Who hasn’t heard of a to-do list which is getting longer and longer? But there is an alternative: try a Kanban board as a tool for visualizing the tasks and workflow of a team in a holistic way. Our brain processes visualizations 60,000 times faster than texts, and therefore the Kanban Board provides a good overview for the team. It compensates for missing office meetings and agreements. Due to the structured visualization of the project phases, all team members can see the current status at any time. Additionally, resources can be used in an efficient way, as the board allows to quickly identify bottlenecks and unused capacities.
The continuous usage of the Kanban Board also helps to determine the throughput times of tasks as well as the workload of a team. Thus, the scope of work can be planned more efficiently in the future.
HOW IT’S DONE
The Kanban Board is a visual tool, for which either a whiteboard as a haptic instrument in the office or digital whiteboard can be used. The first step towards an effective Kanban Board is the precise definition (!) of the columns.
Normally the columns are defined as follows: „To-Do“, „In progress“ and „Done“, whereby the middle column can be broken down into smaller steps. Then, the tasks of each team member are written down onto (virtual) post-it’s. Define with your team what a task is (e.g. “answering emails” is not a task – it is daily business).
Since KANBAN is an agile method, constant feedback and a continuous review of the system is necessary. These mechanisms are important in order to be able to identify bottlenecks and potential for adaptation of the system. Only in doing so, its full potential can be exploited.
Exemplary tools for virtual Kanbans: Jira, Trello and Clickup.
The Kanban method is an agile method that gains efficiency over time. An open feedback culture is a prerequisite for a good workflow and continuous improvement.
Also keep in mind that the Kanban board is not suitable for very large projects. If there are too many tasks the system becomes complex and the danger of overlooking a task grows.