Using Miro to build an information radiator for your remote team
When my team worked from the same office in ‘the before times’ we used to have an ‘information radiator’ whiteboard that we used to track the progress of our tickets, highlight any blockers and keep reminders for the team of the actions from our retrospectives.
After the pandemic hit and we moved to remote working my team became more dispersed and while this has given us more flexibility as a team it has made it harder to keep track of things because of the tools we use.
We use Jira for managing our work items and although Atlassian have made strides in making it easier to create a view of the work items usable for a stand-up we’ve always had to fight the rigid structure of Jira to add that supplemental information we used to have on our whiteboard.
In order to keep track of the actions that came out of our retrospectives we would create issues in the sprint that would sit at the bottom of the sprint board as a reminder to get updates on how we’re progressing against them and if an action wasn’t completed then we’d roll it over to the new sprint.
Over time this approach led to a messy backlog and when our team grew, in order to hit a deadline, the Jira sprint board we used in our stand-ups would often become so hard to navigate due to the number of sub-tasks being tracked under a story and the person running the stand-up having a small screen.
The stories in the sprint board can be collapsed so this helped to some degree but there were issues where the active story would have a fixed position and overlap the story underneath when the screen was scrolled that sometimes people couldn’t find their bearings.
Additionally, because of the team size increase we struggled to keep the stand-ups short and snappy. This was due to the context switching we encountered where the Jira sprint board didn’t group stories the way the team would, so we’d have to create ways to improve this manually but it was never intuitive enough to not waste time.
Eventually it got so bad that the issue was raised in one of our retrospectives and that’s when I started looking for a way to bring back our old information radiator approach but for our new remote-first world.