Scrum boards foster teamwork, cooperation, and collaborative ideation and are effective as a communication tool. This is important since over 86 percent of workers cite lack of communication as the reason projects fail. If you’re new to Scrum boards and Agile, then you should approach selecting the right Scrum board like buying your first car — which means initial research on how to use it, what it’s good for, and if it suits your needs. These Scrum board examples will quickly advance a project and keep your team encouraged, engaged, and motivated.
Scrum boards (a visual board that defines a project’s goals and objectives) are not one size fits all. A single Scrum board does not have the capacity to effectively serve every project.
Which Scrum board you choose, how much detail you include, and even the project’s specific needs will determine what kind of Scrum board you should use. Here are nine Scrum board examples that cover a variety of typical projects.
1. Scrum board examples for small projects
When you have simple objectives, a small team, and a flexible deadline, you’ll want to keep your task board as simple as possible. A smaller Scrum board with just a few columns on it will probably do. Tasks, Status, and Done columns may be enough for some projects, but you could also add columns for development teams, like Dev Started and Dev Completed, or add in the art department (who would likely get their own board, see below) with Design Started and Design Completed column headers.
A great example of a simple board is the What, So What, Now What template from Mural. Keeping track of extra tabs, however, might require additional planning stages, so if your project starts to scale up from a simple to-do list to a complicated Scrum board, consider another one of these alternatives.
2. Project planning boards
Project planning boards ask basic questions about your product so teams can visually understand what direction product development is headed in. A good way to jump-start a team developing a new product is to have a separate Scrum board template that outlines and aligns your team’s strategy in a very visual format.
Mural has templates dedicated to this, including the self-explanatory What I Need From You template and the more involved Project North Star template, which helps with visual collaboration on a project. These templates are designed with planning in mind and are good boards for teams developing a new product.
Related: Level up your project planning with our Guide to Strategic Planning
3. The design team board
A design team would work on a slightly different type of Scrum board — likely one that is more visual. Storyboarding, which is a way to think through projects using sketches and drawings, would benefit from the Storyboard template, while another option that charts the user experience by imagining the product journey as a visual timeline is the Cover Story Mock-Up template.
Design sprints are usually handled separately from a master Scrum board since the design process may operate independently of product development. Designers simply think, collaborate, and approach their OKRs differently and need a board that is separate from the rest of the team.
4. Brainstorming boards
No project should begin without a healthy dose of brainstorming. It helps to solidify teams and identify issues from the beginning. Mural's templates include well-known methods like Round Robin, where each team creates and grows ideas by passing each objective rapidly from one team member to another and then shows the results on the board.
Also of interest to project managers — the Mind Map Brainstorm template, which moves the chain on ideation by allowing a stream-of-consciousness connections between concepts and tasks.
You could also try the Lightning Demos template, which allows you to solve your own challenges as you look to existing ideas for inspiration, gather and discuss great case studies and examples, and then vote for the most relevant solutions using a heat mapping technique (heat mapping is where you use colors to represent projects and their impact on your overall goals). A simple example of heat mapping is stocks, where green arrows pointing up mean stocks are doing well, and red arrows pointing down mean they’re not doing well.
Brainstorming Scrum boards are good, basic boards for the beginning of a project because they encourage cooperation and teamwork, but they are mostly used for ideation and not project management.
5. Scrum board examples to help you understand the user
Sometimes you need to get a team together to really deep-dive into the user’s point of view. Why? Because sometimes knowing the user will help you plan the project better. Scrum boards like the Persona Profile create boards that can help your team remember and discuss the people for whom you are designing and use that reference for generating ideas, prioritizing features, and discussing trade-off decisions.
Other boards, like the Empathy Map Canvas, ask basic questions to post your ideas to the board like, “What do they (users) think and feel? What do they say and do? What do they hear? What do they see?” These questions make for a different type of evaluation of tasks and are very effective for companies who prioritize connecting with their users.
When the team asks, “Why are we doing this?” A User Scrum board may be the answer.
6. Icebreaker boards to help unify the team
The beginning of any project may be confusing and isolating. Teams may have animosity towards each other for perceived slights in the past. A good idea is to try a Scrum board that helps the communal aspect of the team by implementing fun games into a Scrum board methodology.
Say your company has a large number of new hires. Since office get-togethers are becoming a rarity, you have to find a way to create cooperation among the teams. Before the pandemic, this was done with team-building exercises.
Mural has a Scrum board for icebreakers, like the White Elephant Deluxe Scrum board (which uses the holiday party game where gifts are put into a communal pool and players take turns to see if they want the gift or want to exchange for another gift), Selfie Sketch (where team members pick icons to decorate selfie sketches for the team to see), or the Team Bookshelf board (where members post their favorite book along with a tag that tells what they have learned from that book).
Communication between teams is integral to success, and a lighthearted approach to team cohesion always helps.
7. Boards to help prioritize tasks and stories
A Scrum board depends heavily on the backlog of Tasks or User Stories, but making decisions to prioritize these may need another Scrum board. Feature prioritization is probably the biggest deal-breaker in Scrum.
Making decisions about prioritization is an arduous process, and using a prioritizing Scrum board like Mural's Assessing Stories board brings you into the mind of the stakeholders to plan what they might feel is important to the project. There is also the Wall of Work board which helps teams build a shared understanding of tasks and make collective decisions about progression. It’s a simpler board for teams that are just beginning to familiarize themselves with Scrum.
Prioritizing tasks with a Scrum board is extremely helpful and a time-saver because once the prioritization is laid out in front of you, it’s just about getting tasks done. Remove the guesswork about what’s important on your Scrum board by having this type of planning before you begin a new project.
8. Personal project planning Scrum boards
Time management in project planning starts with developing personalized Scrum boards for your own day-to-day initiatives. Mural has Scrum board templates that will help you with smaller objectives like planning events (Event Planning template) or helping students prepare for exams (Study Guide or What’s On Your Radar template). The What’s On Your Radar board builds concentric rings that have items of importance laid out visually so you can see what really matters in your day.
Effective organization of personal tasks and objectives is just as important as tackling bigger problems in project management. These Scrum boards will help with that.
9. Feedback boards
A sprint retrospective is a mainstay of Agile work processes, and there are Scrum boards that help you analyze feedback and insights gained during your project.
Learning from our mistakes is one of the key performance factors in determining next steps. Mural templates like the Feedback Grid will help a team evaluate what went right and, more importantly, what went wrong with a project, or address items like new ideas to try on the next round or questions left unanswered.
Sprint reviews, which are a more traditional Scrum methodology, will showcase a team’s work, answer feedback from stakeholders, and celebrate milestones. If you're trying to evaluate a longer spectrum of work done, you could use the quarterly Quarterly Kanban and Retrospective board, which will do a Sprint review of quarterly goals and tasks completed.
The project doesn’t end when the tasks are completed. Solid feedback and evaluation are a good way to avoid costly repetitive mistakes.
An effective Scrum board can save time, resources, and money on any project
Finding the right Scrum board will eliminate overhead by laser-focusing your team on their objectives. An effective Scrum board — tailored to your individual scenario —will lead to a higher rate of productivity and better communication.
These are just a few Scrum board examples — there are hundreds more in the Mural template library that may be even more specifically crafted to your needs and style.