How to Build Your Portable Scrum or Kanban Board

Portable Scrum or Kanban Board -- Do It Yourself Project © 2013 Jens R. Woinowski, leanself.org

Do you need a Scrum or Kanban board that you can take everywhere? Do you have limited space at home? Do you want to keep your walls and furniture free of sticky notes? You could go high-tech and use one of the many online boards, or you go decidedly low-tech with this beautiful DIY project.

  1. Material required:
    • An unused folder or document map. What you really need is very hard cardboard of the desired size. I used an A4 document map with a lot of pockets.
    • A sharp knife or cardboard cutter.
    • Some adhesive tape, like gaffa. It should be about 5cm wide (2in).
    • Tiny sticky notes – for regular use.
  2. Remove the interior of the folder so that you have the front and back cover alone.
  3. Cut a stripe from one or both covers, about 1cm (0.5in) wide. In my case the back was larger than the front, so I had only to cut one stripe. If both covers are of the same size, cut from both, although you only need one stripe.
  4. Lay both covers together, outsides out. Apply a good spine length and slightly less than half a tape width to the spine end of the covers.
  5. Turn around and fold the other half of the tape around. Remove the surplus on the top and bottom.
  6. Open the covers. Pull them apart. You will get a gap of two times the cover thickness.
  7. Apply tape to the insides.
  8. Cut the stripe to about 20cm (8in). At both ends, draw a line across at 3 cm (a little more than 1in).
  9. Slightly cut into the lines drawn in step 8. Do not cut through!
  10. Fold around both ends and apply tape. Remove surplus with the knife.
  11. Cut a little deeper and pull apart (like step 6. for the cover).
  12. Apply tape to the folds. You can cover the whole thing in tape like I did, see next step.
  13. We are going to build a tube. Cut two tape pieces of 7cm (3in).
  14. Fix the tape pieces to each other. Keep some sticky part of the tape free (2-3mm, 1/10in).
  15. Wrap the tape around the stripe from steps 8. to 12. Start on one side.
  16. Turn around and finish. The result should be loose enough so that you get the stripe out easily.
  17. Cut to about 5cm length (2in).
  18. Place the tube and the inserted stripe on the front cover.
  19. Apply tape to fix the tube. Make sure you can remove the stripe easily. Now you have a pocket to transport the stripe.
  20. Build two more tubes, of about 3cm (1in) length.
  21. Apply the first small tube to one cover, perpedicular to the middle of the opening side…
  22. … and fix it with tape.
  23. Repeat on the other side.
  24. You can round the edges of the stripe if the tubes are too tight.
  25. The board is nearly ready to use. Put the stripe into the two pockets created in steps 21. to 23.
  26. Here we go, it’s standing.
  27. You can add another pocket for your sticky notes.
  28. Glue some white paper to the insides.
  29. Final result: A Scrum or Kanban Board, here with four columns (Waiting, WIP, Done, Impediment).

You can use this for your job or at home. Tell me, how do you like it?

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