum master will be in charge of adding more tasks to the board if needed. 

Story - A description from the end-user perspective. It describes the type of user, what they want and why. 

To do - This column shows what tasks still need to be completed in the sprint.

Work in progress - This column shows what tasks are currently underway in the sprint.

To verify - This column shows tasks that need to be verified/tested to show that they can be put in the done column.

Done - The task has been completed. 

These are the basics of using Kanban and Scrum to improve your team's productivity. These methodologies should help your team to achieve your goals quicker and more efficiently. If you need help getting started using Kanban or Scrum take a look at our Kanban and Scrum starter kit. The kit contains everything you need to get started with either Kanban or Scrum. Click HERE to take a look.