Want to build team collaboration, communication, and productivity? Make work visible!

A powerful technique for building team collaboration, communication and productivity is to make the work very visible.    You could create a Google document with a big list of tasks and share it with your team.   Simple list applications are not always designed for team speed.   In the ideal case, I want to be able to glance over a project board and see our progress.    We are naturally visual creatures and can find patterns very quickly with our eyes.    In a world without computers, agile coaches promote the idea of using white boards with post it notes.  (i.e. Kanban boards)   They are simple and effective for radiating project tasks.   The tasks boards can be organized in a manner that’s logical to the team.   I tend to favor simplicity.

Here’s a sample KanBan Board.

Sample Kanban Board

photo credit: talios via photopin cc

While these kinds of boards are popular with software teams, the idea of radiating task items from a board is broadly applicable.    A busy family can organize their major goals for a week on a KanBan board.   Teachers using project based learning can encourage their students to keep their project status visible and encourage students to communicate regularly on progress.   A blogger might use this to track ideas and progress for posts.

In the past week, I came across a delightful tool that I had to share with my readers called LeanKit.   As a promoter of Scrum, I found it very easy to create a board that would work for my team.   The tool has other board configurations for personal productivity, sales, project management, and more.   Check out the video below.

I believe this tool does a great job keeping work items organized while enabling the team to quickly assess status at a glance.    It’s really awesome that you can use this tool for 25 team members for free.

I hope it helps you in leading your project based learning efforts, agile projects, or businesses.


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