Going Agile: The Ultimate Scrum Google Doc Template

While trying to work out the best way to adopt Scrum in the Ubuntu Certification team, I didn’t want to commit to an expensive process tool. So we have end up developing overtime the ultimate Google Document SCRUM tool.

I didn’t want to spent too much time reviewing tools and shopping for better prices rather than working on embedding the process correctly in the team. We might eventually move to a hosted “funky” web 2.0 solution, but in the meantime, Google Docs is doing the job just fine.

I thought that it will be great to share our backlog template with everyone, so I have created a public template with some fake stories. Here is the breakdown on how it works:

Iteration Backlog Tab

I like the idea of using a spreadsheet for the backlog because it is very easy to re-arrange based on priorities.

  • Each row is a new story.
  • The main body of the story is split between 3 columns: As.., I want to.., So I can..
  • We list the priority in row E. Anything with 1.x priority is for this iteration. The next iteration has priorities are 2.x, anything else has priorities 30,40,50 or 100.
  • We have created dividers that have the number 2 and 3 as a priority. Using the Sort function will automatically arrange the backlog correctly.
  • The definition of done is also there ready to go. You will notice that the row/column freeze panels focus either on planning or demoing.
  • In a remote team, it makes sense getting a bit more organised. Column H – Demo lead designates the person that the team has agreed will demo the story at the review meeting. This person is in charge of preparing in advance the demo and adding the links and notes to the backlog.
  • We link back to our 6 months epics (or blueprints) per each story in the backlog
  • Once the stories are agreed as Done at the review, they get moved to the Done tab.

Task board Tab

This tab is used on daily basis by the team and reviewed during the Scrum.

  • Each story is broken down into tasks
  • A task only gets names against it once someone has started it
  • Task status cells (in aubergine) can have white text and links pointing to progress or problems
  • To move the status of a task just cut (CTRL+X) the aubergine cell into the new location (CRTL+V)

Velocity Tab

We have just started to use this tab, so we will see how it goes.

  • We use T-shirt sizes that then are translated to story points using part of the Fibonacci series.
  • The backlog size for the iteration is calculated in cell $I$1.  As the backlog size changes from iteration to iteration (not only due to completed stories but also new ones added) , you will need to manually record the backlog size in column G. This will give you enough information (together with the velocity in column F) to forecast when the backlog will reach 0.

Feedback

If you want to make your own copy to play with,  just download it as an xls and imported back within your Google account. As usual, I would like to hear from you suggestions to improve the process, happy scrum!

Once more the link to the template – https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0Ag4-UhzerbGVdHpudE1YUFpnM3NDTmhaT0dhd3djUEE&hl=en

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6 Responses to Going Agile: The Ultimate Scrum Google Doc Template

  1. Guru Kini says:

    I came across just now. Thanks, Victor – this has inspired me enough to at least put my quest for the cheap and customizable Scrum tracker *fires up excel* :)

  2. Vin D'Amico says:

    The template is a terrific resource. It may not work for everyone as we all have different ways that we like to operate. Regardless, the template is a wealth of ideas and can easily be customized to suit your style. Thanks, Victor!

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  5. Russell says:

    I have been looking for a simple and afforable scrum tool, most web tools I have seem are either agile tools pretending to be scrum or are just not very good. I love Rally but it is just too expensive.

    I think this could be just what I am looking for, thanks!

    It seems you just cut-n-paste the story title from the backlog to the task board? I might look at using some code the refer to the story title in backlog so there is less duplication.

    • Victor Palau says:

      let me know what you work out.

      I think with time and as your team settles, it might make sense to invest on a expensive tool. But to start with you need something inexpensive that doesn’t get in your way. This is why I created this google doc anyhow :)

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