Work in Favro is visualized by cards flowing from left to right on a board. Team members pull cards from prioritized backlogs into the leftmost column, assigning themselves, to signal that work has been started. Once the card reaches the rightmost column, the assignment has been completed and can be archived on both the board and in the backlog. Let's take a look at how to set your team up for success by implementing some best practices for boards in Favro.
Why team boards?
We see a lot of our users building up their collections with personal Kanbans or very project specific, fixed time, work boards. This definitely has its place in organizing work, but to really benefit from the potential of Favro, you need a workflow that lets you easily overview ongoing work, see team capacity, and be able to identify bottlenecks. This is where team boards come in. By using a board per team, each team is empowered to control how they work and organization leaders can easily overview capacity and work on continuous improvement.
Pull, don't push; control work in progress; and keep an eye on cycle times
In another article, we talk about keeping backlogs short and prioritized so that team members know what to pull. This is the first step towards making work flow naturally by implementing a pull system.
When there is capacity for more work to be committed, a team member pulls the work in. As the card moves along the board, this is further controlled by card limits. This makes sure that new work is never taken on before there is capacity to do so. One of the most important things to keep an eye on when working in a flow based manner in Favro, is time on board. What you need to be on the lookout for is high time on cards (high compared to the norm and your estimated effort). These should be investigated to see if there is anything in the process that needs to be improved to reduce the time in column and keep work flowing.
From in-progress, to done, to done-done
As we already mentioned, cards move from left to right on a board, where each column is a stage in your process. In most cases, the rightmost column is your "done" state. A common question we get is how to clean up the board once it is starting to fill up with done cards. A best practice is to on a regular basis archive all cards in the done column. This has two benefits as it (1) helps keep the board clutter free, and (2) is a way of signalling that card is truly done-done. Once done in all processes, a card should also be archived in the backlog from which it was committed.
Now that you have a better understanding of how to use boards, you might want to read about how to customize your boards to visually match your process and way of working.