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What is a Kanban Board?

Kanban boards enhance workflow visibility, enabling efficient bottleneck detection, progress tracking, and task prioritisation.

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Kanban Boards


Kanban board is a lean tool that provides the teams with a visual management system to manage project tasks, visualise workflows and optimise work delivery. Along with visualising the workflow, efficiency is maximised, and continuous improvement occurs. The Kanban system optimises the work delivery across multiple teams in a single board. Kanban boards visually depict the various work stages of a process, with cards representing work items and columns representing each stage of the process. By providing a visual system for the teams, kanban boards can manage the project tasks and communication, giving a bigger picture of your workflow.

What is Kanban System?

Kanban translates to "Cards you can see". A popular Lean visual workflow method, Kanban boards, can help you track the workflow and get informed about the progress of each task. Kanban marks the available capacity to work. A lean concept, the kanban system is linked to Just in Time(JIT) production, where the schedules tell you what to produce, when, and in what quantity. Kanban visualises the operational workflow and the actual work being carried out in the process. By identifying the bottlenecks in the processes and helping to fix them, Kanban boards ensure the smooth flow of operations at throughput and lower delivery lead times.

History of Kanban Systems

The Kanban system was introduced by Taiichi Ohno at Toyota Automotive, Japan, in the 1940s. Ohno tried eliminating the overproduction by introducing new inventory only when it was absolutely necessary. The factories were reorganised to make the production and assembly of the parts happen at the same rate- the Just in Time method. He introduced paper-based physical Kanban boards where the cards could be sent back to the production of the parts once the material was used, and this would indicate to the team what material was used and how many more should be restocked.

Kanban systems evolved to control the entire value chain from the supplier to the end user. Supply disruption and overstocking were avoided at every stage of the manufacturing process. The Kanban system thus became popular in a variety of production environments. Over time, Kanban started being used in different industries that needed the visualisation of a large volume of Work in Progress.

Kanban Principles

Kanban Change Management Principles include :

  • Start With What You Do Now:

    The existing workflows, systems, processes and things already in place are not disturbed. Kanban is directly applied to the current workflow. With minimum disruption, the issues to be addressed and need plan changes are addressed gradually over a period of time at the pace the team is comfortable with.
  • Agree to pursue Incremental, Evolutionary Change:

    Designed to cause minimal resistance, Kanban boards encourage small continuous incremental changes in the currently running process. A significant change in the process flow is discouraged as the resistance may be high and will likely be hard to implement.
  • Respect the Current Processes, Roles, Responsibilities and Job Titles:

    Kanban does not implement organisational changes, so changing the existing roles and processes may not be required. Team collaboration can identify and implement the changes as per the need.
  • Encourage leadership acts at all levels in the organisation:

    Kanban encourages team members to collaborate, take ownership of the issues, and address them accordingly. Through a culture of safety, Kanban allows the team to take the lead in the actions, fix the issues and grow professionally.

Kanban Practices

Carefully executing these steps can help you implement the Kanban method in your organisation.

Kanban practice
  • Visualise the Workflow:

    Kanban systems visualise the workflow with the help of a board with cards and columns. Each column on the kanban board is a step in the workflow, and each card represents a work item. The Kanban board forms the visual representation of the actual workflow of the processes with all its risks and specifications. Kanban boards can vary from simple to complex, depending on the operational complexity. In its simplest form, Kanban boards contain three stages: To Do, In Progress, and Done. This sequence across the stages is referred to as the workflow. The Kanban system visualises the work, its flow and the business risks. Each card represents individual work in the tasks, and looking at what column they are in, the task status is easily understood. Moving from left to right in the Kanban board gives an idea about workflow stages. The business risks can be visualised through the details of the card as well as the process status. The columns with the stages can show the bottlenecks that slow down the work.
  • Limit Work in Progress(WIP):

    Understanding the fact that switching the team's focus hallway through can harm their productivity and multitasking is not going to do any good. Limiting the Work in Progress ensures that the right amount of cards are on the board and that the available resources can handle the right amount of work. This can be achieved by implementing a pull system where the new work is only pulled when there is enough capacity to deal with it. For the proper working of it, limits to the Work in Progress should be set and adjusted accordingly. Thereby Kanban boards ensure that only a manageable number of active items are in progress at any point of time. No WIP, no Kanban. Setting the number of items per stage helps them manage the pulling of the cards in the subsequent step when there is an available capacity.
  • Manage Flow:

    Managing the flow refers to the movement of work items across the production processes as represented in the Kanban board at a predictable and sustainable pace. To create a smooth and healthy workflow, the workflow should be managed with visibility on blocks, bottlenecks and risks. Instead of micromanaging the people and keeping them busy all the time, the work process should be managed so that the workflow is efficient and moves faster through the system.
  • Make the policies explicit:

    Understanding something can help to improve that better. For the same, you need to define your process, publish it and socialise it. When the common goals are defined, it becomes easier for the team to work towards them and make progress in them.
  • Feedback Loops:

    Gathering feedback at different stages of the process ensures that the organisation adequately responds to potential changes and enables knowledge sharing between the stakeholders. Team-level cadences or feedback loops can be the daily team meeting, and the feedback loops can be set according to the context, team size or the discussion topic.
  • Improve Collaboratively:

    An organisation can improve continuously by implementing changes based on scientifically proven methods, feedback and metrics.

Kanban Board features and components

Kanban view kanban board
  • Kanban Cards:

    A visual representation of tasks, the cards contain information about the tasks, such as to whom is assigned, the deadline and the task description.
  • Kanban Columns:

    The column on the board represents the different stages in the workflow. Every card goes through these workflows until they are completed.
  • Work in Progress Limits:

    WIP limits restrict the number of tasks in the different stages of the workflow. By helping the teams focus on the current tasks and not overloading them helps to finish the tasks faster and more effectively.
  • Kanban Swimlanes:

    These horizontal lanes help organise similar tasks and visually separate the different work types.
  • Commitment Point:

    The work item in the work process is ready to be pulled into the system at this point.
  • Delivery Point:

    The final stage in the workflow where the work items are considered completed.

Types of Kanban Boards

  • Physical Kanban Boards:

    Physical Kanban board is the basic version of the Kanban board where the teams use paper cards representing the tasks on a whiteboard. As the work progresses, the cards placed in the work stages represented by the columns move from one stage to the next.
  • Digital Kanban Boards:

    Kanban software possesses additional features than physical Kanban boards. By bringing more visibility into work progress, the boards are accessible virtually from anywhere, anytime. These platforms also provide the flexibility of tracking multiple workflows in different categories and organising them accordingly.

Top 5 benefits of using a Kanban board

Kanban benefits
  • Increased transparency:

    The visual representation of the work progress helps the teams better understand the workflow and progress. Team collaboration and team communication get better. Kanban boards also help identify roadblocks slowing down the processes and improving the team's productivity.
  • Enhanced Flexibility:

    Kanban boards focus on the task in progress and add work only according to the capacity allocation. Kanban boards, thus, can be introduced without disrupting the existing workflow and processes that are running successfully. The Kanban board offers easy configuration options, allowing the team to evaluate the strategies and improve workflow. The board evolves as the process evolves.
  • Less Cycle time, increased output:

    In the Kanban system, everyone in the team is responsible for smooth workflow throughout the process. Cycle Time in Kanban refers to the amount of time elapsed between the start and end of the task. Optimising the cycle time can help the team adjust the work accordingly, and the team's productivity is increased.
  • Resource Allocation and Waste Reduction:

    Kanban, a lean tool, is often associated with resource allocation and waste reduction. The visibility into the workflow helps make it easier to identify how the team members are performing and understand the wasteful processes and bottlenecks.
  • Encourages Accountability:

    The Kanban board displays the deliverable state of the task, the task dependencies and the completion date. This increases the accountability of the process by moving the tasks across the board by listing who is working on what and how much has been completed is visible to everyone involved in the project.

How to create a Kanban Board?

  • step 1

    Create a basic Kanban board version.

    Name your Kanban board and create columns with TO DO or READY TO START, IN PROGRESS and DONE.

    TO DO/ READY TO START - This column lists all the committed work orders.

    IN PROGRESS - The work items move to this list from the TO DO list once the team commits to completing the task.

    DONE - All the completed work orders are listed here in the cards.

    The Commitment Point in the board illustrates the point in your work processes where the teams signal whether the work is ready to be started.

  • step 2

    Define and map the workflow.

    Map all additional columns that will further define your workflow, and these columns will mirror the organisation's workflow step by step. Choose the columns through which the work items are likely to move, and this should make sense to the team. Identification of the problems can be made easy with this. Let's look at this with an example: Moving the task's progress from In Progress to Waiting creates an additional step that shows the task needs to take additional steps or needs further action.

  • step 3

    Visualise all the Work.

    Visualising with the help of a card or note represents every work item on the Kanban board. Every assignment that should be done but not yet started can be listed in the Backlog column. This way, kanban boards visualise all the works.

  • step 4

    Work Policies made clear.

    For the proper functioning of every Kanban board, you need to establish the rules for executing the process. Making these policies and guidelines visible to everyone and keeping them in an accessible place will make it easier for the team to understand. This helps establish a common understanding of using the work categories, defining when the new work will be starting, when a task needs to be completed etc.

    Do not rush to overdo this. Make sure only a few work policies are created the first time. By defining and keeping your policies simple, you can make them visible and open for discussion and continuous improvement.

  • step 5

    Adding Work in Progress(WIP) Limits.

    In the Kanban system, there is a continuous flow of work. To ensure a smooth workflow, the capacity to do the work must be considered. By limiting the WIP, a limit is placed on the capacity of a column on the Kanban board. The more work items in the process, the slower the delivery becomes. For instance, you can define that one person should not be working on more than the assigned task at the time. Before finishing this work, he must not accept any more item in the column as it exceeds his WIP limits. Limiting WIP also counts the number of pending or unfinished items on the list before accepting new ones.

  • step 6

    Feedback friendly atmosphere.

    As time changes, the process also evolves or changes accordingly. Being open to the team and the stakeholder's suggestions can help you understand these changes and adjust accordingly.

Kanban in Lean Manufacturing

In lean manufacturing, Kanban is a scheduling system to optimise production and minimise waste. The Kanban system aims to achieve Just-in-Time (JIT) production, producing only what is needed when needed and in the required quantity. This helps minimise waste and reduce inventory levels while improving efficiency and quality.In the Kanban system, each work centre or production cell has a card or other type of signal that indicates when more parts or materials are needed. These signals are sent to the upstream work centres or suppliers, who produce and deliver the necessary parts or materials to the downstream work centres.

The Kanban system helps to ensure that the right parts and materials are available at the right time without overproduction or excess inventory. It also promotes continuous improvement by highlighting bottlenecks and other areas for improvement. Overall, Kanban is a key tool in the lean manufacturing toolbox, helping organisations to streamline their operations and improve their competitiveness.

How to choose the right Kanban board software?

Choosing the right Kanban board software is important for any team looking to adopt the Kanban methodology. Here are some factors to consider when selecting the right Kanban board software:

Kanban board software
  • User interface and ease of use:

    The software should have a user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate and use, with a clean and organised layout.
  • Customisation options:

    Look for software that allows you to customise your Kanban board to meet your team's specific needs, which includes adding custom fields, swimlanes, or columns.
  • Integration with other tools:

    If your team uses other project management tools or software, choosing a Kanban board software that integrates with those tools is essential. This avoids duplicate data entry and streamlines your workflows.
  • Collaboration features:

    Kanban is all about teamwork, so choosing software with collaboration features such as real-time updates and notifications is important.
  • Analytics and reporting:

    To track progress and make data-driven decisions, analytics and reporting features are a must. Look for software that provides useful metrics and reports.
  • Security and data privacy:

    Make sure your chosen software meets your company's security and data privacy standards. This includes data encryption, secure login, and access control.
  • Pricing and licensing:

    Finally, consider the pricing and licensing options of the software. Look for software that fits your budget and offers flexible licensing options.

Considering these factors, you can choose the right Kanban board software for your team and get the most out of your Kanban implementation.

How can the Kanban board affect your ROI?

Kanban board can positively impact your ROI (Return on Investment) in several ways:

  • Increased productivity:

    Kanban board helps teams to visualise their workflow and identify bottlenecks, which leads to an increased productivity with faster delivery of projects and a higher ROI.
  • Improved communication:

    The use of a Kanban board enables team members to improve their communication and collaboration with one another. Improve your Return on Investment with a better understanding of project goals and faster resolution of issues.
  • Reduced waste:

    Identifying the areas of waste and inefficiencies in the workflow can help the teams to eliminate the waste, reduce costs and improve ROI.
  • Better resource utilisation:

    With the Kanban board, teams can identify the most important tasks and prioritise accordingly. This helps to optimise resource utilisation, leading to better ROI.
  • Increased customer satisfaction:

    By visualising and tracking the workflow, the Kanban board can help teams to deliver projects faster and with higher quality. This leads to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty, positively impacting ROI.

What is an Online Kanban Board?

Kanban Board Online is a virtual Kanban board software that visualises the workflow and manages the tasks or projects on the virtual board. A Kanban digital board lets your team visualise, manage and optimise the workflow, collaborate and communicate in real-time. Kanban online boards are easily customisable to map any workflow or task management; the names or the sizes of the columns and the cards can be defined, and the Kanban card system templates can be adjusted according to the requirements.

How does a Kanban board work?

The physical Kanban board works by mapping the individual work items to the sticky notes placed into the columns on a large board. Each column in the board contains the card with relevant details of the work items. The columns in the board represent the workflow or the sequence of the steps that the tasks or the operations must be carried out from the start to the end of the flow. Giving a visual representation, the different card colours indicate the different types of work items or stages of the workflow. The horizontal rows, also called the swimlanes, organise the teams working on the same board, just like the established lane for each swimmer. The Work in Progress (WIP) limits the capacity of some columns to ensure the smooth flow of the task and to avoid the overloading of the team, where the team members can pull the cards and move them through the columns as the work progresses from left to right.

Here's a step-by-step explanation of how an online Kanban board works:

  • step 1

    Select a Kanban Tool

    Choose an online Kanban board tool that suits your team's needs. Popular options include Trello, Asana, LTS T Cards, Jira, Monday.com, and KanbanFlow.

  • step 2

    Create a New Board

    Create a new Kanban board for your project or workflow after signing up for the tool.

  • step 3

    Define Workflow Stages

    Set up columns on your Kanban board to represent the different stages of your workflow. Standard stages include "To Do," "In Progress," and "Done," but you can customise these to fit your process.

  • step 4

    Add Tasks as Cards

    Create cards to represent individual tasks or work items within the columns. Each card should contain essential information, such as a task description, due date, assignee, and any relevant attachments or links.

  • step 5

    Move Cards Across Columns

    Drag and drop cards from one column to the next as work progresses. For example, a task can move from "To Do" to "In Progress" and eventually to "Done."

  • step 6

    Limit Work in Progress (WIP)

    Limit the number of cards allowed in the "In Progress" column to prevent overloading team members and maintain a smooth workflow. Adjust this limit based on your team's capacity.

  • step 7

    Pull System

    Team members should only pull work into the "In Progress" column when they can work on it. This ensures that tasks are started and completed at a sustainable pace.

  • step 8

    Collaborate and Communicate

    Use the comments and notes on cards to facilitate collaboration and communication. You can discuss tasks, ask questions, and provide updates directly on the cards.

  • step 9

    Real-Time Updates

    The online Kanban board provides real-time updates so team members can see changes instantly. This is particularly useful for remote or distributed teams.

  • step 10

    Metrics and Analytics

    Some Kanban tools offer analytics and reporting features. Use these to track cycle times, identify bottlenecks, and make data-driven decisions for process improvement.

  • step 11


    Integrate your Kanban board with other tools and services you use, such as project management software, calendars, and file-sharing platforms. This streamlines your workflow and reduces manual data entry.

  • step 12

    Access Control

    Set access controls to ensure that only authorised team members can view or edit specific boards or cards, maintaining data security.

Workflow management with Kanban

Workflow management with Kanban is a systematic approach to visualising, optimising, and continuously improving processes and tasks. It uses Kanban boards to visually represent work, making it easier to manage and control tasks.

  • Visualising the Workflow:

    • The first step in Kanban workflow management is visually representing your workflow. This is typically done on a Kanban board, either physical or digital.

    • Create columns on the board to represent the various stages of your workflow. These columns can be as simple as "To Do," "In Progress," and "Done," or they can be more specific to match the steps in your process.

  • Work Item Representation:

    • Each task or work item is represented as a card or a sticky note on the Kanban board.

    • Include key information on each card, such as a task description, priority, assignee, due date, and relevant attachments or links.

  • Work in Progress (WIP) Limits:

    • Kanban flow emphasises the importance of setting Work in Progress (WIP) limits for each column. WIP limits determine the maximum number of tasks in progress at any given time in a specific column.

    • WIP limits are essential for preventing overloading team members and ensuring a smooth workflow.

  • Pull System:

    • The "Pull" principle of Kanban means that work items are moved from one column to another based on demand and capacity. Team members pull work into the "In Progress" column only when they can.

    • This helps prevent bottlenecks and ensures that tasks are worked on sustainably.

  • Continuous Improvement:

    • One of the core principles of Kanban is continuous improvement. Regularly review your Kanban board to identify areas for improvement.

    • Use metrics and analytics, if available, to analyse the flow of work and identify bottlenecks or delays in your process.

  • Iterative Changes:

    • Make small, incremental changes to the workflow based on your observations. For example, if you notice a frequent bottleneck in the "Review" column, you can implement changes to address it.

    • Test these changes and monitor their impact on the flow of work.

  • Collaboration and Communication:

    • Use the cards on the Kanban board to facilitate collaboration and communication. Team members can leave comments, ask questions, and update the status of tasks.

    • This keeps everyone informed and engaged in the workflow.

  • Integration and Automation:

    • Many online Kanban tools offer integration with other software and services, enabling automation of routine tasks, synchronisation with calendars, and more.

  • Workflow Standardisation:

    • As you identify best practices and effective processes, work on standardising your workflow over time. This can lead to more predictability and consistency in your work.

  • Training and Onboarding:

    • Ensure team members are familiar with the Kanban workflow tools and its principles. Provide training and onboarding to help them understand how to use the Kanban board effectively.

How do I create a Kanban workflow?

Creating a Kanban workflow involves setting up a visual system for managing and tracking work progress. Kanban methodology can be adapted to various situations, whether you're managing software development, manufacturing, marketing, or any other project. Here are the steps to create a Kanban workflow:

  • Understand the Basics of Kanban: Before you start, ensure you understand Kanban's core principles, which include visualising work, limiting work in progress (WIP), making process policies explicit, and continually improving.
  • Identify Your Process: Clearly define the process you want to manage with Kanban. This could be software development, customer support, marketing campaigns, or any other workflow.
  • Visualise Your Workflow: Create your workflow visual representation with a physical board (whiteboard and sticky notes) or a digital tool. The basic structure includes columns that represent different stages of your process. Common columns have "To Do," "In Progress," and "Done," but you can customise them to fit your process.
  • Create Work Items (Cards or Tickets): A card or ticket should represent each task or work item in your process. These cards should be placed in the appropriate column on your Kanban board based on their current status in the workflow.
  • Set WIP Limits: Determine the maximum number of work items in progress at each workflow stage. This helps prevent overloading and bottlenecks.
  • Manage and Prioritise Work Items: As work progresses, move cards from one column to the next. Ensure that you prioritise work items and pull new items into the "In Progress" column only when there's available capacity, as per your WIP limits.
  • Visualise Blockers and Issues: Use visual cues like red flags or specific symbols to indicate blockers or issues that need attention. This allows for quick problem identification and resolution.
  • Regularly Review and Improve: Hold regular Kanban board review meetings to discuss the work's state and identify improvement areas. Continuous improvement is a fundamental aspect of Kanban.
  • Make Policies Explicit: Document the policies and rules that govern how work moves through the Kanban system. This makes expectations clear for everyone involved.
  • Use Metrics and Analytics: Measure and analyse your workflow using metrics like lead time (the time it takes to complete a work item) and cycle time (the time it takes to move a work item from one stage to another). This data can help you make informed decisions and further optimise your process.
  • Adapt and Evolve: Be open to making changes based on feedback and data analysis. Kanban is all about adaptability and continuous improvement.
  • Train Your Team: Ensure that the team understands the Kanban process and its principles. Provide training and support as needed.
  • Choose the Right Tools: Depending on your preference, you can use physical boards, digital Kanban tools or a combination of both.

Remember that a Kanban workflow should be tailored to your needs and continuously improved based on your team's experiences and feedback. It's a flexible approach that can be adapted to fit various processes and industries.

Personal Kanban

Personal Kanban is a simplified version of the Kanban methodology designed for individual use. It helps individuals manage their tasks and work visually and efficiently. Personal Kanban improves productivity, prioritises work, and reduces stress. Personal Kanban is a simple and effective way to manage your work, increase visibility into your tasks, and reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed by your to-do list. It encourages a continuous improvement mindset and helps you become more productive and focused.

Kanban Tool

A Kanban tool is a software or digital platform designed to facilitate the implementation of Kanban methodology for work and project management. These tools help teams and individuals visualise their workflow, manage tasks, set work-in-progress limits, and track progress. They are especially useful for remote teams and larger organisations where physical Kanban boards may not be practical.

Kanban lead time and kanban cycle time

Kanban Lead Time and Kanban Cycle Time are two essential metrics used in Kanban to measure and analyse the flow and efficiency of work within a system. These metrics provide insights into how long it takes for a work item to move through a process and help identify bottlenecks and areas for improvement.

  • Kanban Lead Time:

    Kanban Lead Time, also known as "Lead Time" or "Delivery Time," is the total time it takes for a work item to move from the moment it's requested or enters the Kanban system until it's completed and delivered to the customer or stakeholder. Lead Time starts when a work item is added to the "To-Do" or the first column on the Kanban board and ends when it is marked as "Done" or reaches the final stage. Lead Time is a customer-centric metric that helps set realistic expectations for delivery times. It measures the end-to-end time from request to delivery, which is valuable for assessing customer satisfaction and predicting delivery times.
  • Kanban Cycle Time:

    Kanban Cycle Time is the time it takes for a work item to move through the active or working stages of a Kanban process. It excludes any time spent waiting or in queues. Cycle Time measures the time a task is being actively worked on. It is typically calculated as the time from when the work item enters the "In Progress" column until it reaches the "Done" column. Cycle Time is a process-centric metric that helps teams identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies in their workflow. It helps make process improvements and optimise the flow of work. Reducing Cycle Time often leads to improved productivity.

Kanban reports

Kanban reports are essential tools for visualising and analysing the performance of your Kanban system. These reports provide valuable insights into how work flows through your process, identify areas for improvement, and help teams make data-driven decisions. Kanban reports can be generated using Kanban software tools, and they play a crucial role in facilitating continuous improvement and data-driven decision-making within a Kanban system. These reports help teams identify areas for improvement, optimise their workflow, and meet customer expectations more effectively.

How to use Kanban Boards?

Kanban boards are versatile tools for visualising, managing, and optimising workflows in various contexts, from software development to personal task management. Here's how to use Kanban boards effectively:

  • Understand Your Workflow:

    Start by clearly defining the stages and steps of your workflow. Understand how work moves from the initial request or idea to completion. This is the foundation of your Kanban board.

  • Create Your Kanban Board:

    Set up your Kanban board, whether physical (e.g., a whiteboard with sticky notes) or digital (using Kanban software). Your board should consist of columns representing the stages of your workflow.

  • Visualise Your Work:

    Write individual tasks or work items on cards or sticky notes. Each task should be specific, measurable, and achievable. Place these cards in the "To-Do" column to start.

  • Set WIP Limits:

    Determine Work-in-Progress (WIP) limits for each column. WIP limits specify the maximum number of tasks that can be in a particular stage at the same time. This helps prevent overloading and bottlenecks.

  • Prioritise Tasks:

    Assign priorities to your tasks through colour-coding, labels or simply by their position within the "To-Do" column. Ensure you work on the most critical tasks first.

  • Daily Stand-Up or Check-In:

    Start each workday by reviewing your Kanban board. Move tasks from the "To-Do" column to the "In Progress" column based on your priorities and available capacity.

  • Work-in-Progress:

    Limit the number of tasks in the "In Progress" column to match your WIP limits. Avoid starting new tasks until there's space in the "In Progress" column.

  • Monitor Progress:

    As you work on tasks, move them across the board to reflect their current status. Visual cues (e.g., colours or symbols) indicate blockers, deadlines, or essential details.

  • Regularly Review and Reflect:

    Periodically review your Kanban board. Ask questions like:

    • Are tasks moving smoothly through the workflow?

    • Are there bottlenecks or delays?

    • Is the team adhering to WIP limits?

    • Are priorities being managed effectively?

  • Adapt and Improve:

    Use your reflections to make adjustments to your Kanban system. If you consistently face specific issues or find your WIP limits too high or low, adapt your process accordingly.

  • Complete and Archive:

    When a task is finished, move it to the "Done" column. After a while, you can archive or remove completed tasks from the board to keep it clean and focused.

  • Collaborate and Communicate:

    Use your Kanban board as a tool for team collaboration and communication. Team members can see the status of work items and help address issues as they arise.

  • Stay Flexible:

    Kanban is all about flexibility. It allows you to adapt to changing priorities and manage your workload effectively.

  • Continuous Improvement:

    Encourage a culture of continuous improvement. Regularly discuss with your team how to optimise the workflow based on data and feedback.

  • Feedback Loop:

    Gather feedback from team members and stakeholders about the efficiency and effectiveness of the Kanban board and use this input to make improvements.

  • Kanban boards can be used in various contexts, from software development to project management and personal productivity. The key is to tailor your Kanban system to your specific needs and continually improve it based on your experiences and feedback

Kanban Visual Systems

Kanban reports are essential tools for visualising and analysing the performance of your Kanban system. These reports provide valuable insights into how work flows through your process, identify areas for improvement, and help teams make data-driven decisions. Kanban reports can be generated using Kanban software tools, and they play a crucial role in facilitating continuous improvement and data-driven decision-making within a Kanban system. These reports help teams identify areas for improvement, optimise their workflow, and meet customer expectations more effectively.

Kanban Board examples

Kanban boards come in various forms and can be adapted to suit your team's or project's specific needs. Here are some common Kanban board examples to give you an idea of how they can be structured:

  • Basic Kanban Board:

    This is a simple Kanban board with the primary three columns. Tasks move from "To-Do" to "In Progress" and finally to "Done" as they are completed.

    • Columns:To-Do, In Progress, Done
    • Cards:Task cards representing individual work items.
  • Personal Kanban Board:

    Personal Kanban boards are often used for managing individual tasks and daily priorities. The simplicity of this board is well-suited for personal use.

    • Columns:To-Do, Doing, Done
    • Cards:Personal tasks and commitments.
  • Software Development Kanban Board:

    A Kanban board for software development typically includes more stages, reflecting the various steps in the development process, including code review and testing.

    • Columns:Backlog, Ready, In Progress, Code Review, Testing, Done
    • Cards:User stories, bugs, features.
  • Marketing Campaign Kanban Board:

    A marketing campaign board reflects the various stages of planning and executing marketing initiatives.

    • Columns:Ideas, Planning, Design, Copywriting, Review, Approval, Publishing, Analysis
    • Cards:Marketing tasks, ad campaigns, content creation
  • Manufacturing Kanban Board:

    A Kanban board can help visualise the production process from raw materials to shipment in manufacturing.

    • Columns:Raw Materials, In Production, Quality Control, Packaging, Ready for Shipment
    • Cards:Product orders, inventory items
  • Service Desk Kanban Board:

    Service desk teams use Kanban boards to manage and track customer support requests and incidents.

    • Columns:New Requests, In Progress, Waiting for Customer, Resolved, Closed
    • Cards:Customer support tickets
  • Content Creation Kanban Board:

    Content teams can use Kanban boards to streamline the creation and publication of content.

    • Columns:Ideas, Research, Writing, Editing, Review, Design, Publishing, Promotion
    • Cards:Blog posts, articles, videos, social media updates
  • Agile Kanban Board (with Epics and Stories):

    This board allows Agile development teams to manage high-level Epics and granular User Stories in a single workflow.

    • Columns:Backlog, Ready, In Progress, Code Review, Testing, Done
    • Cards:Epics (more significant initiatives) and User Stories
  • Event Planning Kanban Board

    Event planners can use Kanban boards to organise and execute event planning tasks.

    • Columns:Idea, Planning, Venue Booking, Marketing, Execution, Evaluation
    • Cards:Tasks related to event planning
  • Research Project Kanban Board

    Researchers can utilise Kanban to manage the complex process of research projects.

    • Columns:Research Proposal, Data Collection, Analysis, Report Writing, Review, Presentation
    • Cards:Research tasks, data analysis, and report writing tasks

Remember that these are just examples, and you can customise your Kanban board to match your specific workflow, industry, or team's needs. The key is to create a visual representation of your work and process that helps you manage, track, and optimise your tasks effectively.