Constantly writing to do lists? Then you’re already halfway towards using a Kanban board, my software-developing friends!
A Kanban board is an effective visual tool to keep track of a project and can be adapted to use in a variety of situations. Below are some examples of how we use these boards at Bluefruit for software development (we have also adopted them in some non-technical areas of the business too – including the vacuuming rota!)
The Kanban board’s origin stems from lean manufacturing, and is a tracking method frequently used in Agile software development. Many people already use the above board without actually realising it’s a Kanban!
In its most basic form there are three sections: ‘to do’, ‘doing’ (or ‘in progress’) and ‘done’, which marks task completion. In a specialist software development Kanban board we occasionally add a ‘review’ section where another team member can examine the piece of work as a quality check before it is eventually marked as ‘done’.
The Kanban shown above is used to display sales and lead information, and whilst there isn’t a ‘to do’ section, the principle is still the same: the cards move from left to right depending on how near to completion they are, creating a simple, at-a-glance view of the company’s workload and pipeline.
There are several different virtual tools you can use to create Kanban boards (see Trello being used above). The benefit of these online versions is that you can access them from anywhere in the world – imagine that, a global to-do list!
At Bluefruit we use Trello for simple assignments and LeanKit for more complex projects. These programmes feature great tools such as deadline notifications, attachments, comment streams and calendar views.
As you can see from the featured gallery, these boards can be customised to suit any type of project and are brilliant for when you need to track several elements at once, especially during busy periods.
Overall, they are a superb way to monitor project development, and can be used across all industries – so project managers and team leaders can rejoice, that never ending jobs list just got a whole lot more manageable!