Project Management

Write Your Own Story(board): How to Keep Remote PM Processes on Point

Michael R. Wood is a Business Process Improvement & IT Strategist Independent Consultant. He is creator of the business process-improvement methodology called HELIX and founder of The Natural Intelligence Group, a strategy, process improvement and technology consulting company. He is also a CPA, has served as an Adjunct Professor in Pepperdine's Management MBA program, an Associate Professor at California Lutheran University, and on the boards of numerous professional organizations. Mr. Wood is a sought after presenter of HELIX workshops and seminars in both the U.S. and Europe.

Since August of 2020, I have been working with some virtual teams on agile projects I have really come to like sprint/task boards (STB) as they make keep the process straightforward and focused. There are different flavors of these boards, but they do share many similar features.

Having the luxury to have exposure to multiple products got me thinking about those managing virtual/remote projects without the aid of these types of tools. If you are not familiar with STBs, here is a brief summary of what they allow you to do and how the process typically works.

What STBs Typically Look Like
Based on the product/tool, sprint/task boards can look a bit different—but they all have similarities. Some tools allow for the identification of epics, which are then comprised of Sprints, which in turn are comprised of tasks/assignments. Most digital STBs support well-designed and easy to use graphical interfaces.

Typical STB Capabilities

  • A sprint/task board is presented in a columnar fashion with each phase of the sprint placed in its own column.
  • The STB columns are usually as follows:
    • Backlog
    • Analysis/Design
    • Development
    • Testing
    • User Acceptance Testing
    • Deployment
    • Review/Assessment
  • Each user story/task is displayed and can be opened, edited, linked to specifications, etc.
  • Each user story/task can be dragged back and forth between …

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