Information Radiators: Make life visible

A couple of people have asked me how we track our work for our iterations. We basically use a somewhat simple information radiator.

Information radiators serve to quickly give everyone on the project team a quick indication on what needs to be done, what is being worked on, and what has been done.

Information radiators can be as a simple as a few cards on a cork board to huge 54” plasma displays. It’s up your team to determine what works best.

Here is a pic of our radiator:

Cheerleading 006

As you can see the board is broken up into several columns:

  • Back Log: Contains the prioritized backlog from top to bottom.
  • Working: Contains the stories that are being worked on along with their associated task (the blue cards)
    • When a task is completed it moves t the Completed Tasks column
    • The little colored magnets are the developer’s initials. I can come into the lab at anytime and quickly see who is working on what. When the developers complete a task they place their initials on the board and go on to the next task or story.
    • By utilizing a white board with index cards allows the team to quickly annotate important information and reestablish task priority quickly.
  • Completed Task: Well, it lists all the completed task
  • Analyst Review: Once all task have been completed for a Story the task bundled with the Story are moved over to the Analyst Review column to await smoke testing sign off with the developers.
  • Ready For SIT: Once a story is moved here indicates that this story is ready to be included in the next build to the SIT environment.
  • Deployed to SIT: The build coordinator will move the story to “Deployed to SIT” once the build is complete.

If you wanted to do this with your team here is a supply list:

  • 3×5 Assorted Color Index Cards (Task Cards): The more the better
  • 3×5 Hot Pink Index Cards: Hopefully you only need one pack of 100 since these cards are used only for high priority issues or risks!
  • 4×6 Index Cards (Story Cards)
  • Magnetic Clips: I recommend around 72
  • 1/8” Chart Tape
  • ¼” Chart Tape
  • Dry Erase Markers
  • 8′ x 4′, Magnetic White Board

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About Joe Ocampo

My personal philosophy is simple: "Have a good strategy that sets the environment for success through the enablement of the whole. Be agile but with a mind towards pragmatism. Delegate to the best qualified individuals, but don’t be afraid to involve yourself in all parts of a job. Treat everyone with respect, humility, and with a genuine pursuit towards excellence." Respected business and technical leader with expertise in directing organization towards effective results driven outcomes. Proven ability to perform and communicate from both technical and business perspectives. Strong technical and business acumen developed through experience, education and training. Provides the ability to utilize technology, harness business intelligence and execute strategically by optimizing systems, tools and process. Passionate about building people, companies and software by containing cost, maximizing operational throughput and capitalize on revenue. Looks to leverage the strengths of individuals and grow the organization to their maximum potential by harnessing the power of their collective whole and deliver results. Co-Founder of LosTechies.com
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7 Responses to Information Radiators: Make life visible

  1. Jason says:

    Any chance of a close up of some the story and task cards?

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