Project Management is a dynamic process with multiple facets needing re-categorizing on a regular (and often irregular) basis.
A task’s importance or stage in the workflow can easily be escalated/de-escalated a number of times within hours. This can lead teams to focus on individual tasks and lose focus on other work items within the project. A wonderful way of simplifying these ever-changing workflows is presenting your project lifecycle on a Kanban board.
Kanban translates to “visual signal” and originated on the Toyota factory floor in the 1940s.
The Kanban framework focuses on ‘cards’ presented on ‘Boards’. Boards are made of a series of columns in which cards are moved depending on their status within the project. Kanban is popular amongst Agile development teams as it allows:
- Focus on continuous delivery
- Reduction of wasted work / wasted time
- Increased productivity
- Increased efficiency
- Team members’ ability to focus.
5 Reasons to use Kanban in Project Management
1. Streamline task allocation
Kanban offers the ideal system to visually organize your project by work packages, key deliverables, or to some lifecycle (e.g. a software development lifecycle or a new product lifecycle). Cards are created for tasks or deliverables and assigned to a team member according to expertise or availability. Kanban helps you visualize your Work Breakdown Structure clearly and logically.
2. Add visibility to your project.
A huge advantage of the Kanban method is its transparency for all team members. Team members are empowered by visualizing their own tasks in the context of the overall effort.
By displaying all cards at once, teams are can easily communicate in real-time and are encouraged to self-organize based on the availability of resources.
3. Engage team members of all abilities
Virtual Kanban Boards use drag-and-drop functionality which offers ease of use to project team members of all technical abilities. Drag-and-drop negates the anxiety of making a serious mistake with your actions.
The result or final location of your movement is instantly visible without clicking through to other web pages, subfolders, or drop-down menus. Reversing your decision is simple.
4. Optimize project flow
Studies have shown that multitasking is an inefficient process and that it can take a worker up to 14 hours to complete two 5 hour tasks simultaneously. The Kanban framework limits the number of tasks within each stage of the project lifecycle to prevent bottle-necking.
With this improved productivity, the cycle time, an important metric within Kanban, is optimized and teams can confidently predict timelines and delivery dates for projects.
5. Ditch the sticky-notes!
Who hasn’t sat in a boardroom with their team and a stack of sticky notes, brainstorming the elements required to make their project a reality?
How often are your notes categorized into a series of columns and moved around several times? With virtual, cloud-based Kanban boards, you can save your sticky-notes for your lunch box and, enable real-time collaboration with team members working remotely all over the world.
SharePoint Kanban Boards on BrightWork
The SharePoint Kanban Board web part is included in several project management templates from BrightWork, including Project Lite and Standard.
Any process with a flow (steps or stages), such as tasks, risks, issues, and change requests, can be managed using Kanban Boards.
- Search: The search functionality allows you to search for, and display all cards that contain the search term.
- Swimlanes: Swimlanes allow you to group your cards horizontally by a specific team member or department.
- Column Card Count: Get an instant count of all cards within a column or group of columns.
- Grouping Columns: Group two or more columns together under a common heading to add structure to your process.
- WIP Limit: WIP (Work In Progress) Limits can be set for columns or columns that are grouped together. A column with more cards than the set WIP Limit will be highlighted.
- Hide Columns and Swimlanes: Choose which Columns, groups of columns, or Swimlanes you want to collapse to view the exact information you need.
Agile Project Management Resources