- When: March 26th 2014 at 1pm ET
- Click here to register
- PK Basics: Why Limit Your WIP – Post 1
- Why Not a WIP of One: Why Limit WIP Series – Post 2
- Slack: Why Limit WIP Series – Post 3
- Complexity Calming: Why Limit WIP Series, Post 4
- Map your process to reflect your reality as closely as possible
- Design your board to capture the right metrics for improvement
- Address common gotchas such as wait time and hidden work
- Block/Unblock reasons
- Work-in-process (WIP) limit override fields
- Quickly toggle from one view to the next without reloading board information.
- Schedule colors on the calendar match card type.
- Add new cards while in the both workflow and calendar view.
- Use card filtering in the calendar view.
- Cards with start and end dates will be visually represented on your schedule; cards without dates will appear in the ‘Unscheduled’ column.
- And you can subscribe to cards with due dates to appear in personal calendars like on your mobile phone.
The link between business agility and business success is clear. In the face of fierce competitive environments and ever-emerging customer requirements, businesses must ensure they can adapt to change rapidly and efficiently in order to stay relevant.
Yet as business leaders constantly adapt their strategic roadmaps to address changing priorities, keeping the entire organization in tight alignment can be a challenge.
This all too common situation was no different at Emma. As the organization experienced rapid growth it became harder to clearly communicate when priorities changed or deadlines shifted. Frustrations mounted due to the lack of visibility into what was going on, causing people to feel like they were ‘100 different people working on 100 different things.’
In this success story, Kat Amano, Operations Analyst at Emma, explains how a transformative new approach has aligned the entire organization around common business goals. She describes how Emma implemented LeanKit to support the new process, keeping everyone informed about what’s going on, why things are changing and the impact.
Read this case study to learn how LeanKit has become the ‘go-to place to know what’s going on’ at Emma, ensuring that execution stays in synch with strategy.
If you’re a fan of Jim Benson and Tonianne DeMaria Barry’s Personal Kanban writings, you’ll know that they have two basic rules:
1) Visualize your work
2) Limit your Work-in-Progress
Being relatively new to Kanban, the first rule instantly made a lot of sense to me – particularly in the context of using LeanKit. Being able to see the steps our team follows to get work done on a board and then visually track our progress has performed wonders for transparency, focus and collaboration.
As for limiting WIP, the light bulb moment was a lot later in coming. In terms of the Kanban maturity model, our team is probably somewhere between a 2 and a 3.
We’ve mapped out our workflow on a Kanban board – and continuously revise it to improve our process. We also have explicit policies around how we get that work done.
When it comes to setting WIP limits, we made a half-hearted attempt to limit ourselves to 3 cards each, but agreed we’d come back to that later as it’s really for more advanced Kanban teams. Right?
The importance – and urgency – of setting WIP limits all changed for me after a recent conversation with Jim and Tonianne. Jim pointed out, “If you’re not limiting your WIP then there is no flow. Your Kanban Board is no more than a to-do list.” That was the ‘aha’ moment I’ve been needing. If we don’t limit our work how can we see where the bottlenecks are? And if we don’t identify the bottlenecks in our process how can we fix them?
If we’re really committed to improving our workflow then it’s time to step up. Setting WIP limits shouldn’t be an after-thought that sounds good in theory; on the contrary it’s a necessity to avoid the penalties of wasted, time, effort and resources.
Need more convincing? Read Jim and Tonianne’s ‘Why Limit WIP’ blog series. At some level we’re all guilty of taking on more work than we can handle, starting new tasks before we finish existing ones… and then forgetting to complete some of them or compromising the quality of our work as we get overwhelmed by it all.
Jim and Tonianne’s parting words were that setting WIP limits is difficult – and in the beginning it can feel counter-intuitive. But as soon as you discover that prioritizing some tasks over others ultimately results in ALL of the tasks being completed sooner than if you’d started them all at the same time, you’ll wonder why it took you so long to try it!
Learn more about why and how to limit your WIP in our upcoming webinar hosted by Jim and Tonianne:
Here are the links to the complete ‘Why Limit WIP Series’ published by Jim and Tonianne:
Check out how Katie, our project manager, used LeanKit to replace our marketing automation platform.
Need some practical advice on how to map your process? If so, watch this webinar recording.
Chris Hefley, CEO of LeanKit, discusses how to design your Kanban board so that you can visualize your workflow, measure your effectiveness, and identify opportunities for improvement.
You’ll learn how to:
Creating your first Kanban board isn’t always easy – and you don’t have to get it 100% right. With the help of some good advice you can build the right foundation to improve incrementally over time.
If you’d like a copy of the presentation, please click on the link below:
In: News18 Feb 2014
LeanKit’s new headquarters, a former antique mall in downtown Franklin, Tenn., comes with a creepy attic, a mysteriously nailed shut crawlspace and some pretty righteous Civil War tales. Oh, yeah. And maybe a ghost or two.
As awesome as all that is, we’re most excited about being under one roof again. Since mid April last year, our quick growth had split us between two locations.
But long before we packed and moved our cardboard boxes on Jan. 10, we created a LeanKit board to organize cross-team tasks and track their progress.
CEO Chris Hefley wanted our new headquarters to continue to encourage collaboration. From the inception of LeanKit, he and our co-founders have promoted an “anti-cubicle” culture. You can see their vision in every aspect of the new space.
The largest room — its high ceilings and pegboard walls lending a warehouse feel — holds the Development, Customer Support and Marketing teams. While touring this space before the move, teams were encouraged to self-organize and set up their desks wherever they were comfortable working. Many of the desks are height adjustable (to allow for sitting or standing work) and on wheels (to encourage mobility). Most of the electrical outlets drop from the ceiling, making the entire space useable and one that encourages people to move about and collaborate.
Complete with fireplaces and details that date back to 1810, the original (read: coldest) part of the space houses our Administrative and Finance teams. Just down the hall, the Sales team demos our product and takes calls in their custom-designed, soundproofed offices.
Since working remotely is a common practice for many LeanKitters, so are video chats. Large monitors throughout our space make it easy to communicate with team members, regardless of their home base.
Each partition in the large room is a 8-foot tall, double-sided, movable whiteboard. Designed by Chris Hefley and custom-made by our contractor, the walls take only a few moments to reconfigure and are highly functional. They’re the perfect workspace for impromptu meetings and exceptional cover for spontaneous Nerf wars. (Pro tip: Barrel rolls on concrete floors have moderate to serious consequences.)
In many traditional companies, executives are often tucked away in corner suites. LeanKit’s leadership team takes a more progressive stance, by sharing an open office space. Interaction is expected and encouraged. It’s common to huddle around an executive’s computer and talk shop.
Quiet Areas and Meeting Rooms
With all of the open space in the new office, we needed quiet(er) spaces and rooms for meetings. The Library is our quietest room and a fitting place for solo work. Social contracts are respected in this shared space, and someone with headphones on and heads down shouldn’t be interrupted.
Another common area is the Cafe, which adjoins the kitchen and is more flexible in terms of noise. Many LeanKitters choose to eat their lunch in this space. As a nod to our Nashville roots, we named our four conference rooms after Music City legends Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson. It’s rare to find any of these spaces unoccupied during the day.
Armed (literally and figuratively) with the tools we need to continue our collaborative culture, LeanKit is excited to begin 2014 in our new home. Next time you’re in Franklin, stop by and see us. We’ll save you a Nerf gun and tell the ghosts to behave.
We’ve been busy delivering some important enhancements over the past few months to improve your LeanKit experience. We’ve announced some of these separately, but wanted to give you a roundup of all the latest and greatest LeanKit features, along with a quick glimpse at the upcoming calendar view.
Save time with automated updates
Don’t mess around with duplicate entry. Our new integration service guides you through the process of setting up a two-way sync between LeanKit and JIRA, GitHub and/or MS Team Foundation Server. With our open source setup, the integration service is a springboard for coordinating communication between LeanKit and your other systems. Read our recent blog post to learn more.
Automate task updates between LeanKit and other online applications with Zapier’s pre-built integrations. Quickly create and update cards in LeanKit using your favorite productivity, tracking and calendar web apps — more than 250 of them — including SharePoint, Zendesk, Basecamp, Salesforce, Gmail and Google calendar. Learn more at Zapier.com.
Find, Filter, Collaborate
Global Card Search
Instantly find and navigate to your cards no matter where they are (backlog, task boards and archive)! Global Search also gives you a comprehensive list of your work – especially helpful when you’re managing activity across multiple boards, projects and/or teams. See the status of all your work and pull up any of your cards from the search results for quick edits.
Filter Board Data
Filtering helps you focus on the important stuff. New filters now let you hone in on cards that are blocked, high-priority or stale (stuck and not making any progress) to get the work flowing! Learn more about filtering here.
iOS File Attachments
No need to wait until you get back to your computer: Share documents with your teammates and read attachments while you’re on the go. Our latest iOS redesign allows you to add and view card attachments whenever, wherever.
Keep team members in the loop via @mentions. Use these to send targeted e-mail notifications in the following card fields:
Enhance collaboration and don’t miss a beat by subscribing to important board(s), lane(s) or card(s). Automatically generated emails keep you informed of any updates, helping you stay on top of your work even when you’re not logged into LeanKit.
If you want an easy way to keep up on card activity without signing up for email notifications, check the activity stream.
It’s a log that summarizes all board activity and can be filtered by user and date range. When you find what you’re looking for, quickly drill right into the card history for more detail.
Scale your Processes
Cut down admin time by creating default settings that automatically give system access to your users at a pre-defined level of security. Our large customers — with hundreds or thousands of users — will especially appreciate the added ability to page through users and manage access quickly.
Two New User Roles
Board Creator is a role for team members who don’t need the bells and whistles of an Account Administrator but still require the ability to create new boards (e.g., drill through boards) and manage new board settings.
Board Reader, a.k.a. read only, is for stakeholders who want to see the information on the board and be kept in the loop via subscription or @mention communications, but won’t need to update the board themselves.
Tags allow you to identify or group cards into categories. The tags can then be used as criteria in filters, searches and reports. But consistent terminology isn’t easy. Now you can cleanup invalid, redundant or inconsistent tags with easy tag management that handles editing, merging or deleting. No more Q, Qtr, Quarter, Quarterly on the same board.
Coming Soon - Calendar View
You’re accustomed to seeing cards move across your board(s) in a workflow or process flow view. In addition to viewing your work on a board, soon you’ll be able see it on a monthly, weekly and daily calendar view too.
To learn about even more of our newest and upcoming features, watch a recording of our January Product Update Webinar.
Have ideas to make LeanKit even better? Share them now or vote for your favorites by using our Feature Request Forum. You can also quickly find out what we’ve done and what’s in the works.
In an effort to continuously improve the LeanKit user experience we are bringing you a clean and modern new user interface (UI). The new UI enhancements help streamline the way you manage your boards, your reporting and your support needs.
All the board menu functions will be consolidated into icons. The backlog and archive lanes will now be accessible via pre-collapsed lanes on either side of the main board – allowing you to keep everything open, if you choose. All card data will be archived for you to access whenever you need and will be automatically placed into the cabinet card after 14 days (instead of 90 days).
Our gear icon won’t just be for board settings (user access, card types, etc.) anymore. Soon, it will include functionality to edit the board layout, subscribe to updates/feeds and create snapshots. New realtime snapshots that include the entire board is also part of the UI refresh.
Note: The ‘Calendar’ subscription you see below adds cards with dates to other calendars (like your mobile phone) and is already available.
The reporting menu will include the activity stream – this groups all data gathering functions into a single area.
Have a question? To quickly search support articles, create a support ticket or pull up the latest product update information simply go to the help menu. All support materials will be accessible via the question mark icon.
Now that you’ve seen our sneak-peek of the upcoming UI improvements, leave a comment below and let us know what you think. Learn even more about the updates in this quick video.
The UI refresh is coming soon – stay tuned!