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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