Simple Scrum Boards: Productivity Boosters for Small Businesses

As a small business owner, you're constantly looking for ways to increase productivity while keeping costs low.

One of the most effective ways to do this is by using a scrum board. A scrum board is a visual tool that helps you keep track of tasks, progress, and deadlines, making it ideal for project management. If you're not familiar with scrum boards, don't worry. They are simple to use, and you don't need any special training to get started.

In this blog post, we'll explore how you can use simple scrum board software to boost productivity in your small business. We'll look at the benefits of using a scrum task board, how they work, and share some tips for getting the most out of a scrum board. Let's get started! 🚀

But First, What is Scrum?

Before we talk about what a scrum board is, let's figure out exactly what "Scrum" is.

Scrum is a framework that encourages teams to work collaboratively on complex projects. It's an agile methodology designed to manage tasks within a team-based project environment.

The term "Scrum" is borrowed from rugby and is used to denote a tight formation of players with a common goal - to take the possession of the ball. Similarly, in the context of project management, a Scrum team collaborates tightly to achieve a common objective.

Fundamentally, Scrum revolves around iterative and incremental progress. Work is broken down into smaller, manageable tasks, called sprints, which are typically 1 to 4 weeks in length. At the end of each sprint, a potentially shippable product increment is delivered.

This iterative approach allows a scrum team to adapt to changes more quickly and efficiently. It also promotes transparency, inspection, and adaptation among team members, leading to higher productivity and quality.

Now, you might be wondering:

"Do I need to follow a strict Scrum process to benefit from using a scrum board?"

The answer is no.

While a scrum board is a critical tool in Scrum methodology, their fundamental principles of visualizing tasks, progress, and workflow can benefit any team or project, regardless of whether you're following a strict Scrum process or not.

In the next section, we'll dive deeper into what a scrum board or task board is and how it can help boost productivity in your business.

What is a Scrum Board?

A scrum board, task board or kanban board, is a visual representation of tasks in progress, completed, and yet to start.

It's a tool used in agile development, a methodology that emphasizes collaboration, flexibility, and continuous improvement.

A simple scrum board can help scrum teams stay organized and focused on meeting the project's goals and deadlines.

A standard scrum board typically comprises three columns: "To Do," "In Progress," and "Done." However, you have the flexibility to customize column names or statuses to align with your team's workflow.

The key is to establish task statuses that are straightforward, comprehensible, and tailored to your team's unique needs.

Team members write down their tasks on using real sticky notes or using an online scrum board and place them in the appropriate column. As each task progresses, it moves through the columns until it's completed.

This simple yet effective system is easy to customize to fit your team's needs.

What are the components of a scrum board?

A scrum board is made up of a few key components. Here are the essential elements that you need to be familiar with:

  1. Backlog: This is the list of tasks or work items that need to be completed. It is usually a comprehensive catalog of everything that needs to be done in a project. The backlog is prioritized, meaning the most important tasks are at the top and should be tackled first.
  2. Sprints: As mentioned earlier, Scrum operates in sprints. A sprint is a set period during which specific tasks are completed. On your scrum board, you might have a section dedicated to the current sprint, showing which tasks are being worked on during this time frame.
  3. To Do, In Progress, Done: These are the columns that you will often see on a scrum board. "To Do" contains all the tasks that need to be done, "In Progress" contains tasks that are currently being worked on, and "Done" is for tasks that have been completed.
  4. Task Cards: Each task in the backlog gets turned into a task card and placed on the scrum board. Each card should include a description of the task, who is responsible for it, and the estimated time or due date for completion. These cards move from the "To Do" column to the "In Progress" column when someone starts working on them, and then to the "Done" column when they're completed.
  5. Team Members: The most crucial component of any scrum board is the scrum team. Each team member should have a clear understanding of the tasks they are responsible for and the timeline for completion. The scrum board acts as a visual reminder of these responsibilities and helps everyone stay on track.

Setting up a scrum board may differ from board to board, but these are the primary components you'll find in most of them.

The beauty of the scrum board is in its simplicity and flexibility. You can tweak these components to fit the unique needs of your scrum team and business.

What is the difference between a scrum board and a kanban board?

While both Scrum and Kanban boards serve as visual representations of work and are used to manage project flow, there are a few key differences between them that are worth noting.

A Scrum board is designed for scrum teams following the Scrum methodology and is usually reset at the beginning of each sprint.

The board is divided into at least three columns—"To Do," "In Progress," and "Done"—corresponding to the status of tasks during the sprint. The tasks on a Scrum board are derived from a backlog and are intended to be completed within the sprint duration.

A Kanban board, on the other hand, visualizes the flow of work and is not tied to specific iterations or sprints.

The board has more stages than a Scrum board, such as "Backlog," "Next," "In Progress," "Done," and sometimes more, depending on the workflow.

In Kanban, work is pulled into the next stage of the process when capacity allows, rather than being pushed forward based on a timeline.

However, for small businesses, the differences between Scrum and Kanban boards are minor and shouldn't overshadow the principal function of these tools: to visualize and manage work more efficiently.

Whether you choose to use Scrum or Kanban, the most important thing is that your team understands the process and finds the tool useful for staying organized and meeting your project goals.

Benefits of Scrum Boards for Small Businesses

A scrum board can provide many benefits for small businesses that are looking to improve their productivity. Here are a few key advantages:

  1. Transparency: Since everyone can see the board, it's easy to track progress and identify bottlenecks.
  2. Accountability: Each team member is responsible for updating their tasks and moving them along the board, which creates a sense of ownership and accountability.
  3. Flexibility: A scrum board can easily adapt to changing project requirements, deadlines, or team members.
  4. Efficiency: The visual nature of the board promotes communication and collaboration among team members, which reduces misunderstandings and delays.
  5. Motivation: As tasks move from the 'To Do' to the 'Done' column, there's a sense of accomplishment that motivates team members to work diligently on their tasks.
  6. Improved planning: A scrum board can allow for clear visualization of workload distribution, facilitating better resource allocation and planning.
  7. Faster feedback: By using a Scrum board, issues are identified sooner, and corrections can be made quickly before they escalate.
  8. Simplified Progress Tracking: With tasks clearly marked and moved along the board, it's easy for everyone to understand the project's stage at a glance.

In essence, a scrum board offers an efficient, transparent, and flexible way to manage projects for small businesses. Their visual nature facilitates clear communication and collaboration among team members, promoting accountability and increasing motivation.

With the continuous flow of tasks from the 'To Do' to the 'Done' column, not only does the progress become easily trackable, but it also delivers a sense of accomplishment to the team. It leads to improved planning, faster feedback, and ultimately, a significant boost in productivity.

How to Get Started with a Simple Scrum Board

While a traditional scrum board involves a physical board and sticky notes or cards, an online scrum board is becoming increasingly popular. DoneDone is one example of a virtual scrum board that's easy to use and perfect for small businesses.

With DoneDone, all you need is an internet connection and a web browser to get started.

You can create tasks, assign them to team members, and track progress in real-time. DoneDone simplifies the process of creating a scrum board, allowing you to focus on growing your business.

Before we dig into DoneDone further,  let's take a look at the avantages of using an online board over a physical board.

The Advantages of Using an Online Scrum Board

An online scrum board like DoneDone offers several advantages over a traditional physical scrum board.

One of the most significant benefits is accessibility. With a digital scrum board, members can access and update the tasks from anywhere at any time, perfect for scrum teams that work remotely or are spread across different geographical locations.

This flexibility can significantly enhance productivity and collaboration, ensuring that the entire team stays on the same page, irrespective of their physical location.

Another advantage of an online scrum board is that it is easier to maintain and organize than a physical scrum board. There’s no need to worry about losing sticky notes or having to erase and redraw columns.

Digital boards also provide the ability to search or filter tasks, making it easier to keep track of a project’s status. Plus, they can integrate with other productivity tools you already use, such as email and calendar apps, enhancing your workflow efficiency.

Lastly, an online scrum board provides an excellent way to keep a historical record of your projects. They automatically retain completed tasks and their history, making it easy to go back and review past projects or use them as references for future ones.

This ability is especially handy when evaluating team performance or looking for ways to improve your processes.

While physical scrum boards can certainly be useful for scrum teams that are co-located, digital scrum boards offer a level of convenience, organization, and adaptability that is hard to match.

So, if your team is looking for a simple, effective, and modern approach to project management, consider leveraging an online scrum board like DoneDone.

Why SMB's Should Avoid a Complex Project Management Tools

While tools like Jira are powerful, they may not be the best fit for small and medium businesses (SMBs).

These platforms are often designed with large-scale, complex projects in mind, incorporating numerous features that, while advantageous for some, can be overwhelming for small teams.

One of the primary reasons to avoid complex project management tools is the steep learning curve associated with them. These tools often require substantial time and effort to understand and use efficiently.

Man who has a headache

Non-technical team members, in particular, may find them challenging to navigate and could resist adopting them. This resistance can lead to a disconnect within the team, with different members using different tools or methods to track their work, ultimately defeating the purpose of a unified project management system.

Furthermore, many complex tools come with a significant cost, both in terms of the subscription fee and the time invested in training team members to use them. For SMBs operating on lean budgets, these costs can be prohibitive. 🤦‍♀️

Finally, complex tools often include a multitude of features that small teams simply don't need.

These superfluous features can clutter the interface and make the tool harder to use. It can also be demotivating for team members who feel they are not utilizing the tool to its full potential.

In contrast, a simple scrum board like DoneDone is easy to understand and use.

It's designed to be inclusive, ensuring that all team members, regardless of their technical prowess, can contribute effectively to the project. By focusing on usability and simplicity, DoneDone removes barriers to productivity, fostering a harmonious and efficient working environment for everyone.

Scrum Board Best Practices for Small Businesses

Here are some best practices for using scrum boards in your small business:

  1. Start small: Begin with one project or team and gradually add more as you get more comfortable with the process.
  2. Simplify training: If you're new to scrum boards, consider basic training for your team. DoneDone offers a range of resources to help you get started.
  3. Establish priorities: Before adding tasks to your board, make sure to prioritize them. This will help you stay on track and avoid wasting time on less important tasks.
  4. Monitor progress: Regularly review your board to evaluate progress and identify areas for improvement.
  5. Celebrate success: Don’t forget to take a moment to celebrate successes, no matter how small they might be!

By following these simple best practices, you can ensure that your online board is helping to improve productivity rather than becoming a hindrance.

How DoneDone Can Help You Get Started Quickly

DoneDone is a SaaS product designed specifically for small businesses. Because it is cloud-based, there's no installation, and little to no onboarding is needed.

To get started, all you need to do is sign up for an account, and you can start creating online scrum boards right away.

DoneDone provides a simple workflow for its task tracker and shared inbox. It allows you to add tasks and assign them to team members easily. You can also track the progress of each task, update its status, and collaborate with team members using @mentions, comments, and attachments.

Additionally, DoneDone has a built-in shared inbox that allows all team members to receive customer support requests and respond to them collaboratively. While this isn't required to use boards  for project management, it can be incredibly helpful in streamlining customer service.

Here are some tips for using DoneDone effectively

  1. Invite your team.  Add your team members to DoneDone. This allows them to stay on top of tasks, comment and discuss ideas with other teammates, and be informed about changes in the project’s status.
  2. Create a project.  Get started by creating projects and adding tasks to them. DoneDone also lets you create teams and assign access rights so that only the right people can view or edit certain tasks.
  3. Add tasks.  Add tasks to the project and assign them to a specific team member. You can also add labels and due dates for each task, making it easier to track progress.
  4. Use kanban view.  Kanban view is an easy-to-follow visual representation of tasks. You can use it to quickly review the progress of a project, track its timeline, and identify where bottlenecks are occurring.
  5. Update task status.  Assigning and updating the status of tasks is essential for tracking progress. DoneDone makes this easy with its simple drag-and-drop interface.

Bonus Points ✨

Leverage the shared inbox feature. Use the shared inbox to respond to customer support requests in one place — this ensures that all responses are tracked and that no requests fall through the cracks.

DoneDone is a great way to get your small business up and running with a simple scrum board. By following these best practices, you can help ensure that your team works collaboratively and efficiently.

Wrapping up

In conclusion, scrum boards are a simple yet effective way to increase productivity in your small business. They promote transparency, accountability, flexibility, and efficiency, making them an essential tool for project management.

With simple scrum board software like DoneDone, you can get started quickly and easily, with no prior training required.

By following best practices and tips for success, you can maximize your team's performance and achieve your business objectives.

So why not give scrum boards a try and see for yourself the difference they can make?

Start a free trial of DoneDone today and see how it can help your team collaborate more efficiently and effectively.

You can also explore our blog and resources to learn more about using a scrum board for project management success!

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