@nickmuldoon What do you think of people that say that you *must* have a physical task board for agile to succeed?
— James Roper (@jroper) May 21, 2012
There are many Agile teams today who use an electronic wallboard and are successful – they are delivering quality working software to their customers on a weekly/fortnightly basis. Having a physical task board does not guarantee success. Further, many of the teams I talk to are distributed – it is too hard to find the right people all in the one place – and in this circumstance having a physical task board just doesn’t work.
Finally, I like to think that there are more important tasks for a ScrumMaster to focus on other than simply updating a physical task board and obtaining statistics such as velocity manually. Automate those repetitive tasks and get the ScrumMaster focusing on higher value tasks – implementing retrospective feedback, for instance.
I imagine the objection to electronic task boards is raised most often by Agile Coaches who are bringing existing Waterfall teams over to Agile practices, and in this circumstance I wholeheartedly encourage the use of a physical task board. This is often part of Scrum Shock Therapy, indeed @jameshatherly will be sharing the GreenHopper teams experience with this at Summit next week.
Thanks for the question James, a good one!