Using Card Types to Manage Your Work More Effectively

Card Types


In LeanKit, teams can customize their card types to match the nature of their work. Card types for a software development team might include user stories, defects, features, and improvements. For an IT Operations team, they could be desktop support, server support, maintenance, and implementation.

LeanKit lets you define your own card types as colors or icons, making it easier to:

  1. Visualize different types of work more easily
  2. Filter your board to isolate certain types of work
  3. Report on specific types of work to identify opportunities for improvement

Using and Defining Card Types in LeanKit

In LeanKit, users can configure different card types to indicate the different types of work items that are managed within a board. For example, the board below has five different types of cards, each represented by a different color.

Screen Shot 2014-08-19 at 12.45.25 PM

A board with five different card types

You can customize your card types using colors and icons. To customize by color, choose from one of the pre-set card color choices or select your own by using the card type color palette.

Card type color palette for creating new colors.

You can also distinguish different card types by icon. LeanKit has a variety of different icons to choose from.

Card type icon options are available when Card ID Settings are turned on.

Card type icon options are available when Card ID Settings are turned on.

Easily change card types by clicking the Settings icon in the upper right hand corner of the screen. Then click on the Card Types tab to the left. From here you can see all of the different card types that exist on the current board. You can also add a new card type or edit existing card types. Card types can also be deleted from this tab by clicking on the trashcan icon.

Card type customization options.

Card type customization options

Card Type and Task Type Options

The Card Types tab includes both a Card Type and Task Type column. You can select one or both of these when you’re editing the list. This allows you to specify which card types are listed for cards on a board and which card types are available for tasks in a taskboard. To select a default card type or default task type, just choose them from the drop-down menu at the bottom of the Card Types window.

Card type and task type defaults.

Card type and task type defaults.

Card Types in Analytics

Setting different card types allows you to track and analyze LeanKit metrics by specific work type. Viewing LeanKit’s reports — such as Cumulative Flow, Cycle Time, Card Distribution, and Process Control — by card type enables you to set target SLAs and identify opportunities for improvement.

Graph showing card distribution by card type

Graph showing card distribution by card type

Chart showing average cycle time for different card types

Chart showing average cycle time for different card types

Getting Started with Card Types

The cards on your board signal the work that needs to be done. Card types provide additional insight to help plan, track and manage your work by distinguishing the different types of work moving through your workflow.

If you’re not identifying the types of work in your process today, it’s easy to get started. Just gather your team together and observe the work on your board. For each item ask, “What kind of work is this?” Continue with this exercise until a type of work has been assigned to each work item. After your discussion, update your card type settings in LeanKit and assign card types to your work to see everything even more clearly.