What You Need to Know about Kanban Board

by Haniza • Wed, 04 May 2022 17:15PM
What You Need to Know about Kanban Board

Looking for a new way to get things done? Maybe it is time to meet your new best friend: Kanban Board! Known as the ‘arsenal’ of project managers, a Kanban board is not limited to use only for people with that job title. This tool can be an effective solution if you find it difficult to organize your workflow visualization and help enhance the efficiency to work on a project (or several ones at the same time!). 

Kanban boards are now widely used by Agile teams that they are commonly referred to as agile task boards. It helps in visualizing the workflow, breaking down a large task into smaller and more manageable pieces, creating roadmaps, as well as tracking their progress. To make it simpler, it can support agile and DevOps teams in establishing order in their daily tasks. 

Sounds interesting? Here is what you need to know about the Kanban board.

A Bit About Kanban Board

Kanban, a Japanese term that translates as "signboard" in English, originated as a visual scheduling system as part of the Toyota manufacturing system. David Anderson decided to expand on the Kanban method's concept and invented the Kanban board in 2007. Anderson's colleague Darren Davis was the one who recommended that the workflow be visualized on a whiteboard. This is how the Kanban board was established, and it has since gone on to become one of the most important agile project management tools for information management. 

Kanban boards started off traditionally with a whiteboard; people used to use sticky notes to represent tasks and a whiteboard. Columns indicate work periods, and sticky notes are moved from one step to the next. Kanban boards had a digital transition as the kanban method gained popularity among software and development teams. Kanban boards can be used remotely and asynchronously by teams who do not share a physical office space, which makes it even more desirable for hybrid and remote working setups. Some digital systems are also highly customizable, allowing managers to track different workflows and categorize their work.

Read Also: Must-Have Skills for a Project Manager

Parts of Kanban Board

Kanban boards use cards, columns, and continuous improvement to enable information technology service teams in delivering the right amount of work. Columns, Visual Signs, Work-in-Progress (WIP) Limits, Commitment points, and Delivery points are the five components of a standard Kanban task board. Here are detailed explanations of them:

Columns

The Kanban board has several columns, each of which relates to a different stage of the workflow. Each column represents a specific operation that, when combined, forms a "workflow." Cards move through the procedure until they are finished. Workflows might be as simple as "To Do," "In Progress," and "Complete," or they can be considerably more complex.

Visual Signs

Kanban boards are made up of graphic cards known as stickies or tickets. Team members are given the chance to write all of their projects and work items on cards, usually one per card. For agile teams, each card may represent a single timeline. Once shown on the board, these visual cues help teammates and users quickly understand what the team is working on.

Work-in-Progress (WIP) Limits

WIP limits are the most cards that can be in one column at any given moment. A column with a WIP limit of three may only contain three cards. When the column is "maxed out," the team must swarm on those cards and move them before new cards can enter that stage of the workflow. These WIP limits are crucial for identifying process bottlenecks and optimizing workflow. WIP limits provide an early warning signal that you have taken on too much work. You can set a limit on the number of cards that can be added to each column. This will help you avoid clutter and set the appropriate priorities.

Commitment Point

Kanban teams frequently have a backlog of tasks on their board. This is where users and collaborators may leave project ideas for the team to take up when they are ready. The commitment point is the point at which an idea is approved by the team and work on the project begins. If the assignment is still not finished but is still being worked on, you mark it with a matching card.

Delivery Point

The delivery point is the final process of a kanban team. The delivery point for most teams is when the product or service is in the hands of users. The team's purpose is to move cards as quickly as possible from the commitment point to the delivery point. The delayed period between the two is referred to as the Lead Time. Kanban teams are constantly trying to minimize lead time as much as possible. When a job is completed, it is marked as finished.

The Kanban board is a tool for visualizing and planning your workflow. Kanban boards help people in visualizing bottlenecks and process flaws, focus on the job at hand, and avoid the need for basic status update meetings. Since a Kanban board is a flexible and customizable tool, it will greatly help you in increasing productivity, allocating resources more efficiently, and, finally, increasing revenue. When you add this tool to your workflow, your entire team will quickly reap the benefits of it!

Read Also: What You Need to Know about Agile in Project Management

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