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How to combat progress blockers with Jira and a physical board

Now available in Agile Cards for Jira: quicker physical board updates via notifications about unprinted issues on Jira agile board.
Agnieszka Józwiak
Agnieszka Józwiak
Mar 29th, 2017

Blockers, solitary struggles and lengthy sync meetings

Sometimes a team does not make meaningful progress despite trying hard and having the aggregate technical skills. Why?

Here's a short list of possible causes:

  • Blockers are not made visible or named
  • Team members do not see someone's solitary struggle, and hence, cannot help immediately
  • Lengthy sync meetings with other teams, including business, are stealing precious coding time

What if the team could deal with these problems by simply getting a better view of all the wins and struggles during the daily standup? Using a large font on a whiteboard and focused verbal communication for a few minutes a day will help. As an extra bonus, external stakeholders can have a look at the board, too. And be briefed in no time.

Written updates throughout the day in Jira

Agile project tracking in Jira has undeniable advantages. Once your team starts using Jira agile boards, nobody will want to change back to a flat list of tasks without the sprint status visible at a glance. The boards simply radiate progress or the lack of it. They are live, accessible, and full of information. The written form here is clearly superior if you want to quickly check the facts or make an update. Given the limited computer screen size, the Jira agile board is hard to use at the daily scrum. And, with other people’s tasks filtered out most of the time, you will not see the whole team's progress. Though, most of the time, you do not need to.

Verbal communication at your daily standup

Your chance for smashing blockers with verbal interaction is at your team's daily standup. The board is your Speakers' Corner. Own it. Dealing with problems will be easier when you can all focus on the tasks others are working on. If you can talk and see the tasks clearly at the same time, you will see good things happen. The simple act of checking up daily on the team's (not individual) progress together, or reacting to the lack of it, can be transforming.

What if maintaining the physical board is frustrating?

You would probably agree that setting up a physical board from Jira can be done fast. However, you would also say that updating your physical board can be frustrating and time-consuming. Heads up, the good news is coming. The Agile Cards for Jira plugin can be used to print new issues hassle-free minutes before your daily scrum. Check out the short video featuring our new release.

You may think that the above problems can be solved by an agile coach, who would provide advice and actively help spot and remove all obstacles. True. But what if your team does not have their own agile coach or scrum master? And, the chances are that a good agile coach will recommend using a physical board if the core of your team, not necessarily 100%, shares an office.

For a start, the feature for easy printing of new issues added to the board is available for Jira Cloud.

Enjoy your next daily scrum by the board.