Friday, March 30, 2012

Teams working together

5 weeks ago, 2 teams in my company decided to work together for 6 weeks, since the one team needed urgent help. The team helping out was my team.

We decided not to create a new team for these 6 weeks (as this new team would have spent at least 3 weeks to adapt to each other) but to keep a team a team. 

In order to manage this constellation we set up a board that works like a feature board but which visualizes the work of the 2 teams:

The cards on the actual board are not empty, this picture is photoshopped.

We drew 3 rows, each row representing 2 weeks time. The first column was for Team A, the second column for Team B and in the third column was the done column.

In order to visualize which stories are in progress we used pins in the shape of a flag:

Each team has its own color (Team A has white flags, Team B yellow flags). If a task is in progress, it's "flagged". In order to keep track of who did what, the index card stays flagged once it's moved to the "Done" column (you can see the little flags in the Done column on the first photo).

After 5 of 6 weeks I can say I'm really glad we used this board to organize the work of the 2 teams as it made organizing really easy and transparent.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Selective Attention

This test for selective attention is quite famous. If you haven't seen it yet, watch it in fullscreen:

I'll get back to this in a few days.

Who's doing what?

When using Scrum Sprintboards or Kanban Boards you usually also want to show who's currently doing what.
We started with pinboards, pins and index cards. In order to visualize who was doing what we printed out a photo of every team member and pinned the photo to the current index card that was in the "Work in progress" (Wip) column.

A while ago we changed this system: We bought a large whiteboard and started using magnets instead of pins. This gave us the chance to print magnets for each team member thus you simply have to put a magnet on the Wip index card to visualize that you're working on it:

As you can see, we didn't use actual photos but gave every team member the opportunity to choose a picture of their liking. I chose Dr. Zoidberg. If you choose to do so aswell, don't forget to include a legend on your whiteboard so that everyone can see which magnet belongs to whom.

Every team member has 10 magnets, which makes it really easy to still know who completed what since the last standup, as we keep the magnets on the index card until the next standup.

You can order the magnets here.

Availability with a traffic light

This week I started a test to signalize my availability with a traffic light. It's a small one I bought at Amazon which lets me change the color by pushing a button. Only disadvantage of this model is that the current color is always blinking (product description didn't say anything about blinking), but this should be enough for the test.

What the colors mean:

Red: I'm not available, please do not disturb!

Yellow: Only disturb me, if it's really, really important (like we're-all-gonna-die-important)!

Green: Say hello!

As soon as I have made some experiences, I will gladly share them here.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Hello and welcome

Welcome to!

This blog will cover mostly agile, visual management and psychological topics.

So far, I have been blogging about PHP Development on, but since I'm more into agile coaching now, that blog is on sustain.