This post is from the CollabNet VersionOne blog and has not been updated since the original publish date.
Using Old-School Index Cards with VersionOne
You can now print items from your backlog as tactile cards directly from VersionOne. While software-based tools are necessary to overcome the deficiencies that cards have around scaling, reporting and distributed teams, old-school tactile cards can still enrich many of your agile activities.
- Tactile cards allow groups of people to simultaneously engage.
- Cards stay true to the mission of being a promise for a conversation; given their physical size constraints, it’s just not possible to write a design doc on an index card. You have to talk about it (and that’s a good thing)!
- There are also plenty of studies around tactile learning that show busy hands lead to busy minds.
- Ongoing planning activities. Ranking your backlog using techniques such as Innovation Games® 20/20 Vision. Estimate your stories according to leading agile coaches using Relative estimation techniques. Or use Story maps to organize your backlog and plan multiple releases.
- Teams transitioning to agile. Physical card boards are useful for small teams transitioning to agile where rich collaboration is crucial, and often previously deficient, during this time of process change.
So how can we make best use of sophisticated software tools and low-tech tactile cards without a lot of redundant overhead?
Going from VersionOne to the tactile world
Cards can be printed for stories, defects, tasks, tests and test sets from backlog grids in VersionOne. Choose the exact set of items you want via the grid’s powerful filtering capabilities. Four cards will be printed per sheet of 8.5″ x 11″ paper, which can be cut or simply torn apart when using commonly available perforated index-card paper.
Bridging the tactile world back with VersionOne
A QR code on each printed card provides a direct link back to that item within VersionOne. Simply scan it with your smartphone to see complete and up-to-date details, edit information or perform any other available action. The QR code also contains all the data needed to support more specific activities via custom mobile apps.
Have you found other activities where tactile cards work well? Anxious to write a mobile app? Let us know!