At first glance, Favro might look like yet another board based planning and collaboration app. But, dig a little deeper, and you soon realize there’s a whole lot more. The core concept behind Favro was to create a tool team members want to use, and only add complexity on an as-needed basis. Scrum teams can add burndowns to their boards. Kanban teams can enable work in progress (WIP) limits, cumulative flow diagrams, and control charts. Integrations with other tools such as Slack, JIRA, and GitHub can be set up with a few clicks. You get the idea.
That said, there are six fundamental differences between Favro and other tools that need to be understood to unlock its full potential. Let’s take them in a logical order, one building upon the next.
At this point, most team members are familiar with cards, which represent work, on boards, which represent workflow. It’s become the universal standard for visualizing work in progress, identifying bottlenecks and staying synchronized as a team. But what about long-term deliverables and goals? The deliverables that the team aren’t currently working on, but need to be stored and prioritized for the future also require a home. That’s where backlogs are essential. Backlogs are containers for everything you know you want or have to do, but, of course, you can’t do everything at once. Let the team focus on the value they’re currently creating, making sure that’s finished first, but at the same time have a clear way to organize and plan what’s going to be worked on next.
Creating a backlog in Favro is simple. Click on the “+” icon, select Create Backlog, give it a name and start filling it up. If you want to structure your backlog, then click the drop-down menu and select Tree view. This view allows you to create a hierarchy of ideas and goals, giving you an even more powerful way to organize future value delivery.
Some tools are useful for a single team, but what happens when your organization scales to teams of teams? Teams can start to become isolated islands not connected to or aligned with the organization as a whole. That’s where collections come in.
Collections are views into your organization at all levels. You might have multiple team collections, showing just their specific boards and backlogs. Take it up a level, and you may have multiple project or program level collections that aggregate teams of teams into a single view. At the top of your organization, use an executive collection to see all of your projects and teams at a high level. Whether you’re on a team looking up at the bigger picture or a C level executive looking down at the details, it’s all connected. Collections are what allow you to achieve the perfect nirvana of autonomous, high-performing small teams all aligned to overall organizational goals and initiatives.
Here’s where things get super interesting. Everyone understands the difference between move and copy when it comes to files, and it’s the same with Favro cards. You can choose to move a card from any board/backlog to any other board/backlog, either by drag and drop, quick edit or via “More…” on the card pop up. The same goes for copy. So what’s Add all about? By adding a card to another board or backlog, you can keep the same card on as many boards/backlogs as you like. It’s the same card in multiple places. For example, you might want to have two teams working on the same backlog item. To do this, you simply Cmd+Drag (Ctrl+Drag on Windows) or add the card to both teams’ work boards. Now both teams can work on the same card from their particular board. Plus, thanks to the power of relations, the overall progress can be seen from the backlog.
Now that you understand the power of adding a card to another board/backlog and keeping the same card in multiple places, let me explain relations. Relations show you all of the other locations a card exists, including the board column. From the backlog, team progress is seen without having to go to multiple work boards. From a team board, any team member can see where the card originated, what other teams might be working on it and overall progress. Relations can be shown directly on the card, in a backlog tree view column, or within the card pop up, where they’re clickable.
Expanding even further on Favro’s flexibility, any board or backlog can be added to another collection. Just like the cards, it’s the same board/backlog in multiple locations. Say a backlog is created within a project level collection. When the project kicks off, and backlog items are ready to be worked on by either a single team or multiple teams, the backlog can be added to multiple team level collections. This allows multiple teams to pull from the same backlog, while a project manager views overall progress from the project level collection.
Last but not least, any card can be broken down into its own board or backlog. For example, if you have a card on a board representing a large deliverable, you might want to break it up into smaller chunks in its own backlog or create a specific workflow on its own board. By creating a board or backlog directly from the card, it can be split into more granular deliverables or even specific tasks. On the card select More… and choose either Breakdown to Board or Breakdown to Backlog. The parent card is now linked to this board or backlog with a relation.
Put all six of these unique abilities together, and the possibilities are endless. All organizations are different. All teams are different, and all work in a variety of ways. Choose a tool that works for you, not against you.
As with anything, Favro is best understood hands on. Sign up for a free trial and start exploring the flexibility and power of Favro.