When I first told my Fiancé I wanted to make a scrum board, he looked at me like I was from another planet.
What on earth is a scrum board and why are we making one?
What is a Scrum Board
A scrum board is basically a visual to do list that is commonly used in the software industry in order to get tasks completed by a team in a highly productive way. Tasks are written down on sticky notes, then migrated across the board as they reach the different states such as In Progress or the very satisfactory Complete column. You may have noticed the rather impressive Scrum Board in Silicon Valley as demonstrated by Jared.
(I feel just like Jared trying to explain this right now ????)
Digital Scrum Boards
Trello boards are really easy to set up and categorise by colour. You can even add Unsplash photos as the background to your boards.
While Asana offers the option of boards, I prefer using their lists layout. This is perfect if you are looking to list out a load of tasks in a more minimalist way.
They are both great options for kicking your to do list in the butt and are of course are paperless. You can even share them with a team and have boards or lists for different projects. Even though these tools are awesome, they are no good at all if you don’t use them. I noticed that I haven’t actively used them and to be honest before I saw the Scrum method explained, I didn’t really fully understand how useful they could be.
What I did notice was that the project my Fiancé and I are working on, never progressed further than lists. We are both stationery nerds so that means between us we have so many notebooks, bullet journals and blog planners.
For some projects traditional pen and notebook is spot on, but the scrum board which is an Agile project management method is great for smashing out those tasks that never seem to get done.
How to make a Scrum Board
To make a scrum board you will need the following:
- A cork board
- Sticky notes
- Washi tape
- Bright card or paper
- Favourite Pens
We already had a cork board with all kinds of crap pinned to it, so we decluttered that and I wiped it down as it was very dusty. You should be able to pick up a cork board locally or on Amazon. Ours is from Alcampo supermarket and we’ve had it a long time.
Sticky notes are available nearly everywhere. We picked up some non brand ones and they aren’t very sticky so we have to use 2 pins on them. Try to get some decent ones and if you want to use different colours for certain tasks, get a variety of colours.
The pins are recommended whether you have super post it notes or not. You don’t want all those tasks getting mixed up.
The washi tape is for dividing up the cork board. It’s neater than using pen and if you are like me, you will place and replace the tape until you have the right amount of sections.
NOTE: At the time of making this, we had a mega heatwave and it was 28ºC degrees during the night. Suffice to say by the time I woke up the next day, the washi tape had slid off the cork board in surrender. ???? I added a few flat drawing pins to the tape as I don’t want it to fall off every time the weather hits very high temps.
The neon yellow comic book style column headers are optional as you can make those out of plain paper if you need to. These are actually a pack of point of sale tags we found in the stationery aisle.
Grab your favourite pens for your sticky note scribbles. My preference is black permanent pen, either Sharpie, Faber Castell or Pigma Micron 08.
- Place the cork board down on a flat surface. Grab the washi tape and make the horizontal line across the top first. This is important as you may want to move the vertical washi tape lines later on.
- Next, decide how many columns you need and how busy they are likely to be. At first I was going to make 3 columns of To Do, In Progress and Done but then I changed my mind and marked out a 4 column layout. I purposely made the Backlog column bigger as this is where all the tasks are going to be posted and we will need more space. You can use a ruler for all of this but I totally eyeballed it.
- Now grab the card and jot down the column headers that you want. This can be as simple as To Do, Doing and Done or something more intricate such as the Pied Piper Scrum Board.
- If you have tasks written down in a notepad, now is the fun part where you can start adding sticky notes to your board. Sticky notes are where you write down the task, I try to be very specific with this, especially if the board is shared. Of course my board is an example as I can’t show you the super secret project I’m working on but you get the picture.
- On my board, the Backlog column will soon be full of notes of EVERY task needed to be done on the project. Then as you start your day you can pick several of these and move them over to the To Do column. Got some In Progress? That’s great, move them over and so on, migrating them all the way to that epic Done column.
Et voila! Here is the finished product!
Scrum Board Advantages
This isn’t just for blogging, coding or web content creation. A scrum board can totally work in the household too for getting chores done or anything that needs attention like studying or redecorating projects. I know I really would have found this useful for when we were redecorating our spare bedroom!
The same satisfaction that you get from crossing an item off of a to do list can be felt as you move the sticky note across the board to the different column.
I really hope I explained this well. At the time of writing, it’s 30ºC degrees and I haven’t had my coffee yet. Yesterday was another story, I was feeling crafty and caffeinated. ????
Let me know in the comments if you have any questions and how you stay productive!