I admit it, I’m a bit of a geek. OK, I am an Alpha Geek. And yes, I sometimes go with the slightly more computerized solution that others might. I just don’t get Agile’s fascination with sticking hundreds of pieces of paper on the wall, though. Agile teams need a mechanism to share knowledge about stories and tasks. They often do this by using whiteboards with sticky notes (so they can be moved) or cork boards with push pins and index cards. There are columns for the stages (waiting, in process, in QA, done done done) and rows for each story. This article shows an example of one.
I talked about it with an Agile coach friend of mine, Nancy Van Schooenderwoert of Lean Agile Partners, and she made a good point that the paper system makes the whole process easier to learn. She also pointed out that all software has limitations, and it’s important to start out with the index cards or sticky notes so you don’t get the impression that any limitations in the software are a limitation in the Agile practices. I get that. But once the team is passed that point, it’s time to use software-based collaborative tools. Why?