Agile Basics: Visualize More

If you visualize more you get more agile.

Tom Wujec had an excellent TED talk on 3 ways the brain creates meaning.

  • Use images to clarify ideas
    Visual shapes, physical space, colors, motion help us create mental model, more understanding
  • The act of engaging, being interactive enriches mental model
  • Augment memory by creating persistent, evolving views

sonic boom's say you have a task board for a software development team, either a physical one or a digital one shown on a screen as a dashboard. Let's say it's visible in an office so that everyone on and outside the team sees it several times a day.

  • People in and around the team gain a shared mental model, a shared understanding.
  • People interact with the board as things change, including upstream and downstream stakeholders. A visible task board creates more engaged stakeholders.
  • A task board is persistent and evolving, and becomes a new visual, domain-specific language of sorts, where the domain is the reality of the development team.
    This language is a more abstract, high-level language, and enables much more effective thinking, communication, and collaboration.
A software development team communicate and collaborate much more effectively with a visible task board.

Do you use a virtual task board? Let a screen display the task board permanently.

Are you working in a traditional waterfall project? Regularly print the latest version of the project plan (and progress) and put it on the wall.

Are you using a CI server? Create alerts or alarms of some kind for failures.

Do you share status on sales, bugs, product upgrades, project progress, project backlog etc in monthly or weekly meetings? Make status visible for everyone at anytime via screen or paper.

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Last fall I had a lightning talk at the Norwegian conference Smidig 2010. I talked about an important topic: what really works and why, in other words, Agile Basics.It went ok, I guess, at least to be my first time speaking... Read More

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This page contains a single entry by Ingvald published on December 14, 2010 5:18 PM.

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