Why Use Kanban Boards?

"Don't spend all your time chasing information. Using kanban, the answer to so many questions can be found on the board!"

Kanban boards offer a way to visually manage your work. If you have ever used a post-it note to remind yourself to do something, you've used visual management. Visual management allows teams to see work in progress and understand complex information like processes, task relationships and risks related to a team's ability to complete work on time.

electronic or manual kanban boards work to increase tem effectiveness

Even though kanban boards are widely used by IT project managers and software development teams, many other types of business managers and project teams have adopted Kanban as a way to work smarter.

With kanban boards, you can:

  • Visually see work in progress
  • Instantly understand impediments (things causing you to delay) and take steps to remove them
  • Improve communication between yourself and others on your team
  • Empower teams to self-manage visual processes and work flows
  • Inspire team collaboration

Kanban Boards are Visual

Humans are visual creatures. It is easier for us to process information with a visual aid than without. For this reason, a kanban board is the perfect tool to help teams instantly “see” and understand every part of a project. This is a concept known as visual management.

Visual management helps project managers and team members sort through moving parts and pieces by providing visual cues for the team members doing the work. Because kanban boards are visual, users don’t need to muddle through a correspondence thread to find the piece of information they need to get started on a task. You don’t have to decipher the information on a massive spreadsheet to determine whether a task or project has been started or completed. Using a kanban board, the answer to so many questions will become, “It’s on the board!”

Kanban Boards are Flexible

Above all else, Kanban boards are flexible. Using a kanban board is as easy as writing a sticky note and pasting it to a whiteboard, so anyone can use them for just about any purpose. The Kanban method provides guidelines for how to use a kanban board, however many people who use them do not follow this methodology.

As a kanban board user, you may find your own method that works the best for you and your particular project. Regardless, the beautiful thing about using a kanban board is that you can adopt the Kanban work method fully, or you can simply leverage the visual nature of kanban boards to help you keep track of your daily work. The choice is yours.

Kanban boards are so flexible that some people may need extra help getting started. Learn more about how to build your own personal kanban.

Kanban Boards are Easy to Use

If you have ever used sticky notes on a whiteboard to plan and prioritize work, then you can hit the ground running with an online kanban board. LeanKit’s online kanban boards can be configured any way you want to mirror your specific project. Cards can be created within seconds and moved around the board by dragging and dropping anywhere.

Kanban Boards Help Teams Collaborate

Anyone who has ever managed a project can appreciate the effectiveness of using a kanban board as the best way to collaborate. Project managers can spend less time communicating status updates using kanban boards because the boards create transparency. Team members working either on-site or remotely can see the status or a project in real time. So, instead of spending hours per day liaising, project managers can focus on the important stuff.

Kanban Boards Increase Efficiency and Help Reduce Waste

Kanban boards have proven to be the best solution for managers looking to cut waste and improve overall efficiency. Waste in the business world can take on several forms, including:

  • Overproduction
  • Waiting
  • Transportation
  • Non-value-added processing
  • Inventory
  • Under-utilizing people
  • Defects
  • Motion

Kanban Boards Lead to Increased Productivity

Kanban boards are effective at helping teams become more productive while reducing the amount of workload stress many project managers, developers and team members feel during a project lifecycle.

Why do projects seem to stall at certain points? Why do some people seem to have too much work, when others seem to always be idle? Kanban boards allow you to visually see the work in progress and identify when and where workflow blockages happen.

Studies show that people are more efficient at getting tasks done if they are able to focus on only a few tasks at once, as opposed to being forced to task-switch throughout the day. Team members using a kanban board can have an infinite number of tasks in a backlog, while each person is only focusing on several tasks at a time.

Try LeanKit’s free online kanban board and see how easy it is to create a project board that shows your own project workflow, task delegations, dependencies and more.