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.
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.
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.
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.
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.