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How to Create the Perfect Scrum Board for Agile Teams

A scrum board sounds like fun—like a board game you’d play with your friends.

The only difference? Instead of friends, you’ve got colleagues. And instead of a board game, you’ve got a tool that turns collaboration and teamwork into a fun process.

Scrum boards help you manage team tasks better and can be a springboard for productive collaboration, especially for agile projects.

But what are they? Who uses them? And why are they great at helping you get things done quickly?

We’ll talk about all this and more in this blog post.

Bonus: Get your hands on a new tool that transforms a basic Scrum board into a productivity catalyst for your whole team! 🤫

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What Is a Scrum Board?

A Scrum board is a visual to-do list used to manage and monitor tasks in an ongoing sprint. It consists of columns that represent the different stages of a workflow (e.g. To Do, In Progress, Complete). Each column has rows that represent individual tasks or work items. Tasks are broken into small, manageable pieces and moved across the board from left to right to show progress.

Teams use Scrum boards in sprint planning meetings to populate tasks for the upcoming sprint. They also update the board daily in standup meetings to show work completed.

With a synchronized view of all tasks on a single page, the Scrum board manager can visualize how tasks are moving along, clear backlogs, if any, and troubleshoot in real time to adhere to project deadlines.

This helps Scrum team managers update progress and keep everyone productive, accountable, and on track with the overall project objectives.

Scrum boards are highly versatile. They can be customized to fit each project’s requirements. But to develop a tailor-made Scrum board for your entire team, you’ll need a grip on the absolute essentials of the Scrum framework!

ClickUp Scrum Board
Set up ClickUp’s Scrum Board Templates with just a few clicks
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Core Aspects of the Scrum Framework Explained

The Scrum framework helps teams deliver working software iteratively and incrementally, with an emphasis on flexibility, transparency, and continuous improvement. Lightweight yet powerful, it’s particularly popular for managing complex projects.

The terminology can seem challenging, especially if you’re new to Scrum. But, we’ve taken a shot at explaining agile Scrum terms here to help you get more done in less time. 💁

1. Scrum team principles

Certain values define a Scrum team’s success for every project.

  • Visualization: The Scrum board must represent each stage of the workflow and the progress of each task using columns, cards, and visual cues
  • Transparency and focus: All team members should easily understand the overall project flow and task priorities
  • Iteration and adaptability: The board should support sprint-based work and be easily adjusted based on daily updates and feedback
  • Team collaboration and ownership: The layout should encourage self-organization, task ownership, and collaborative problem-solving among team members
  • Metrics and visibility: Key information like sprint goals, remaining days, and individual responsibilities should be readily visible

2. Sprints

A sprint is less a 100m dash and more a relay race! Each sub-team receives the “baton” (sprint goal), works together to complete a leg (tasks), and hands off a polished result (increment) at the end. Each sprint ultimately contributes to the larger journey (project goal).

Sprints are crucial for maintaining the agility and responsiveness that define the Scrum framework.

They break down large projects into manageable chunks, enable rapid delivery, and foster continuous learning and improvement.

Much like the Scrum framework, sprints have their terminology:

  • Fixed length: Typically one to four weeks, the short sprint period helps maintain focus and prevents a project from turning into a drag
  • Time-boxed events: Specific ceremonies like sprint planning, daily stand-ups, sprint reviews, and retrospectives help guide the workflow and keep the team on track
  • Single sprint goal: A clear objective that defines the overall focus and direction for the sprint
  • Sprint backlog: A set of tasks from the product backlog selected and sized up for completion within the sprint
  • Incremental delivery: An incremental working product update delivered at the end of each sprint, offering early value and feedback opportunities

3. Scrum team roles

Let’s now look at Scrum team management. While all members of the team are accountable for the tasks assigned to them, some have the responsibility to drive the entire process forward.

  • Product owner: The stakeholders who set the vision for the product by prioritizing and managing the product backlog
  • Scrum Master: Facilitates the Scrum process, removes impediments, and ensures the framework is followed effectively
  • Development team: The self-organizing team responsible for completing the work in each sprint by taking tasks from the backlog
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Who Uses a Scrum Board and Why?

Scrum boards were originally developed with one objective: to make a software development team’s work more organized. But today’s Scrum boards are a much more versatile tool with endless uses!

It’s imperative that you use a Scrum board for complex projects and iterative workflows. But it can also help other agile teams under a host of scenarios—by helping them visualize workflows and coordinate work.

Software development teams

  • Use case: Track the progress of development tasks, bugs, and features within a sprint cycle
  • Why: Enhanced transparency and collaboration, early identification of roadblocks, and focused completion of sprint goals

Marketing teams

  • Use case: Manage campaign tasks, content creation workflows, and promotional activities
  • Why: Clear overview of campaign progress and dependencies between tasks, and timely delivery

Design teams

  • Use case: Track design iterations, wireframes, prototypes, and user experience improvements
  • Why: Easy alignment between designers and developers, early identification of design bottlenecks, and flexible adjustments based on feedback

Sales teams

  • Use case: Monitor sales activities, track leads and deals, and manage quotas within a specific time frame
  • Why: Comprehensive view of sales pipeline stages and easy prioritization of outreach efforts to meet targets

Human resources teams

  • Use case: Manage recruitment processes, employee onboarding, and performance reviews
  • Why: Improved efficiency and transparency in HR workflows, timely completion of tasks, and simplified documentation maintenance

Product management teams

  • Use case: Track product roadmap development, prioritize features, and monitor user feedback
  • Why: Unified view of product roadmap progress, effective communication with stakeholders, and easy adjustments based on user insights

Operations teams

  • Use case: System maintenance, incident resolution, and infrastructure upgrades
  • Why: Enhanced visibility of operational tasks, tracking dependencies between issues, and fast and efficient problem-solving

No matter which team you’re part of, these Scrum templates can help you build the perfect Scrum board in minutes, not hours.

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Different Types of Scrum Boards

While many of us are adept at using markups and digital tools, some people still find it easier to explain concepts using physical records.

Similarly, you can still draw your Scrum board on a physical board. But digital or virtual Scrum boards are easier to use with modern Scrum tools.

1. Physical Scrum Board

A traditional physical Scrum board is built using physical elements like a whiteboard, sticky notes, cards, and markers.

You can divide your Scrum board into three sections—pending tasks, work in progress, and work completed. Use your sticky notes to designate tasks and move them through these three sections as you progress. You can add more sections like feedback and approvals to make it more detailed.

Despite the popularity of digital Scrum boards, physical boards still hold a special place for many teams. The tactile experience of moving physical cards on a board can feel more satisfying and reinforce ownership of tasks. Getting away from screens can promote creativity, discussion, and deeper focus within teams. Plus, a physical board is easy to set up and doesn’t require any special tools or technical skills. 🙌

2. Virtual Scrum Board

An online Scrum board is the virtual cousin of the traditional physical board. It replicates the columns, cards, and workflow of a physical Scrum board and allows teams to showcase and monitor project progress online and in real time.

The main benefits are real-time remote collaboration, automation, and data/metrics visibility not possible with physical boards

Virtual Scrum Board
Use ClickUp’s Retrospective Sprint Board Template to track regular Scrum meetings
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How to Create a Scrum Board

Excited about how fast and easy it all seems? Creating a Scrum board is no different. Here are five simple steps to build your own Scrum board and apply agile Scrum techniques to your workday. 🤩

Step 1: Choose your platform

ClickUp Board View
Use ClickUp Board View as a Scrum Board 

Before creating a Scrum board, choose the platform you want to build it in. The platform should have different Scrum tools and templates to ease your process.

To start with, you can use ClickUp’s Board View as an online Scrum board. Your Scrum team manager can easily keep an eye on tasks and move them ahead through the funnel.

Step 2: Place your user stories

Identify a clear and concise user story. A user story is a short, simple description of a feature or requirement from the perspective of the intended user. A properly written user story focuses on what the user needs the product to do, not the technical specifications of the product.

Example: As a customer, I want to be able to track my order in real-time, so that I know when it will arrive.

On the Scrum board, your development team can estimate their assigned tasks and the effort involved in bringing the user story to life and break them down into smaller tasks. They can further refine the story based on continuous feedback and new information.

Step 3: Assign tasks

ClickUp Task Management
Customize ClickUp Board View as per departments

After splitting each user story into tasks, each task is ready to be assigned to team members.

ClickUp’s flexible Board View makes managing tasks within any project a breeze. You can easily drag and drop tasks to reflect a change in their status or even change their priorities.

You can add or delete columns/task stages, filter tasks by assignees, save your board presets for the future, check work capacity, spot bottlenecks, and allocate resources to meet deadlines.

Step 4: Collaborate with your team members

ClickUp project roadmap template
Align your team members on the ClickUp Project Roadmap Template

Team members with assigned tasks can track, collaborate, and work in real time.

ClickUp as a Project Management Software enables you to collaborate on roadmaps and documents, manage sprint planning meetings and issue tracking, monitor real-time progress, and automate workflows. Your entire development lifecycle is centralized in an all-in-one work hub.

The software is backed by ClickUp AI which saves more time by generating ideas; assisting you in writing PRDs (Product Requirement Documents), roadmaps, project proposals and summaries, etc.; and fast-tracking projects. 🙌🏼

Step 5: Finish tasks and review

At the end of the sprint, the Scrum Master holds a sprint review to collect feedback and implement learnings for subsequent sprints. During the sprint too, daily Scrum meetings (or stand-up meetings) are held to report progress and discuss feedback on work sent for approvals. These review meetings are an important part of an agile workflow.

 ClickUp Scrum Meeting Template
Make collaboration easier with ClickUp’s Scrum Meeting Template
ClickUp Sprint Planning Template
ClickUp’s Sprint Planning Template helps collate all these steps that lead to one simple goal—that all tasks move to the ‘done’ section on time and within budget
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Advantages of Using a Scrum Board

ClickUp Agile Project Management Tools
Enhance team collaboration and productivity with ClickUp’s Agile Project Management Tools

Scrum boards facilitate agile development by providing transparency, flexibility, accountability, and focus for the team.

1. Prioritization and focus

A Scrum board helps you prioritize tasks based on value and sprint goals, preventing team members from getting overwhelmed or sidetracked.

Limiting the number of tasks in each column ensures focus and prevents context switching, leading to greater efficiency.

2. Increased agility and adaptability

Scrum boards allow dynamic adjustments to the workflow based on daily feedback and changing priorities.

The visual representation of work encourages team members to take ownership of their tasks and collaborate effectively with other teams.

3. Continuous improvement

Regular retrospectives based on insights from the Scrum board help you identify and address areas for improvement for your team.

Visual progress tracking also acts as a motivation to complete tasks and achieve sprint goals.

4. Data-driven insights

Advanced digital Scrum boards offer you metrics and reports to analyze team performance and track project progress objectively.

Such data helps you make informed decisions about resource allocation, feature prioritization, and project direction.

5. Enhanced risk management

The iterative nature of the Scrum framework and the flexibility of a Scrum board allow you to adjust plans and priorities quickly to respond to challenges.

By promoting focused and timely completion of tasks, scrum boards can help alleviate stress and prevent burnout among team members.

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How Is a Scrum Board Different from a Kanban Board?

ClickUp Kanban Board
Track everything from development to launch with ClickUp’s Kanban Board

Yes, both agile Scrum boards and Kanban boards are agile team management tools that help visualize a project. But the similarity ends there.

1. Focus

  1. Scrum board: Emphasis on time-boxed sprints with defined goals and delivering working increments at the end of each sprint. So you work in bursts toward specific milestones
  2. Kanban board: Focuses on continuous flow and prioritizes tasks based on their value and availability. This is more of a constant stream of work that is flexible in terms of priorities and progresses without set deadlines

2. Structure

  1. Scrum board: Predefined workflow stages like To Do, In Progress, and Done
  2. Kanban board: No fixed stages. Swimlanes help categorize tasks (e.g., by department, feature, or user story), with a focus on limiting work-in-progress (WIP) to avoid overload

3. Planning and Control

  1. Scrum board: Follows a sprint planning process with set goals and estimates. Progress is reviewed and adjusted in daily stand-up meetings and retrospectives
  2. Kanban board: More flexible and reactive. Tasks can be added anytime and prioritized based on current capacity. Continuous improvement is driven by regular flow analysis and adjustments

4. Decision-making

  1. Scrum board: Decisions are usually made during sprint planning and reviewed throughout the sprint, with limited changes allowed afterward
  2. Kanban board: Encourages constant adaptation and prioritization based on new information and changing circumstances. Decisions are made on the fly

5. Metrics and measurement

  1. Scrum board: Promotes a sense of shared ownership and commitment to achieving sprint goals. Team members work together in a tightly-knit unit
  2. Kanban board: Emphasizes individual accountability and continuous improvement. Team members work more independently while focusing on the overall flow of work

The choice between Scrum and Kanban depends on your project needs and team preferences.

If you need structure, predictability, and frequent deliveries, a Scrum board might be a good fit. But Kanban is a better option if you value flexibility, continuous flow, and quick adaptability more.

You can also choose a hybrid approach. This combines elements of both Scrum and Kanban to create a customized system that works best for your team. 🎉

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Which Agile Scrum Board Is the Best? ClickUp, of Course!

By now you must have understood that ClickUp’s robust features not only align with the Scrum framework but also provide the flexibility and adaptability required for successful agile project management.

Here is how you can further utilize Scrum boards efficiently:

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Common FAQs

What is the purpose of a Scrum board?

A Scrum board helps you visualize your project journey, stay focused, collaborate effectively, adapt to change, and feel motivated—all adding up to successful and collaborative project completion.

What does a Scrum board look like?

Your Scrum board can take either of the two forms, depending on what you’re comfortable with.

  • Physical Scrum board:  Imagine a physical whiteboard in a team room, filled with colorful sticky notes moving between columns like “Product Backlog,” “Sprint Backlog,” “In Progress,” and “Done
  • Digital Scrum board: Think of an online interface with digital cards. These are color-coded based on priority, swimming in lanes for different features. Progress bars help you track sprint completion percentages

How is a Scrum board different from a Kanban board?

Conceptually, they are more different than you can imagine.

  • Scrum board: Like a sprint race, you work in short bursts towards defined goals, delivering finished pieces at the end of each round. Think structure, deadlines, and predictability
  • Kanban board: More like a flowing river, with tasks moving continuously based on priority and available capacity. Focuses on smooth progress, flexible adjustments, and avoiding overload

Of course, the best way forward is to try it out on your own. ClickUp provides various Scrum and Kanban tools to help you find your best fit and power up your agile processes!

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