5 Reasons Why Physical Boards Are Better Than Electronic Boards

Posted on July 4th, 2011 in Agile, Kanban, Tool, Tools For Agile by siddharta || 12 Comments

"Kanban" via chrishuffmanPeople often ask whether it is better to use a physical board or an electronic board. The answer of course is that it depends. What is the context of the team and the project? How many team members? Are you distributed? and so on.

In this post, I’ll talk about five reasons why physical boards are better than electronic boards. Tomorrow, I’ll do the opposite, with five reasons why electronic boards are better than physical boards. Finally I’ll do a post on how to choose between the two.

Are you ready? Here we go:

  1. Physical boards are always visible: You put it up on the wall and its always visible from anywhere. At any time, you can just lift your head and know the latest state of the board. Anybody walking by will peek in and get an idea of the board.
  2. Physical boards are tactile: There is something about picking up cards and moving them that is nice and makes team members feel more involved. I don’t know what it is, but it works.
  3. They encourage conversation: When someone is walking by and sees the board, they tend to ask questions about it and it builds a conversation.
  4. They are flexible: You can easily make the physical board in any form you want. Need extra columns? Need a completely custom board design? Want to decorate the card with stickers to denote different conditions? Want to annotate it with custom information? Want to write on the back of the card? You can do all of that.
  5. They are simple and intuitive: Everyone knows how to use a physical board. You don’t need one week of training to figure out how to put a card on the board :)

There you have it – 5 reasons to prefer a physical board.

Doing Distributed Agile?

Share and collaborate with distributed teams with our electronic agile board tools. Get all the benefits of electronic tools without sacrificing the benefits of physical boards. Supports Scrum taskboards, Kanban boards and user story maps. Check it out!

12 Responses to “5 Reasons Why Physical Boards Are Better Than Electronic Boards”

  1. saveug Says:

    Simple extensibility is true, but what do you say regarding electronic board is used with touch screen technology? It seems most of your points are there too.

  2. siddharta Says:

    In tomorrow’s post I’ll talk about 5 reasons why electronic boards are better. And the day after I’ll do a post on various options, one of which is using a touchscreen like you mentioned. So stay tuned…

  3. Jeroen Says:

    How can kanban best be used in a (non-IT) New Product Development process, as a better and lean alternative to traditional Project Planning using Gantt?

  4. Tim Says:

    You may want to look at boardsync (http://boardsyncnow.com) – many teams have to use electronic tooling for a number of reasons:

    * They may be partially distributed so a single physical board is of no real use for the offsite team members
    * They may be a small team in a much larger team, where the larger team enforces use of software tracking.

    Whatever the reason – some teams disregard physical boards in favour of software.

    That’s a sad day: you can keep both by taking a photo of your board and using boardsync to synchronise the state your software tool of choice.

  5. Geoff Says:

    The other option (disclosure: just released by me) is wallsync. http://www.wallsync.net

    It lets you keep a physical and virtual board in sync using your mobile device.

    A similar use case to boardsync in the comment above, but also overlays live data from your virtual board as you look at your physical one through your camera on your phone.

  6. Alex Stoneham Says:

    http://www.scrumboards.com sells three different sized Physical Scrum Boards to the USA with very good shipping rates (Under $200 coast to cost).

  7. Leankor Says:

    Fantastic stuff. I appreciate your practical knowledge. I am new to your fantastic site. Keep up the good work.

  8. Paul Weldone Says:

    Amazing post and I appreciate your efforts to explain each and every point properly. Thanks for Sharing

  9. casas modulares pero pinheiro Says:

    Costuma possuir lá disso e empresas que orçamentam. http://yiming.org.cn/comment/html/?3674.html

  10. TillyJuicy Says:

    I often visit your blog and have noticed that you don’t update it often. More frequent updates will give your site higher rank & authority in google.
    I know that writing posts takes a lot of time, but you can always
    help yourself with miftolo’s tools which will shorten the time of creating an article to a couple of

  11. judi sakong Says:

    You don’t have to be described ass a seasoned poker player to understand that chips would be the same ass cash in every game.
    You can complete your profile as well as other details afterwards should you opt to.

    In the applicaton form, you have the choice
    to produce a table as well as to look for a sewt among the poker
    tables already in play.

  12. Bandar Omaha Says:

    However, do the following is be vigilant absolutely need
    assessment wjth tthe situation. Follow these steos and rinse and repeat;
    its really quite simple should you stay disciplined for youur system.
    Sitting down around an online poker table woth relatives
    and buddies can be an enjoyable and memorable experience.

Leave a Reply