If you’ve read our other articles about agile project management and the installation of a whiteboard was a blocker then I have a solution for you! I loved agile for the simple fact that it wasn’t one more spreadsheet or system to fill. Don’t get me wrong I think the simple board is the selling point of agile and, if you’re able to, start with that version as it is the most simple way to get started. But there is another way…
In the past, I was put off by the expensive agile software as the features were often too complicated and not built for our business. When I set out to make the digital version for the accountancy team at Hive, I was apprehensive but curious to see if it would have the same impact as our old post-its on the whiteboard. There have been a number of challenges over the past few months which no one could have predicted. At Hive, one of the first things we did when we all started working from home was put in place a communication plan and set up our agile project management board on GoogleSheets.
In a lot of ways this simple change has improved our old system. Here’s why:
OUR DAILY MEETINGS HAVE IMPROVED
The daily meetings have been essential to keep us all talking and help the team know what they are doing and what everyone else is doing. We’ve felt more connected to each other throughout the lockdown than the other team members who aren’t involved in our meetings. Also, in the past our daily meetings would be missed if someone was working at home or out of the office, now it means they can join us from their home and update the board as it isn’t a physical thing anymore.
THE BOARD CAN EASILY BE ADAPTED
When we used to try out improvements, the thought of taking all your post-its down and adding dates or amending information seemed a mammoth task and a bit of a blocker. Now, we easily add notes that can be deleted if we change our mind! In addition, if you have tasks that often switch between team members, we can easily change the colour of the tab, it’s also great for recurring tasks as it no longer feels wasteful having copies of it in the backlog, sprint and done (you just copy and paste!).
IT’S EASIER TO SEE TRENDS
I used to keep the completed post-it notes in a folder as I thought there may be a time I’d like to reflect on that sprint, it never happened. However, the complete section is now easily copied and pasted to its own sheet which gives a visual of the tasks completed by team members and busy sprints.
OUR OTHER PROCESS SYNC BETTER WITH THE DIGITAL BOARD
Now the board is digital, it has made it easier to use our other databases and accounting software trackers as they are using the same language and can easily transfer data to one from another without having to write out lots of paper post-its.
If you’d like implementing this in your dental practice, let me know and I’ll be happy to talk you through it.