Boards are the forward-facing element of AgilePress; it’s where the sticky notes live.  Depending on a user’s role, s/he might have full use of the boards, only be able to view them, or not be able to see them at all.  Ideally, you can use view-access to allow visibility into your project, while those with higher levels of access can use the boards without ever going into the WordPress admin screens.

Product Backlog

[post-sticky note-id=’222′]The product backlog board is where the “wish list” for a product lives.  It’s made up of user stories and epics.  Use this area as an ongoing notepad for planned feature additions, enhancement requests, and even bugs that need to be fixed.

In AgilePress, stories and epics reside in separate columns.  Dragging a note from the story column to the epic column converts a story to an epic and vice-versa.

The third column of the AgilePress product backlog board sends a story to the active sprint (and its respective board).

Sprint Board

[post-sticky note-id=’202′]The sprint board represents the items that you and/or your team wishes to accomplish within the time-frame of the sprint.

The first column has special behaviour: it holds copies of stories that have been sent to sprint and does not allow dragging.  The reason for this is that we don’t work on stories; we work on tasks.  Clicking on the “transition” icon in the bottom bar allows you to spawn a task associated with this story.  There are no limits regarding how many tasks can be associated with a story.

Kanban Board

The Kanban board is more or less like the sprint board, with the exception that there is no specific time-frame.  The AgilePress kanban board could be used for ongoing maintenance, for example.  It is also good as a personal or informal group to-do list.

Special Function Columns

There are two columns in AgilePress that have special behaviours: on the Backlog Board, it’s “Send to Sprint” and on the Sprint Board it’s the Backlog column.  (These columns are displayed with a light-grey background to distinguish them.)  Unlike the Kanban (which doesn’t really need any other boards to be useful), the Backlog Board and the Sprint Board work together.

To understand this interrelationship, let’s go back to basics: a story is the “what” (we’re planning to do) and the task is the “how” (we’re going to do it).  The Backlog board deals in stories (and epics) but never tasks; it is where you plan your project as a whole.  The Backlog board is a time to be thinking about goals and outcomes, but not technical details.

The Sprint board, however, is for tasks: the “how,” the details.  A sprint, as you may recall, is a defined period of time in which you and/or your team will accomplish a specific set of tasks which the team believes it can successfully do (without overtime!) in the defined sprint period.  Logically, then, you are going to want to define at least one sprint before dragging any stories to the “send to sprint” column of the Backlog board.

(…to be continued!)

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