How to Better Manage Your Projects with Kanban Boards
Developed by Toyota in the 1940s as a scheduling system to execute just-in-time manufacturing, Kanban boards have now become a tool indispensable in almost ever
Whether to plan your next vacation or build your next app, Kanban boards can help keep your projects moving forward and accomplish your goals effectively. Here’s a complete guide on how to use Kanban boards to better manage your projects.
What is Kanban?
Kanban is a common agile project management methodology that is developed to make processes more efficient. It is a process control method that was originally used by companies in the production industry to better manage their stock and enable production that was just-in-time.
A visual board is used to organize the entire Kanban process and encapsulate the project or workflow. While the board is divided to represent the different stages or the steps of the process, cards are used to write down the tasks. These cards will move through the process stages on the board as each project is completed.
The work stages of the Kanban board will progress from left-to-right starting with the backlog and ending with completed tasks. While new tasks will be added to the bottom of the backlog column, the ones at the top should be worked on and moved first.
The Kanban board helps project managers manage inefficiencies of a project by helping them make sure that there’s a limit to the number of tasks labeled under the in-progress column. Applying these limits in turn helps ensure that the team is working at their maximum efficiency and are not multitasking in a way that may cripple their productivity.
Kanban boards help project teams
- Identify the different processes that must be completed to accomplish the final goalSee the bottlenecks in the processes and find ways to resolve them early on
- See the bottlenecks in the processes and find ways to resolve them early onMaintain transparency and align teams with organizational goals
- Maintain transparency and align teams with organizational goalsTrack how work is progressing between different departments
- Track how work is progressing between different departments
- Streamline team meetings and communications with Kanban boards clearly displaying task statuses, due dates, and owners
Features of Kanban
The main features that help distinguish Kanban from other project management methodologies are as follows;
- There are no predefined roles in a team; rather team members are encouraged to help whenever another team member is falling behind their tasks.The product is delivered on an as-needed-basis and there is no set period of time as to when a feature should be completed. While there are due dates present, they are determined by actual needs rather than set deadlines.
- The product is delivered on an as-needed-basis and there is no set period of time as to when a feature should be completed. While there are due dates present, they are determined by actual needs rather than set deadlines.
- Team members would only start working on a new feature when they have completed and delivered the one prior.Since most changes are made mid-stream in Kanban, it allows for continuous improvement before the project is closed.
- Since most changes are made mid-stream in Kanban, it allows for continuous improvement before the project is closed.
One reason Kanban has become popular among teams around the world is that it is very visual. While most agile project management approaches have visual boards included in their practice, Kanban puts visual techniques at the very core of everything in your organization. Kanban boards create a colorful and visual representation of the progress you and your team have made in the project.