Quarterly Product Update

In this webinar, Jon Terry, COO of LeanKit, provides an overview of recently released product features and insight into what’s coming soon.

During this discussion, you’ll learn: 

  • About our plans to help improve your overall LeanKit user experience.
  • How parent-child board connections help you visualize work, track progress, and identify risk.
  • Details about our upcoming Reporting and Analytics overhaul and how it opens the door for ad-hoc reporting.

Helpful links:

Quarterly Product Update Slides (PDF)
How to use drill-through board connections (blog post)

Kanban: Redefining the Importance of Process Policies

Make Process Policies Visible

Setting explicit process policies is the special sauce for the successful implementation of Kanban. Yet in many ways it’s also the least understood step of The Kanban Method.

For many people, the term “policies” conjures up images of employee manuals and handbooks. And let’s be honest, while these types of organizational documents are necessary, they’re not exactly a workplace bible that helps us get our work done more effectively.

So why are process policies so important in Kanban? As a continuous flow methodology, Kanban doesn’t prescribe what needs to be done at different stages of the process; it lets the team decide the most effective way to keep work flowing. And we’re not just referring to procedural policies here; we’re also including the way people interact with their work and with each other.

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See LeanKit’s Mobile Apps in Action

LeanKit goes with you wherever the work needs to be done. Our iOS and Android mobile apps help you stay connected to your team while you’re away from your desk. Quickly create new cards, update status, reassign work, and add comments or image attachments to ensure everyone has the most recent information to keep the work flowing.

8 Techniques to Visualize Policies in LeanKit

Make Process Policies Visible

One of the core practices of the Kanban Method is to make process policies explicit. This helps team members and stakeholders understand what’s expected, thereby reducing confusion and enabling greater process consistency. Until the mechanism of a process is made explicit, it can be difficult to engage in meaningful discussion about how to improve it.

Without a common understanding of how the work should be done, discussions about problems tend to be emotional, anecdotal, and subjective. Making your policies explicit facilitates a more rational, empirical, and objective discussion of issues and how to increase the team’s effectiveness.

How to Make Process Policies Explicit in LeanKit

LeanKit provides a number of ways to help you capture, preserve, and share your team’s policy decisions, right within your kanban board:

  1. Provide a board description to communicate the purpose of your work.
  2. Design your board layout to reflect decision-making and workflow policies.
  3. Define explicit lane policies to establish when work is ready to be moved.
  4. Create legend cards to communicate additional information and instructions.
  5. Set WIP limits to constrain the amount of work flowing through the system.
  6. Establish class of service policies according to business risk and impact.
  7. Create board templates for consistent, repeatable processes.
  8. Use pre-defined taskcards to ensure consistent implementation.

Using these techniques, LeanKit empowers team members to determine the most effective way to keep work flowing through the system.

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Product Tip: Tracking work in your Calendar app

Find calendar subscription details in the Settings Menu.

Find calendar subscription details in the Settings Menu.

Pulling LeanKit work items into your Personal Calendar app

Need to keep track of work that has due dates?  You can set up a feed so that your LeanKit tasks with start and/or end dates appear in a personal calendar like your mobile phone calendar app.  Subscribing to an iCal feed is equivalent to adding a mailbox to whichever mail/calendar software that you use.  It’s simple to set up and helps you stay on top of deadlines.

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DevOps and Kanban: Lessons Learned from “The Phoenix Project”

Find out why Gene Kim, co-author of The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win and The DevOps Cookbook, recommends Kanban to improve the practice of IT. 

Gene discusses how to solve common IT problems  including developer due date performance, availability, security and compliance — using DevOps patterns of work.

Kanban boards appear prominently throughout the The Phoenix Project as the mechanism to visualize work, limit WIP and ensure fast flow, especially where work crosses organizational boundaries (e.g., between Dev and Ops) and creates bottlenecks.

Helpful links:

Presentation slides: DevOps and Kanban PDF
DevOps Enterprise Summit
Top 11 Things You Need to Know About DevOps
Kanbans and DevOps: Resource Guide for “The Phoenix Project”