Visualise, focus and deliver work with a Kanban Board

Tan Thye Chuan
3 min readSep 15, 2021


With a Kanban Board, slice the Backlog items and visualise work by using cards to progress them into different columns such as To-do, Doing and Done.

What is Kanban

Kanban is a scheduling system for Lean Manufacturing introduced by Taiichi Ohno, an industrial engineer at Toyota, to improve manufacturing efficiency. The name Kanban came from the Japanese word “看板” that translates to signboard, its name originating from the cards that track production within a factory.

The Kanban Board and its benefits

The Kanban Board is now widely used by the Agile communities in the software development space, thanks to work by David Anderson defining the kanban method and work by Jim Benson and Tonianne DeMaria defining Personal Kanban.

The Kanban Board improves productivity because it:

  • Increases visibility of work progress, status and load
  • Limits work in progress to avoid overcapacity
  • Helps to identify the blockers and bottlenecks

Components of the Kanban Board

Kanban Boards use cards, columns, swimlanes and WIP limits to help people visualise and commit to the right amount of work, and get it done.


Cards are the visual representation of tasks to work on. They may contain additional information such as deadlines, descriptions, categories and assignees.


Each cards on a Kanban Board go through the columns until they reach the final column. At the most basic level, they are typically labelled as To-do, Doing and Done. Individuals or teams can create as many columns to allow better precision when tracking tasks.

Work-in-Progress Limits

Limiting WIP and not allowing people to start news ones allows people to focus on tasks, finish current work faster, avoid overcapacity and identify blockers and bottlenecks.

Swim Lanes

Visualized horizontally on the Kanban Board, they can be used to separate different categories, teams and more. This is usually used by more advanced Kanban Board individuals or teams.

Try out some Tools and Frameworks I’ve worked on


GdApp is a mobile app for you to input and track your progress and habits, with the objective to gain the analytical insights and visible awareness to change and improve yourself.

Visit GdApp’s website here.

Lite Toolkit

Lite Toolkit is for you to use self-improvement and productivity tools like the Wheel of Life, Kanban Board and Retrospective Board without signing up, giving away emails or logging in.

Explore Lite Toolkit’s tools here.

Lite Agile

Lite Agile is a framework I have created for the purpose of being light and simple for individuals to adopt the Agile mindset and adapt to change.

You can read the Lite Agile Guide I have written here.

Your response and feedback is appreciated

I hope you find this article useful and should you have any questions or require any support from me, please feel to reach out to me on LinkedIn or Facebook!



Tan Thye Chuan

A Data and User-driven Product & UX Manager with a passion to fuse Self-Awareness with the Agile Mindset —