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Building a Wallboard in JIRA

What is a Wallboard?

A wallboard is a type of information radiator that displays information about the progress of the development team. Traditionally these would comprise a physical board, with sticky notes, printed charts, etc. But with JIRA, we can create a Wallboard that can be easily edited and will update automatically.

What is an information radiator?

An information radiator is a large, easy to see, display of data that is accessible to everyone. It provides people with the data they need, without having to ask questions and so improves communication without requiring interruptions. A good information radiator:

  • Is large and easily visible to the casual observer
  • Is understood at a glance
  • Updates periodically
  • Is easily kept up to date

Creating a Wallboard in JIRA

First create a Dashboard

JIRA allows you to create wallboards that look great on large screens, have easy to read Gadgets and update automatically.

  1. First you need to create a Dashboard that will hold the Gadgets and display the data that you want. The dashboard is what you see when you first login to JIRA. You can’t edit the default dashboard, but you can create a new dashboard based on it, or create one from scratch.
    1. From the top right of your Dashboard, click on the three dots 
    2. From the dropdown menu, click on Create dashboard to create a blank dashboard, or Copy dashboard to create a copy of the current dashboard.
    3. Fill in the details as appropriate – you can choose who this dashboard should be shared with e.g. a group, project, any logged in user or public. Click Create.
    4. By default the dashboard is created with two columns, but you can change this by clicking on the Edit layout button in the top right.
    5. We’ll stick with the default two columns.
  2. Next we’ll add Gadgets to our dashboard that will display the data.
    1. You can either click the Add gadget button in the top right of the page, or click on Add a new gadget in the relevant box.
    2. You’ll then be presented with the list of available gadgets.
    3. You can add any Gadgets that you like to your Dashboard, but those in the Wallboard category have been optimised for display on a Wallboard.
    4. When you add a Gadget, you’ll be shown some configuration options. These will vary depending on the type of Gadget.
Which Gadgets should I add?

To create an effective wallboard, I like to add the following Gadgets:

  • Days Remaining in Sprint – simply shows the number of working days left in the current Sprint (or another Sprint that you select).
  • Agile Wallboard – shows your Scrum board.
  • Sprint Burndown – shows the burndown chart for your current (or selected) Sprint.
  • Sprint Health – shows your overall Sprint progress based on the time elapsed, work completed and work remaining.

Once you’ve added the required Gadgets, your Dashboard will look something like this. You can drag and drop Gadgets to rearrange them.

 

Gadget colours

Note how the gadgets each have a header with a colour – currently blue. Gadgets in the same column and with the same colour will only display one at a time, but will rotate out every few seconds. If you want to display all the gadgets in a column at the same time, edit their colours.

Viewing as a Wallboard

Once you’ve created your Dashboard, simply click on the three dots in the top right again and select View as Wallboard. The data on your Wallboard will automatically update based on the settings you chose.

 

The Scrum Master should elicit feedback from the team to determine if the Wallboard is displaying the required information. If not, it can be adapted to meet their requirements and using JIRA this is easy to do.

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