Introduction

If you wish to visually manage your workflows and tasks, then the kanban board is what you want. It makes use of a digital or an analog board that comes with cards and columns. The Kanban cards represent the task, and the columns help organize the tasks as per their progress or how and where they are in the current development stage.

Kanban was originally used as a scheduling system to execute a just in time manufacturing. It was designed to improve efficiency, and this was done by limiting its resource and supplies. Today Kanban board finds use in almost all industries and especially in the software industries.

The Kanban board is liked because of its ease of use and visual interface that instantly lets one see what each one is working on. It also helps one see the progress of the task and whether or not a particular task is holding up to the project’s expectations.

There are many benefits of Kanban. It lets work to move on without any interruption.

  1. What is a Kanban board?
  2. What is Kanban software?
  3. Desktop vs online Kanban software
  4. Kanban board rules
  5. Kanban board examples
  6. Benefits of Kanban software
  7. How to use Kanban boards?
  8. Who uses Kanban boards?

1) What is a Kanban board?

The Kanban board belongs to the large Kanban system. It is used to visualize the workflow and to keep only what needs to be done in progress. In turn, it helps to maximize efficiency. The board is divided into three parts which are to do, in progress, and done.

In a single view, the Kanban board lets one see the entire project in varied configurations depending on the project preference. Its simplicity and the way it lets you see the project practically make the board stand out. Every column is a stage that the team and the managers can figure out in one glance. The team can see the task that they have been assigned and the managers can see the work’s progress, all at a single glance. Does this explain what is a Kanban board?

2) What is Kanban software?

To run the Kanban system, one needs a Kanban board. However, it does not need any digital platform. All that one needs is a wall and some post-its in the columns, making the Kanban board very simple in stricture. There is also Kanban software that helps the team and the project manager visualize the workflow and collaborate.

The Kanban software takes the cards and the Kanban boards to give it a visual approach and then digitize it. This lets the entire team visualize the entire workflow. It helps to make the project well organized and improves the workflow. The software thus helps to fulfil the core practice to always keep on improving. It also allows automating and cutting on waste so that the team can focus on their activities.

The Kanban software allows the continuous improvement of the process of production. It comes with many features like limiting the work in progress, tracking, forecasting and reposting functionality, and much more.

There is also some web-based software that makes the process efficient as it is now accessible from everywhere. This works for the distributed or remote team members and lets them stay in communication and foster collaboration among them. The online software allows for instant updates and to make changes to go live without delay. This, in turn, adds to the project’s efficiency and the team and the managers can see the real-time workflow progress.

3) Desktop vs online Kanban software

The Kanban software comes in desktop or web-based and online software. The choice among them depends on the needs of your organization.

The desktop software is popular if you have an established and large organization that may have some hindrance to adopting change. The web-based software is preferred by the smaller organizations and with start-ups and recently started large companies.

Here are the benefits when you use the desktop Kanban software:

  • It offers greater security. The online software is secure, but the number of entries is far lesser when you use desktop software.
  • It is more likely to customize the desktop software as compared to an online one.
  • The desktop lets you work even when you are offline and when there is internet disruption.

Here are the benefits of web-based Kanban software

  • The online software does not need any installation and also does not require any lengthy training.
  • The desktop applications are expensive, and you may need a license for every team member. The online apps come with a pay as you go feature and offers you varied payment plans.
  • You all get real-time data when you use web-based software. The updates get reflected instantly, and thus you are aware of where the project is at any point in time. You get access to better data which helps in better decision making.

Some part of the decision of whether you use the desktop or the web-based software is a personal preference. However, if you have a team that is distributed across the globe, then the online software is what should be preferred as it allows better collaboration and communication.

4) Kanban board rules

Toyota first used the Kanban board in Japan, where the workers used it to share their materials’ inventory level. This was done through cards that helped the team to communicate with each other across the entire process.

  • Kanban today is used to speed up and visualize the project’s workflow and improve the team’s collaboration. It lets the team find out about any obstacles. But the scope of Kanban does not end here. It helps to manage the support system and keep track of the expenses and resources.
  • Some tools use the Kanban board that lets you contact the team on each task and manage if there are any slips in communication. It allows constant monitoring of the task status and the team members.
  • The progress board helps to improve the team’s productivity, and this does by managing the task numbers and the time that every employee needs to do the job.
  • Cycle time is the metric used to calculate the wait time needed to finish a particular task from the time the team member starts to work on it until the time when it gets finished.
  • Kanban allows listing the task allowed at each stage, and this does not overload the employees, and neither leaves them with no task in hand.

5) Kanban board examples

Here is the Kanban board example.

Task boards manage and monitor the projects from the start till the closure of the project. It includes tasks that are relevant to the development process of the project. Along with reviews and meetings, it also adds many specific duties. It allows limiting the tasks that every team member is responsible for carrying out at each stage of the project.

The Kanban workspace is used to share file systems. It allows storing pictures and documents and sharing them with the team. 

6) Benefits of Kanban software

Here are some of the advantages of using Kanban software.

  • Kanban software gives transparency to the manager. They can see the stage the task is at and then reallocate the resource accordingly.
  • The team gets to manage their tasks and plan the sprints, which lets them execute those tasks first that are high in priority.
  • Kanban keeps the tasks well placed, makes the workflow organized, shares the board for collaboration, and tracks the task production in real-time.

7) How to use Kanban boards?

Here are the steps on how to use the Kanban board.

  • To use the Kanban board, you need first to add the columns. The traditional one will have it as to do, doing, and done. But you can customize it as per your project needs.
  • Now add the individual tasks through add cards. These are descriptive and easily understandable.
  • Add a description and assign the task.
  • The next stage is to collaborate on the tasks. This let us all be on the same page, which allows collaboration in real-time.
  • Expand the tasks and ad more detail to them. You are free to expand the card, which gives you more control over the task.

Two projects cannot be the same, and now will be the teams that execute the project. The Kanban board should be such that it offers flexibility, and this is possible through the customised columns. You can add as many columns as you need on the Kanban board and name it whatever you wish to.

8) Who uses Kanban boards?     

Anyone who wants to visualize their workflow can make use of the Kanban board. Those who are better off with a visual understanding will like the Kanban board because it is clear and concise to manage the workflow visually.

The tool is used by many tech companies, but the Kanban board can be used by any company. It can be used by a healthcare company, the manufacturing industry, or even by publishers who can get their schedule of production streamlined with Kanban.

Conclusion

The Kanban board is so versatile that it can also be used for your usage. It can be used to organize your home. It could be used as a tool to order groceries and do your housework. It can be used for any extracurricular engagements and also to ensure that kids are on the right schedule.

Kanban board is nothing but your task list which lets you stay focused on the work on your hand and does not let you lose track of the big picture. Your company may not be using Kanban, but you can use it individually too to improve your efficiency and to make you excel.

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