Advice and answers from the ScrumDo Team


Visual boards associated with projects/workspaces are central to just about everything you'll do in ScrumDo.  

Starting Context - The Workspace

ScrumDo workspaces are designed to simplify the process of organizing and managing all the activities related to delivering value to the end users/customers of your products and services. 


Each workspace in ScrumDo will have its own visual board. These visual boards typically contain lanes (rows) and columns (or individual cells) representing different phases of activity or states. An activity or state may be anything that adds value, discovers knowledge, reduces risk etc.  Cards representing a collection of work move across the board as that work passes through these different states.  Teams should establish policies around how frequently to update the information managed by the tool (from card details to their location on the boards) so the tool can be an effective information radiator for themselves and their stakeholders. 

A quick word on the structure. Customers are free to design their visual boards in whatever way makes sense for them. There is a whole host of factors that should drive design -- far too many for us to cover here (our Lean-Agile trainers & coaches have days of material on this).  ScrumDo makes it easy to get started, however, by providing a board wizard to guide users through the process and letting you choose from many common templates.

Your Work Cards

Ideally, you want to get to a point where your work cards describe small-sized chunks of capabilities that can be produced in a relatively short time (you can read more on Work Breakdown Structure elsewhere). If you're organizing and managing your work with a Lean-Agile framework like Scrum, then ScrumDo work cards will correlate to your User Stories. 

As work transitions from one dominant phase of activity to another, team members will move the work card representing that work into the appropriate area on the visual board representing its current state.  Being able to see how workflows in these different states, or how long an item of work remains in a particular state, are just a few of the basic benefits that are realized from visualizing workflow.  

Your Visual Board

If you’ve just created an organization, you will be looking at a dashboard with a bare vertical timeline displaying the most recent activity.  Click on the Projects link to see your newly minted project (‘iWatch project’ in this example) summary panel. You should see something like this:

To start planning and executing your project, you need to configure a board. You can do this in 4 simple steps.

1. Initiate the Board Wizard

As seen on the screen above click on the project name link (e.g. - iWatch Project). This will produce a pop-up as shown below.  You'll be presented with 3 options for board set-up. The easiest is the ‘Board Wizard’.

2. Identify your work flow steps

The Board Wizard pre-defines 4 states / phases of activity by default.  These are reflected in the image below.  You can modify any of these by editing their respective text boxes.  You can also modify the background color to be shown in the header for each cell, and add additional cells as needed by typing new text into the blank box that appears at the end of your list.

3. Set column properties 

In many instances, it is useful to create "buffer" columns within a single cell. In addition to being a mechanic for helping to smooth the flow of work, they also serve as useful signals to other team members of work that is ready to enter another state or phase of activity.  In the example below, we have created "Doing" and "Done" cells within the "Doing" column.  My personal preference for labeling, however, is "Doing" and "Ready." (because work is not done until it's "Done"!) 

4. Create Separate "Swim Lanes" if it Makes Sense for your Context.

In many contexts, it can be useful to define separate "swim lanes" that signal different things or will possess different policies in terms of how your team is to treat that work.  A common practice is shown in the figure below, where separate lanes have been created for "normal" work and work that is flagged "urgent."  Other common practices include separate swim lanes for work that possesses different risks, relates to specialized skill sets, or is being undertaken by specific team members.

That’s it, your’re done.  Your board is ready and you can now start planning and executing your work.

Iterative based workflow spaces and visual board

For workspaces that have been designated with iteration based workflows, users are brought to a summary page for that workspace containing a list of defined iterations. ScrumDo maintains separate visual boards for each iteration. Either select an existing iteration or create a new iteration to access and create your visual board. 

If the iteration is new or has not had a visual board created, you will be asked to create a board. We recommend selecting the Default Board option to get started. This board will create a simple Todo/Doing/Reviewing/Done workflow, with the “Doing” column sub-divided into separate containers to reflect work that is “In Progress” and “Waiting for Review.” TOOL TIP: If you know your team will be using sub-tasks on your user stories, take a quick look at the last section of this guide before you complete this step.

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