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Jurgen Appelo calls himself a creative networker. But sometimes he's a writer, speaker, trainer, entrepreneur, illustrator, manager, blogger, reader, dreamer, leader, freethinker, or… Dutch guy. Since 2008 Jurgen writes a popular blog at, covering the creative economy, agile management, and personal development. He is the author of the book Management 3.0, which describes the role of the manager in agile organizations. And he wrote the little book How to Change the World, which describes a supermodel for change management. Jurgen is CEO of the business network Happy Melly, and co-founder of the Agile Lean Europe network and the Stoos Network. He is also a speaker who is regularly invited to talk at business seminars and conferences around the world. After studying Software Engineering at the Delft University of Technology, and earning his Master’s degree in 1994, Jurgen Appelo has busied himself starting up and leading a variety of Dutch businesses, always in the position of team leader, manager, or executive. Jurgen has experience in leading a horde of 100 software developers, development managers, project managers, business consultants, service managers, and kangaroos, some of which he hired accidentally. Nowadays he works full-time managing the Happy Melly ecosystem, developing innovative courseware, books, and other types of original content. But sometimes Jurgen puts it all aside to spend time on his ever-growing collection of science fiction and fantasy literature, which he stacks in a self-designed book case. It is 4 meters high. Jurgen lives in Rotterdam (The Netherlands) -- and in Brussels (Belgium) -- with his partner Raoul. He has two kids, and an imaginary hamster called George. Jurgen has posted 145 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

A Task Board That Really Sucks

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Last week I visited VI Company, a small but amazing Internet company in Rotterdam. Managers Tim and Ivo recently attended a Management 3.0 course, which resulted in a large backlog of potential improvements.

But I wasn’t there for what I already know. I was there to see and discuss things I didn’t know. And the one thing that stood out, quite literally, was their innovative task board.


A typical problem in Agile organizations is that most Scrum and Kanban boards look messy. And office management doesn’t like a messy office. Office managers like their offices neat and tidy, hip and trendy. They particularly don’t like tons of sticky notes whirling through the corridors, like autumn leafs having a disco party.

Normally, Agile teams and coaches try to fight the tendencies of managers “cleaning up” the office, throwing all sticky notes in the garbage cans, together with productivity and motivation.

But VI company proved there’s really no need to fight, if you all address your concerns and work out a solution together.


The task boards at VI company are on a glass wall containing hundreds of suckers (suction cups) with hooks on them. And the “stickies” are replaced with cards that are actually miniature white boards, which they can simply hang on the hooks.

VI company’s task boards look neat and tidy, hip and trendy. And while their Agile teams do their usual stand-ups each morning, moving the cards from sucker to sucker, management enjoys having the coolest work place in the building. They have task boards that truly suck!


Do you have an amazing work place with innovative management?

Let me know, and I could pay you a visit, and bring my camera. :)

p.s. The amazing task boards at VI company are custom designed and built. Feel free to contact them if you want to know more about it.

Published at DZone with permission of its author, Jurgen Appelo. (source)

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)