Managing projects is not an easy task. There is a vivid example from NASA history book: Of all the difficulties facing NASA in its bid to send humans to the Moon in the Apollo program, management was the greatest challenge.
Project management is about organizing and controlling everything it takes to achieve a goal – on time and within the budget, of course. Whether it’s developing new software, running a marketing campaign, or Moon landings, project management is the key to success.
Over the life of project management, many practical approaches, methods, and standards have been created. Kanban board is one of them.
What’s the essence of Kanban software?
Kanban is a method of improving development processes and a part of the Agile philosophy. It starts with visualization so that all the processes are visible to the team. To do that, a special board and a set of cards or stickers are used.
- Kanban boards
The entire workflow is visualized on a board so that each team member can always see which tasks can wait and which ones need to be worked on immediately. The board can be physical, that is, a real board that will hang on your wall or virtual, with access to tasks 24/7. A Kanban board adapts to any process and applies to any field. For example, even to make the simplest to-do list.
- Kanban cards
Kanban cards are the tasks that are moved down or into other columns, depending on their status. The task’s name is written on a card or sticker and attached to the top of the board.
With the help of a Kanban tool, it is easy to manage several projects simultaneously using cards of different colors: one color – one project. All processes are reflected on the board. The team analyzes them and eliminates weak points. In Kanban, this is called flow control.
- Kanban team
A team in Kanban is a single mechanism. If someone fails, then the common cause is affected. The work is planned on the board so that everyone can see their contribution and value to the project.
Advantages of Kanban board
- You can manage the workload
The manager can quickly assess each specialist’s workload and determine who will finish their tasks and who will be given a new task.
- You concentrate on a task
Multitasking is good, but Kanban implies the limitation of the tasks performed simultaneously.
It means that one team member can simultaneously work on no more than 2 – 4 tasks. Thanks to this, they focus better and can do their best to complete the task.
- It’s always clear what task to do first
The columns’ tasks are prioritized, which means that neither the manager nor the developer will get confused. Besides, management sees when someone is in trouble and work is blocked if the stickers aren’t moved through the columns on the board.
- It develops the team spirit
The board visualizes the tasks and engagement of each team member. Your team members will be able to understand what is happening throughout the project.
- You get satisfaction after the task is Done
As soon as you have finished the task, you go to the board (digital or physical), move a sticker to the next or Done column. This ritual brings positive emotions and a sense of completeness.
As for disadvantages, it can be said that Kanban boards are suitable for close-knit teams basically.
Kanban is a set of Agile-style solutions. It improves your teamwork, adds flexibility to the working processes, drives the productivity of each team member and encourages analytical thinking. If you haven’t worked with it yet, maybe, you should give it a try.