Kanban Board

Image: Jeff Iasovski at Wikipedia – Creative Commons

A Kanban board is an organization tool very useful, powerful and effective, than can be used individually, but specially with teams.

A Kanban board is subdivided, horizontally, in multiple columns or lists, representing a state, a process or a phase, and their timeline is represented from left to right. On each list are deposited some cards, that represent the tasks that are currently in that state.

Kanban boards are very visual and interactive. Implied people identify immediately the state of the tasks, they participate in estimations and debates, they know the tasks of the other people and the relationships of that tasks with the own tasks; they understand the globality of the tasks inventory and the dimension every tasks with precission.

The cards can contain additional and/or abbreviated information about the task:

  • Task name and short description.
  • Priority / Urgency / Importance.
  • Start date.
  • Estimated due date.
  • Advance: percent done or completed.
  • Assignments: people or teams.
  • Relevant comments.

 

Some types of boards

Classic Kanban

The classic Kanban contains three lists: “To Do”, “In progress” and “Done”.

Classic Kanban

Organizational Kanban

This board organizes the tasks in a short time, using the following lists:: “Inbox”, “Next”, “Tomorrow”, “Today” and “Done”.

Organizational Kanban

Kanban for software development

This board is very convenient for software development teams: “Pending”, “Analysis”, “Development”, “Testing”, “Preproduction” y “Production” and “Done”.

Kanban SW

 

Improvements

Horizontal splitting

Splitting horizontally a kanban board add new dimensions to a same state. For example, you can split the Kanban in three rows: “Urgent”, “Important” y “Normal”.
Kanban board with horizontal subdivisions

Vertical subdivisions

Subdividing vertically a Kanban list allows you to define substates. The most commonly action is to define two states: “Queue” and “In progress”. This help you to distribute the tasks queues without saturate the inbox.
Kanban board with vertical subdivisions

 

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