Use Kanban Boards To Finally Get Your Projects Done

How you can increase productivity and monitor your progress at the same time

Photo by Eden Constantino on Unsplash

The history

The traditional Kan (sign) Ban (board) system was originally invented by Taiichi Ohno. It was meant to be used as an easy-to-use and lightweight planning system for optimizing the processes at the Toyota Motor Corporation.

The Kanban Board

Impressed by the success Kanban brought for Toyota, many people around the world tried to adapt the concept to improve project processes in their respective working fields.

Swimlanes

Minimal concept of swim lanes

Tickets

  1. Criteria (often called “Acceptance Criteria”) that must be met for the ticket to be considered as done
Kanban board ticket example

The flow

Whether you work in a team or just alone, whoever takes a look at the board sees that the dog still needs to be walked thanks to the description. He can also directly see that the work is not finished until the dog could do its business.

Designing your own Kanban board

Designing a Kanban board is a very individual process. In the following, I will show you some examples but overall the board size can always vary from project to project. In most cases, it highly depends on the respective process you want to map.

  1. The product is currently manufactured
  2. The process is ready to be sold to the customer
Labeled swimlanes mapping the high-level manufacturing process at Toyota
Simple Kanban board in software development
Generalized Kanban board

Working in a team

The Kanban board theoretically can be used by a huge amount of people at the same time. If everyone follows the rules for the Kanban board (which can vary from team to team and project to project) everyone can benefit from the information the board provides you. This can be especially useful for large project teams where you quickly can get lost with a proper project management structure.

Scaling

As already mentioned in the swimlane section, this basic principle can theoretically be extended to an almost infinite amount of swimlanes. For example, think about what additional process steps could take place in software development.

How to get your projects done using Kanban

Like you could already see by the previous examples, the Kanban board is not exclusively useable for software or manufacturing projects. It can be used for almost any sort of project or process and is an ideal tool to monitor your progress and motivate you at the same time.

Try it out yourself

If the concept of the Kanban board sounds interesting to you and you now want to give it a try, just pull out pen and paper and draw your own! Just kidding.

Conclusion

Kanban is a powerful project management tool that provides a variety of possibilities to support you in getting your projects done. Besides that, it is really interesting to use it as a monitoring tool on what is still to do and also what has already been done.

Passionated Mobile & Backend Developer, besides tech I write about fitness, health, and self-development

Get the Medium app