What is Kanban Board

Kanban Board: Basics, Features and How to Use it

In this article, we are going to learn more about what is Kanban, an outline of the Kanban principle, and Kanban board with examples to understand how your workflow is often managed on Kanban.

Every organization or team should aim for process efficiency as this permits teams to realize higher levels of productivity and better quality products and services. While there are tons of techniques and methodologies out there that teams can explore and use for his or her improvement initiatives. 

Here is one method that’s gaining traction within a variety of industries today due to its straightforward approach to process improvement. Kanban may be a simple method to see work and as a result, better manage it.

Let’s get to know more about Kanban, an outline of the Kanban principle, and Kanban board examples to understand how your workflow is often managed on Kanban.

What is Kanban?

The Kanban method is a simple and effective way to manage tasks and projects. It allows users to fully visualize the status of your processes on a board with dynamic columns that clearly show all tasks and process steps. Everyone can see what needs to be done, who is responsible for which tasks, and what has already been done.

Toyota invented Kanban in the 1940s, which is the Japanese word for “billboard.” It started as a scheduling system for just-in-time manufacturing. It was created to improve efficiency by limiting supplies and resources to only what was required for the current task. Today, Kanban boards are used in almost every industry, with software development being the most common.

This method is popular among teams because of its ease of use, visual interface, and ability to instantly see what everyone is working on. It also provides visibility into task progress, and whether a certain task is delaying the project.

4 Fundamental Principles of Kanban

Before implementing the Kanban Method in your organization, it is important to first understand and adopt its fundamental principles:

  1. Start with what you are doing now – Kanban does not require any special setup and can be applied to your existing workflow. Because there is no need to change your existing processes, it is simple to implement. Kanban’s benefits are gradual, and any process improvement takes time to implement.
  2. Agree to pursue incremental, evolutionary change – Major changes can unsettle teams, disrupt the flow, and negatively impact performance. Kanban is intended to generate as little resistance as possible by encouraging continuous, incremental, and evolutionary change.
  3. Respect the current process, roles, and responsibilities – There should be no organizational changes at the start. Kanban recognizes the value of existing processes, roles, and responsibilities and believes they should be preserved. Kanban, on the other hand, encourages incremental change to avoid emotional resistance.
  4. Encourage acts of leadership at all levels – Kanban encourages all members to take on leadership and make decisions. If the lowest-ranking team member comes up with a brilliant idea, it should be recognized and embraced. Everyone should cultivate a mindset of continuous improvement – for your employees to perform optimally. 

6 Core Practices of Kanban

  • Visualize the flow of work

Understanding and observing the current workflow will assist you in visualizing how tasks move through the workflow.

  • Limit work in progress (WIP)

When you limit work in progress, it encourages teams to finish the task at hand before moving on to the next. As a result, work in progress must be marked as done so that the team can bring in new tasks.

  • Manage the flow of work

The entire purpose of using the Kanban methodology is to manage and improve the flow of work. So, in Kanban, the focus is on having a deep understanding of the process to complete tasks more quickly and efficiently.

  • Make explicit process policies

When working as a team, each member must understand the policies, process rules, and guidelines. It promotes them to progress cooperatively and peacefully.

  • Implement feedback loops

Feedback loops are an essential component of the Kanban project management method, in which members tell others what they did the day before and what’s on their to-do list for today. Such short meetings provide an excellent opportunity for team members to update and be in sync with the entire team.

  • Continuous improvement

Kanban serves as a platform for continual evaluation and improvement because it creates a common vision of a better future. It aids in the development of more successful and productive teams.

When to use Kanban?

  • You want to install a system without completely redesigning your current workflows.
  • You have a largely repeatable work process.
  • You want to keep planning and meetings to a minimum so that you can focus on delivering.
  • You prefer continuous delivery of features and improvements over fixed releases/cycles.

Benefits of Kanban Software

When you have a team working on a project, you must direct them while not getting in their way. Online Kanban boards provide managers with visibility into the production cycle. They can see where the tasks are and reallocate resources as necessary to keep the work moving.

Teams are getting the ability to manage their own tasks, plan sprints, collect their backlog, and execute the highest priority tasks first. They are aware of what to do and when to do it. Kanban software makes all of this possible. Here are some of the reasons why the kanban board tool is essential.

  • Keeps tasks organized
  • Create customized workflows
  • Share boards for collaboration
  • Track production of tasks in real-time

How do Agile and Kanban Work Together?

Kanban is a tool that can be used in an agile project management approach. Kanban seeks continuous improvement while agile seeks continuous iteration. While agile works best when the end goal is not stated and adapts as the project progresses, kanban seeks to reduce waste and eliminate non-value-added activities.

Agile works in short sprints, usually no more than two weeks, and kanban strives for short cycle times as well, so that features can be delivered more quickly. To improve collaboration, both are tethered to constant communication.

However, in terms of quality assurance (QA), agile is only concerned with the end of the sprint, whereas kanban QA is tested throughout the project. Furthermore, agile encourages iterative development, whereas kanban does not.

As a result, these two approaches have some points in common, but they are not fully aligned.

How about Kanban vs Scrum?

Agile is an iterative and incremental approach, and scrum is one of its implementations. So, how do kanban and scrum work together?

Kanban is a powerful tool for many teams who use Scrum in their projects. Scrum and kanban can work together, particularly in terms of workflow visualization. They do, however, complement each other because they both focus on process and waste removal.

However, there are differences: in kanban, roles and responsibilities are not predefined like they are in the scrum. Kanban is not the same as scrum. It’s visual, and scrum is iterative. Kanban, on the other hand, may be customized to function within a scrum framework to manage projects, workflow, and processes.

What Is a Kanban Board?

A kanban board is a visual way of managing tasks and workflows that use columns and cards on an analog or digital board. The cards represent tasks, and the columns group them according to their progress or current stage of development.

Kanban boards are gaining popularity as online project collaboration tools for teams with a consistent workflow of tasks. Kanban apps allow you to visualize, organize, and manage your work in the best way possible. You may effortlessly manage your workflow and focus on work that adds great value to your clients with such solutions.

Kanban Board Basics

Kanban has three basic elements: Board, list, and card.

Kanban Board: A board that contains a project or workflow; this is referred to as a “project” or “workspace” in a typical project management tool.

Kanban List: A list is a collection of connected cards—typically those in the same stage of a process—in a titled column on a kanban board; this is referred to as a “to-do list” or “task list” in a traditional project management tool.

Kanban Card: Cards relating to your board and list, such as a task to be completed or a product to be manufactured, and stay in a list on a board; a traditional project management tool would refer to this as a “to-do” or “task.”

How to Use Kanban Boards?

Restyaboard, an open-source project management software, is an ideal kanban software for project managers and teams. It visualizes workflow and includes features that make assigning and completing tasks as simple as typing.

To use the kanban view with Restyaboard, start a free 7-day trial. After that, upload your task list or start a new project. To get started with a free Kanban board on Restyaboard, follow this step-by-step guide below.

1. Add Columns

To-Do, Doing, and Done are the three columns of the traditional kanban process. However, you can name the columns whatever you like based on your workflow. There can be as many columns as you need to visualize the various stages of production. But, this is essentially a flow from assigned to executing to completion.

2. Add Cards

Add the individual tasks to the kanban board beneath the To Do column. These should have a descriptive title to make them easier to understand.

3. Add Description and Assign Task

Start writing a description to provide task instructions. After that, the card can be assigned to one or more team members, and supporting documents or images can be attached. These cards will move to the Work-in-Progress column as they’re being executed and then to the Done column when complete.

4. Collaborate on Tasks

You can access your task directly from the board view. Comments can be added at the task level throughout the process, and team members will receive email notifications when an @ is added before their name. This ensures that everyone is on the same page and allows for real-time collaboration.

5. Expand Task to Add More Details

You can also expand the card to gain additional control over your task. You can update the number of hours worked here, create a to-do list within the task, add tags, and so on. You can also start a conversation with other team members, documenting everything right on the task card.

Advantages of Kanban tool for project management:

  • Easy accessible from everywhere
  • Best for remote working teams
  • Immediate updates
  • Share attachments quickly and easily

Kanban Boards Examples

The Kanban board online‘s basic structure consists of three columns: To-do, In-progress, and Done. Each column represents a stage of development, beginning with the generation of ideas, to the work in progress, and finally, the completion of the work.

Kanban Boards for Development Team

The primary goal is to fix bugs, update features, redesign the homepage, and resolve issues.

Today, agile software development teams can apply the same JIT concepts by matching the quantity of work in progress (WIP) to the team’s capabilities. Kanban allows for more flexible planning options, faster output, and greater transparency throughout the development cycle.

Kanban Boards for Marketing Team

If you work on the marketing team, you may be faced with challenges such as meeting deadlines and completing urgent tasks regularly.

Simply use a visual online Kanban board to break down your marketing campaign. This will provide you with a dedicated path to track the performance of your team.

Kanban Boards for Support Team

The main goal is to respond to and resolve the client’s inquiries and issues.

In the Kanban board example for the support team, the team can add tasks that need to be completed, create a ticket with details, and attach files such as emails or screenshots. The team can also communicate in the comments section to resolve the issues. When the front-end developer has resolved the issue, he or she will move it to “Done.”

Kanban Boards for Design Team

Designers have to create user interfaces and experiences for products that will amaze buyers.

Designers, in general, are visual people. Define your workflow based on the nature of your project. Involve the rest of the team and developers so they understand what you’re doing with the product design.

Kanban Board for Personal Use

Kanban can be used to plan and organize daily tasks, as well as for freelancing work.

Kanban boards can be used for both professional and personal tasks. If you wish to manage your everyday tasks and activities, you can make a customized Kanban board.

If you notice any issues with your workflow, you should try Kanban project management. Restyaboard makes it easy and quick to set up and you won’t require any training.

Read Top 10 Free Kanban Boards For Productive Teams

Let’s See How Kanban Works in Restyaboard

If you’re looking for a visual way to grow your team, Restyaboard is the best open source Kanban board project management software for you to plan, manage, streamline your processes, and delegate tasks to improve your project management workflow.

For many various teams, using Restyaboard is like using the best Kanban board software, because it is more like gaining a lot of benefits as everything works together in one place.

  • Visualize workflow: Create a visual representation of your team’s workflow.
  • Control work in progress: The Kanban method removes the necessity to re-prioritize or re-schedule tasks daily.
  • Custom workflows: Create custom workflows with stages to make your work processes more flexible. You can also choose who to subscribe to at each stage of the workflow.
  • Eliminate long meetings: It keeps everyone in the loop. 
  • Identify bottlenecks and work blockers: Teams can identify issues that are keeping them from completing a task on time.
  • Make task management easy: Add labels, attach files and documents, and track time with timers to make task management simple.
  • Creating and assigning tasks and subtasks: Add a subtask to an existing task in the task list. Also, add multiple assignees who will be in charge of the task.
  • Easy and simple filters: You can view your tasks by filtering them as incomplete/complete, all assigned/assigned to me, due today/tomorrow/this week/next week/anytime.
  • Make it colorful and fun: Give each stage of your workflow a different color.
  • Import tasks: Use the sample CSV to fill your data all at once.

Kanban in a Nutshell

A Kanban system is more than just a bunch of sticky notes on the wall. The simplest way to understand Kanban is to accept its philosophy and apply it to your day-to-day work. If you read, understand, and agree with its essential principles, the practical transition will appear logical and even inevitable.

Visualizing workflow, setting WIP limits, monitoring flow, implementing explicit policies, and collaborating on improvement will propel your process far beyond your expectations. Remember to set up regular feedback loops, and all of these parts will expose Kanban’s true power.

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