Kanban is a simple but yet a very powerful tool for management workload of a team. Using Kanban board provides visibility and structure to the way a team manages its workload.
|Kanban Template PowerPoint Free Download|
Advantages of using Kanban Boards
- Provide visibility to the current team workload including the backlog.
- Each of the team member know what others in the team is working on and the status of task.
- You can use the express lane to prioritize items which are urgently required.
- Provides a structure and enforces the process using which the team handles tasks.
- As all the columns will have rules associated with them team will ensure they follow them.
- For examples if someone is working on a task which they should not be then the team can call it out.
- As the backlog is clearly visible manager can take actions to handle the work load.
- Increased productivity as team is more focused on tasks.
How to use the Kanban Board
The Kanban board has 5 sections -
- Backlog - will contain list of all the task pending.
- To Do - will contain tasks which are already prioritized.
- WIP - Work In Progress. Tasks which are currently in progress. This also a max number which indicates the max number of tasks which can be in in-progress.
- Done - Section which should have all the tasks which are complete.
- Express Lane - all urgent tickets should be put on this lane so that can move faster.
Every task on the board is represented by a "Task card". The task card contains name of the task, Initials of the person working on it and current status - red, green and amber.
Define max threshold levels for each column. For example Backlog can have a max of 20 tasks, To Do a max of 5 etc.
Rules to make the Kanban Board Effective
Having a Kanban board is great but if you do not have effective processes and rules around the boards it will not be as effective.
- Update the Kanban everyday with a 15 minutes meeting with the team. This is mandatory and has to be done everyday without fail.
- Encourage the team to move their tasks during the meeting.
- Only one person can add tasks to backlog. This will ensure control over backlog.
- Always discuss the task in Express Lane first and give top priority to it.
- Always adhere to max number defined for each of the columns.In our example we have a set a limit of 4 tasks for the WIP column.
- Ensure you have translation rules for each column.Check out below for some sample rules.
- Do not immediately delete the tasks in the done section. Keeping the tasks there makes the team and others see what was accomplished recently.
|Kanban Task Card|
Sample Rules for "Backlog"
- All the items on the backlog should be approved by key stakeholders.
- Before any item is added to the backlog it must have the requirements defined.
- All the tasks should come with an end date or time.
- All the tasks should come with priority.
Sample Rules for "To Do"
- Add items only after assigning them a owner and is prioritized for work.
- Ensure the right status of the task is reflected in other tracking systems like MS Project, Team Backlog or JIRA.
Sample Rules for "WIP"
- Move tasks only when they can be worked on.
- Ensure the card has name of the person working on that task.
- Adhere to the max columns strictly so that team is not over loaded.
- Ensure the team updates the task status on a daily basis.
Sample Rules for "Done"
- Move tasks only when all the aspects of it are complete. Example no defects outstanding, code review complete, task closed in JIRA etc.
- Mark all the tasks as complete - which is green.
Sample Rules for "Express Lane"
- Add tasks here only when they are urgent.
- Ensure there is a valid reason for the emergency.
- The person working on the express lane items should not be assigned any other tasks.