Kanban Boards: The Right and the Wrong Way to Set up One

DZone 's Guide to

Kanban Boards: The Right and the Wrong Way to Set up One

There's a right and and a wrong way to love your Kanban. Take a look at how this visual methodology should be best utilized.

· Agile Zone ·
Free Resource

To make our brain feel less like it has ten million tabs open, Kanban boards have come to the rescue of different sectors for many years now. Whenever there is a need to visualize the bigger picture of what’s going on in the organization, who’s working on what, and what’s the progress of tasks, organizations choose to define workflow stages in Kanban boards. Kanban as a workflow management tool is undoubtedly of immense help for teams to get more done with less stress.

Is Kanban for Me?

Regardless of which type of industry you’re working in, the core principles of using a Kanban board are the same. The concept is to help you visualize your work and you’ll find ways to speed up the work completion by just paying attention to the workflow.

That being said, like any other tool, Kanban boards are only as good as the people who use them. So, down here, I have pulled the best advice to help you make the most of them and get to know not only the wrong way but also the right way to set up a Kanban board.

Saying "Goodbye" to the Physical Kanban Boards

Creating a physical board is a sure way to get off to a good start. Your team actually has to get up, walk up to the board and keep it up to date. Moving the sticky notes or cards as tasks progress will become a habit and give a sense of achievement to the team, too.

However, workflows can get complex. From adding subtasks to assigning each task or subtasks to different individuals, uploading files in support of the tasks, having discussions over tasks, and even setting time estimates or deadlines, everything turns into a mess.

Not to mention that sticky notes or boards tend to get messy to maintain. Sticky notes can easily be damaged and lost in the clutter. When there is limited space, a substantial number of cards or people moving those cards can lead to chaos. And what if you want to experiment with different layouts?

Saying Hello" to the Digital Kanban boards

Without a doubt, digital Kanban boards are accessible from anywhere with just an internet connection. There is project management software that has in-built Kanban boards that allow you decide your workflow stages for different projects, assign tasks to teams, set time estimates, set deadlines, add subtasks, and much more.

Using digital Kanban boards makes it easier for everyone to see the changes in real time from any place in the world. Having all the information just a click away removes the need for frequent, wasteful meetings or even status reporting every now and then.

Why Should You Not Overcomplicate Your Board?

Too much information can be as unnerving as too little. One of the primary reasons one uses Kanban boards is to make the team’s life easier. So, you should add just the needed information and not so much that people have a hard time to keep up with the board and its updates.

Avoid adding information or tasks that you haven’t discussed with the team yet. There are chances it gets overwhelming for people who are not even familiar with the concept yet.

You can also either stick to the three basic columns or always go over new ideas with your team members before taking them on the board and making them official.

Why Your Board Shouldn’t Be That Simple Either?

While overcomplicating your board will be overwhelming, it doesn’t need to be too simple, either. Keeping the team interested in the board is all you want to get them used and drawn to it on a daily basis. As long as you keep it well-organized, update it often, and do not keep it too simple, your team will not lose interest. There will always something new for the team members to keep them engaged.

Not to mention that Kanban boards will also help to bring your team together in a way no other technique might have worked before.

Over To You!

Many organizations are up to having a predictable workflow and maybe up to 3 times faster delivery market. Kanban solves most of these problems as it allows a team to focus on the workflow and move towards continuous improvement. How has Kanban helped you improve your teams’ productivity? Share your views in the comments below.

agile, best practices, digital kanban, kanban, kanban board, organization, project management

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

{{ parent.title || parent.header.title}}

{{ parent.tldr }}

{{ parent.urlSource.name }}