Sunday, November 15, 2015

Breaking down the task-board

Have you ever experienced that dull task breakdown session, where you started with a couple of concepts (lets say street and phone and country) and ended up with a list of three or four tasks that somehow re-occured several times?

In this case perhaps:

  • modify database schema to accommodate street
  • modify ui to display street
  • modify validators to validate street
  • modify database schema to accommodate phone
  • modify ui to display phone
  • modify validators to validate phone
  • modify database schema to accommodate country
  • modify ui to display country
  • modify validators to validate country

In these cases it might help to think differently about your work – perhaps those repeating categories are in faction stations that each of the concepts to be implemented have to go through.

Some people would model this as three different stations

  • Database
  • UI
  • Validation

If you put them on the board as separate columns each item could be reduced to it's concepts core and just ‘flow’ through the system.

Database    UI    Validation done

So, perhaps it’s time to rethink task boards, put in some of the ideas from lean and kanban and add a couple of columns.

(of course not with the exact names from above ;-)

And no I don't recommend building db-, ui-, and logic-silos. But if you have them, be honest and acknowledge the fact. Change it afterwards. Start with what you do now as they say in Kanban.

till next time
  Michael Mahlberg

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