Project management is now essential to organize tasks and stay productive. The need to succeed has led productivity apps to turn ambitious ideas into actionable plans. Therefore, kanban boards take center stage as a central hub for your team to collaborate. But you are probably wondering, what is a kanban board?
Getting Started with Kanban Boards
A Kanban Board is an effective and agile project management tool that organizes tasks in a visual format using cards and columns. According to the blog miro.com “Kanban is a lean management method designed to implement agile software development. It does this by visualizing your development team’s workflow. When used to manage work tasks, Kanban allows every team member to view the status of all tasks within your workflow. Kanban requires open communication and transparency, enabling all of your team members to contextualize and prioritize each work item. This in turn helps you get more done, and produce better results as a team.”
Now that you have an idea of what a Kanban Board is, learn how to use it in your projects. Are you ready?
Prepare Your Kanban Board
Kanban boards are usually divided into three sections: To Do, Doing, and Done. However, it will depend on how you want to distribute your tasks and the activities carried out by your team. You can add as many sections as you need; for example, a content marketing agency might find this division useful: To Do, Strategy, Content, Editing, Design, Published, KPI’s.
You can always make a previous sketch using post-its to prepare your kanban before starting a digital version. But most importantly, always remember not to turn your projects into tasks. This will generate unproductiveness in your planning cycle.
One board, many use cases
Building a multi-purpose board for the team in terms of tasks is possible with dedication. Usually, multiple work items can be categorized into different classes of service, depending on the business impact they may have. These should be classified based on customer expectations and their perception of value.
For example, there are tasks that you can’t delay and must process immediately, with as little handover as possible. You can organize them by a class of service and must go through a simple workflow such as Requested → In Progress → Done. If you prioritize your kanban board this way, you can use it for any kind of project, task, or even bug reports.
Marketing Campaign Planning
A digital marketing agency must always work in Kanban mode, which maintains flexibility at the appropriate levels. As well, being flexible is about adapting to the requirements and resources of the client, both in terms of time, quality, and delivery of work. Likewise, the Kanban model is also known as a visual dashboard. It’s an information panel that controls the internal and external processes of serial production, according to the time and products needed at each stage of the process. That’s why it’s perfect for a marketing campaign.
Now that you understand more about the Kanban system, let’s look at the goals it pursues with a digital marketing agency:
- Share work times in front of the whole team.
- Avoid late deliveries and work overload.
- Optimize coordination between teams and production flow.
- Support direct and open internal communication at the company level.
Does this sound familiar to you?
The progress of a project is organized with the help of a board that lists the amount of work completed so far and the remaining part. According to the Profesional QA:
The Kanban system defines a ‘Work-in-Progress‘ limit by segmenting the board into columns, such as – backlog, In-progress, blocked, done. Each task has to pass through these columns to ensure that the project is finally heading towards final accomplishment
When developers work on an app, some changes in the current application’s functionality or features may be requested. A bug or issue could be found at any stage: development, testing, or code review. Those defects are then assigned to the previous work stage based on the state in which they were captured. Such faulty pieces of code must be rectified first to move on to the next stages.
When a Kanban system is overloaded with work, everything slows down and the workflow becomes a bottleneck. Stuck work is easy to spot on the board, as it piles up on affected lanes, giving you instant clarity on work that needs attention.
Setting up and moving work through your Kanban board is the best way to learn how to use it. As your team or organization becomes more familiar with the operation of the board, you will begin to feel more comfortable making improvements to the board layout and design.
Tips and Best Practices
Use the Kanban Board to Limit Work in Progress (WIP) and Focus
Have you ever had to accomplish multiple tasks and decided to chip bits and pieces from each one hoping to complete them all at the same time? This is a very bad technique to speed up work. On the contrary, it will make you procrastinate and never finish a task on time. The truth is that our brains can only work on one task at a time.
Work in progress limits will help improve your productivity, provide focus, and manage workflow. These (WIP) limits represent the number of tasks an individual or team works on at a time. They help teams focus on getting things done and prevent tasks from piling up at any stage of the process.
Use the think-make-check cycle to pursue incremental improvements
If you haven’t heard about Lean UX yet, it’s time to learn about it. The kanban system and the think-make-check cycle are a perfect match. This combination will help product teams pursue continuous improvement in product design through evolutionary change.
The main focus of this technique is to minimize production cycle time without leaving aside the user experience of a product or service you are working on. The result? A powerful way of delivering high-quality projects on time.
New TrackingTime Boards
The TrackingTime team has been working hard to develop a kanban-inspired board. It staging generates big expectations in terms of productivity. The TrackingTime board is a visual tool to manage projects and workflows using columns and cards. It helps teams to see work progress and to identify bottlenecks.
The best of this view is that you can use it according to every need your team has. It is a brilliant visual tool that provides an overview of the current status of work and simplifies team communication. Cards are tasks and columns are task lists that can represent stages of the project.
What is it useful for?:
- Organize tasks and goals by teams.
- Better visualize workflows and project stages.
- Organize a project by periods of time.
- For any type of organization you may have in mind!
Learn more about TrackingTime Boards
Are kanban boards suitable for me?
This system is a good option if your team is having trouble delivering projects on time. A kanban board is a must to improve workflows in any production process and avoid burnout. Remember to define each cycle correctly for a successful implementation of a kanban board within your team. In terms of productivity, it is an important piece. But if your team is not working according to the requirements or is not comfortable with it, you can always check the design of the board and improve it.