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Agile StationeryAgile Stationery
You are not getting old

You are not getting old

Turn your head and look at your board. Find your avatar and read off the JIRA reference of your current story. Did you need to stand up and get closer? Did you manage to read it from your seat? Can you read the value statement?

You are not getting old. Your stationery is.

Index cards were invented for the same purpose as an index object in an SQL data-store, but in 1760, long before even Codd or Chamberlain were born. Carl Linnaeus' card indexes gathered together some basic details of each of his grisly scientific samples all in one place, each had a reference to where the item itself was kept. He interacted with this rudimentary database using his fingers, at arms length, hunched over a series of little drawers. The basic design of an index card has not changed, until now.

Agile practitioner Simon Gibbs turned his head to read off a JIRA number and found himself feeling old. Then he realised that every aspect of the index card was wrong for the Agile method. The coloured paper reduced the contrast between paper and ink. The paper was too thin and was easily creased or curled. Every card on his board had it's size in story points writ large, intersected by five narrow lines. It was impossible to write value statements between the lines with a Biro, let alone a Sharpie. Even excusing the pastel colours, there was no white-space. The moment the cards went up, the board looked crowded and messy.

In a beautiful hotel courtyard Simon sat down with his wife Devika sipping coke on a sunny day. It was their first weekend away in a while. A stranger parked a helicopter on the lawns, making a racket and making the couple feel a little out of place. Simon said he had (yet another) crazy idea but he wasn't sure it was any good. He took a napkin and drew 8 parallel lines, two shorter and one thicker than the others. That napkin was the first prototype of a new generation of Agile Stationery.

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