As a business or company that works with agile or DevOps, you may be looking for project management tools to help simplify your work.
One such tool is the Kanban board. Cards, columns, and other new features are constantly being added and upgraded to increase simplicity and make these boards more efficient.
If you are curious about Kanban boards, then you are at the right place.
Today we shall be looking at Kanban boards, what they do and how they can be useful for your business. Stick till the end to find out!
A Kanban board is used to simplify work so that progress remains unrestricted and efficiency is maximized.
It is a project management tool often used by agile and DevOps teams to improve daily workflow. However, its use is not restricted to these markets as it can be used in almost all industries with the correct knowledge.
Kanban boards use columns, cards, and other features to get work done promptly.
- A Kanban board like Taskaty is a workflow management tool that tracks a project, business, team, etc.
- It improves efficiency and time management.
- To-do lists and other features help you track a project’s timeline.
- It can be used to work on multiple projects and tasks simultaneously.
- The board must be properly designed, and the user must have sufficient knowledge of the tool to use it to its maximum potential.
Toyota created Kanban in the late 1940s. The Kanban was used as a pull system where cars are manufactured based on consumer demand. This prevents overproduction and oversupply, maximizing efficiency and productivity while minimizing wastage.
Other companies soon landed on Kanban, and the tool quickly became popular in the R&D, IT, software development, and commercial sectors.
Kanban boards today are quite different. They now have columns that are easy to expand and can be tweaked in various ways depending on the board’s design.
These updates, as well as the modern touch, are all thanks to David J. Anderson. He created the modern Kanban system in 2007, which follows basic principles.
- Use existing information and data to bring evolution and increase production/efficiency.
- Respect roles, responsibilities, and ongoing processes.
- Promote leadership on all management levels.
A major component of Kanban boards is the columns. Every column indicates a specific activity in a project that combines with others to create the actual workflow.
Cards flow through the board until a project is completed. A workflow could be:
- A to-do list.
- In Progress.
Visual cards or signals are often the most attention-getting aspect of any Kanban board. This includes stickers, tickets, etc.
All the teams collaborating on a Kanban board note their project details and tasks into cards. Usually, one card is assigned per team.
Placing cards on the board allows clients, stakeholders, and colleagues to understand the task a team is working on quickly.
The backlog is used to brainstorm project ideas, which are picked up at the commitment point when work begins on a project/task.
WIP (Work In Progress) limits indicate the max cards that can be assigned to each column at any given time.
Once the limit is reached, the team must gather those cards and move forward with them before new ones can be assigned.
WIP limits boost productivity while ensuring a particular task is not overwhelming.
A delivery point defines the end of a board. This is usually the deadline when a product/service is successfully delivered to the client.
Cards must be taken from the commitment point to the delivery point quickly. The time used up is known as the lead time. The shorter it is, the better.
With Taskaty’s reminder and scheduling features, it is impossible to miss a deadline. Shorter lead times mean more clients and more profits!
These are the most basic and simple Kanban boards. Each board is divided into vertical columns, and a workflow is created on a whiteboard/blackboard.
Teams use sticky notes as cards to move through the workflow and indicate progress.
- A physical board is always valuable and viewable.
- Easy to set up and makes communication very simple.
- Not suitable for remote work.
- Not suited for people with poor handwriting.
With technological advancements and the widespread use of computers and other gadgets, creating digital Kanban boards was inevitable.
Teams using a digital kanban board do not have to be physically present in one room or office. They can work remotely and still synchronize efficiently.
- Digital boards like Taskaty simplify the process by allowing users to use stickers/tickets, create to-do lists, and allow boards to be accessed/viewed by entire teams.
- Different cards are used to assign various tasks and are moved across the workflow to indicate pending, queued, or completed tasks.
- Lists/columns for ‘Backlog,’ ‘In Progress, and ‘Up Next’ can be created.
- It can be easily shared.
- Allows tracking of conversations/comments.
- It can be set up easily and quickly.
- Allows remote work.
- It shows real-time page updates.
- Kanban boards like Taskaty offer invoice creation, reminders, notes, calendars, individual workspace settings, client management, bird’s eye view taskboard, and more!
Kanban boards help visualize all the different tasks that need to be accomplished. Each task is indicated using different cards, which makes the number of tasks easy to deduce.
Columns indicate categories that each task falls under at a point in time. This allows easy visualization of team/project progress.
- Use the board to map all work stages.
- Make use of a basic Kanban board structure initially.
- Split into basic sections like ‘Orders,’ ‘In Progress, and ‘Done.’
Visualization lets users see the project timeline and note where progress is lacking. The simple display of each task allows managers to notice weaknesses and take action accordingly.
Visual progress also helps reduce errors and allows users to notice mistakes/errors as problems that can be fixed.
Adding a work-in-progress limit prevents teams from getting overworked. This also saves up time and resources and prevents overproduction.
Teams will focus better on important tasks without being overloaded by unnecessary projects/tasks.
- Redistribute teams for new work.
- Start new projects once old ones are done and dusted.
Using Kanban boards eliminates the need for meetings to discuss project deadlines, timeframe, and whether everyone is caught up.
Nearly everyone with access to the board can view project updates and tasks that need to be completed in real-time. Fewer meetings mean more time to concentrate on project success and product development.
- Use a dashboard like Taskaty’s to view progress reports and save time on unnecessary meetings.
- Real-time progress updates and reminders eliminate the need for feedback/reports.
A block can be placed on any task that gets in the way of proper progress. For example, you could place a block on a project task waiting for approval from a client. This way, it won’t get in the way of available slots for WIP.
This also allows you to easily add other tasks and continue working with other projects on the board.
Automation prevents recurring tasks, manages deadlines/reminders, notifies teams regarding project updates, and handles product handoff.
You can also use Kanban boards to gather metrics/reports for different tasks to understand employee performance. This also helps meet deadlines and keep track of the timeframe.
We have finally reached the end of this guide, and we hope you found it helpful. Kanban boards, especially digital ones, can be a great tool for project management.
Digital boards like Taskaty offer many advanced features that make the workflow smoother, faster, and simpler.
If you wish to keep clients/stakeholders happy, manage projects easily, and meet deadlines, you should surely start using a digital Kanban board today!
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