Parking Lot Chart - Alternative Name?

This may be a silly question but is there another name for the Parking Lot Chart? We've mixed our Agile practices using Scrum and the Parking Lot chart for project communication. It's just that "Parking Lot" has become a term that signifies a story or other task that is sitting off to the side waiting for someone to get to it.

The Parking Lot Chart however is a great tool to communicate the "active" status of an Agile project. I don't want the people who I communicate with to get confused that anything in this chart is "waiting" on anything.

Anyway, just wondering if there's an alternative name for this fantastic tool.



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Jeff De Luca's picture

No alt name (yet)

Hi Daren,

you're not the first to make this point. It's come up at least twice at different companies in the USA that I've been working with over the last year or so. Historically that wasn't the case though - which is interesting (to me).

In our work, a story or other task or issue that is sitting off to the side is called a "Rathole." That's not an FDD thing specifically and the term comes from the great Fred Racey (USA).

So, recently, when I introduce the concept of a rathole to people in the USA, I'm getting the "oh you mean like a parking lot" response, to which I have to answer "No, a parking lot means something special in FDD."

Parking Lot Chart is a term that originated at UOB in Singapore around 1996.

So - what to do now? Good question! I'm reluctant (but not opposed) to try and change the name of the chart in FDD. The name has been around a long time and has "stuck." Highsmith uses it as an example of what he calls "Adaptive Control" but there's nothing there to use as a new name really.


Parking Lot Chart

Thanks Jeff. There's probably so many references to it as a Parking Lot Chart that there's no turning back. BTW - I learned about the chart from a presentation that Jim made at Agile2006 and felt this communication tool was one of the best things I learned at the conference. Thanks again!


heptaman's picture

Project Tracking Panel/Dashboard?

Hi, Daren!

Here in Brazil we use to call the PLC as "Project Tracking Panel/Dashboard", because people see some similar panels (dashboards) used by non-IT managers in the so-called "Visible Management" initiative.

Another reason is that the term "parking lot" here, in Brazil, is not as popular as in English-speaking countries. Thus the "panel/dashboard" preference. ;)


Adail Muniz Retamal