A program board is a representation of the work to do in the next sprints for some teams. And some elements are important to improve this synchronization between the teams. So what is found on a program board?
If you don’t know, the program board become very popular with SAFe framework. Indeed, this board is build during the PI planning and allow the team to have a real vision of the expected objectives for all the teams of the agile release train (Art). But some companies use this kind of board without using SAFe.
What is found on a program board?
Here is the classic example of program board puposed by the authors of SAFe:
So what is found on a program board? As you can see above, we have 3 different elements and a concept of links between these elements.
- blue: the feature placed so that its right side represents the end date of its development.
- red: the dependency that can be represented by a task (US, technical tasks …) placed so that its right side represents the end date of its development.
- orange: an event so that its right side represents the deadline; we call it “milestone”. We could perfectly put there for example a release or the date of an impacting law.
- red woolen thread: link between some tasks to achieve and the feature we can start when all the dependant tasks are achieved.
Indeed, these 4 elements, we can build a useful vision for the next sprint.
To complete this program board, we create a structured grid:
- columns: each column is a sprint. If you use SAfe or an equivalent, you can add a last column to define the end of the PI
- first line: this line is dedicated for the milestones; so, the important events to notify because they will have an impact on the progress
- other lines below: each line is a scrum team; we only put the teams of the same agile release train.
- lines bottom: if the scrum team need special expertises, we will create one line for each expertise; theses expertises are not include in the scrum teams.
So with all these elements, you will create a complete program board; if you d’ont use SAFe framework, you can adapt it to your context. However, this board is really useful like that. Don’t forget, the plan can change during the sprints so this board will help all the teams to adapt the plan if necessary.