Kanban Board: the Best Tool for Boosting Workflow Visibility | Hygger.io

Kanban Boards to Boost Work Visibility

Visualize your workflow on digital Kanban Boards and make your team more productive.

Please enter your valid email address.
4.5 Based on 150+ reviews on

What is a Kanban Board?

Kanban Board is a visual tool that is designed to provide an overview of the current work status and simplify team collaboration.

This is one of the key components of the powerful Kanban method that helps to optimize and improve various business processes. Applying handy Kanban boards for visualizing work, you will be able to accelerate productivity and minimize chaos at your workplace.

How do Kanban Boards Work?

The meaning of Kanban boards comes down to mapping individual work items to sticky notes that are placed into columns on a large board. 

The columns represent the value stream. It is about the sequence of particular steps that tasks must go through from the start of work to finish. You place work items on cards and put them into their respective columns. Cards have multiple colors and they are used for different types of work items. Horizontal rows – Swimlanes – are used to organize teams working on the same board. Some columns have a limit on capacity. It guarantees smooth workflow, and team members pull cards moving them through columns from left to right.

Where and When Can We Apply Kanban Boards?

Some time ago there was a stereotype that Kanban boards are used only in software development. In fact, this is a really great tool for this area. However, today the popularity of the method and tool is growing every day, capturing more and more spheres and industries. Use boards for personal use, team task management, product backlog management, customer support, sales, and so on and so forth.

Kanban boards have become widespread in the IT sector, in construction management, healthcare, education, event management, financial management, and so on.

Kanban Video Guide: How to Create a Kanban Board at Hygger

The video below explains how to set up a Kanban board in Hygger and how to use project management tools properly.

 

Main Components of a Kanban Board

In order to understand how a Kanban board works, it is critical to learn what components are used in it so that teams can effectively visualize and manage their workflows.

A typical Kanban board (physical or virtual) should be built on four elements: 

  1. Cards with visual signals. A Kanban card should be written efficiently to quickly convey the meaning of the task or item it describes. Its goal is to give a team an at-a-glance understanding of what’s going on.
  2. Columns. The board should be structured as a series of vertical columns. Each column should represent a different stage in the workflow. Usually, columns include stages such as “to do”,, ‘in progress’ and “completed.”
  3. WIP (work-in-progress) limits. The maximum number of cards teams can add to the Kanban board for a project typically represent work-in-progress limits. It helps keep the board from becoming so cluttered that it loses its benefits.
  4. Swimlanes. Horizontal columns that offer a great way to manage a number of similar projects, bringing an overview all in one place are titled Swimlanes. They give a chance to concentrate on just one issue. With their help, you can visualize the work status that supports different service-level classes.

For a more detailed display of the process, you can create as many subsections as you need to visualize your workflow with maximum accuracy.

For example, a development team might have a Kanban task board that has multiple columns and Swimlanes.

Use Convenient Kanban Boards to Visualize your Workflow From Idea to Implementation

Visualize your process on Kanban Board

An online Kanban board is the core visualization tool for implementing Kanban in your business. This is a visual way to plot out projects and workflows using columns and cards. The typical Kanban columns are “To Do”, “In Progress”, and “Done”. Often used within Agile management, these boards help teams to see progress and spot blockers.

Recently Kanban boards have gone beyond the software development and now they are applied to other areas such as IT, marketing, sales, recruitment, etc. Create beautiful online Kanban boards with Hygger!

Limit Work in Progress

Multi-tasking can be a direct route to generating waste and inefficiency and switching a team’s focus halfway can significantly harm the process. Kanban is aimed to ensure a manageable number of active items in progress at any one time.

Limiting Work in Progress means that a Pull System is implemented on all of the workflow or on its parts. Limit the amount of work in progress and make it easier to identify inefficiency in your team’s workflow.

Categorize Tasks Using Swimlanes and Labels

Swimlanes split a Kanban board horizontally into two or more parts. They are extremely handy large teams that have to visualize not only their work stages but also the different types of tasks that flow through the work process.

Thanks to this feature, your Hygger Kanban board will stay nicely organized, uncluttered with work and will bring more clarity to the workflow. Organize tasks on your boards using Swimlanes or Labels and detect blockers and bottlenecks.

Adjust Your Workflow Using Subcolumns

The option of creating sub-columns is also rather helpful in Hygger. Sub-columns help you to better track the progress of the tasks by dividing the processes represented by the columns into two parts: In Progress and Done.

If you have a queue of tasks for development, then you can set up a composite column Development, and your developers take a task from this queue and place it to the In Progress sub-column as they start working on it. After task completion, they can move it to the Done sub-column.

Track Time and view reports

Hygger allows accurately tracking time for quick invoicing and payroll. Track the time of completed tasks and generate summary reports about all team members, project activities and goals to see the teamwork effectiveness and velocity.

Get friendly reports about team performance, costs and budgets, and movement to project goals, as well as API access for full integration with your processes.

Prioritize tasks by Value/Effort

Prioritization will help you to rate and then sort your tasks by their importance and choose the most beneficial ones for further development. You may switch on the Prioritization and choose the most suitable method for your case, or even use several methods. Value vs Effort matrix is one of the most popular approaches.

Rate your tasks by VaIue/Effort to identify the most important or risky. Decide wisely on where to direct the limited resources.

Get the balance between Important and Urgent

Use the Eisenhower matrix to correctly prioritize your tasks and filter the important from the urgent. This matrix is also known as an Urgent/Important Matrix.

With its help, you will detect the first-to-do tasks in accordance with its Urgency and Importance. Matrix has 4 quadrants (Do Now, Schedule, Delegate and Eliminate) that are obtained by the crossing axes the “Important – Not important” and ”Urgent-Not Urgent”. The Eisenhower matrix will help you to drive significant results in a shorter time.

The History of Kanban Boards

Kanban was developed in the 1940s by Taaichi Ohno, who worked as an engineer at Toyota. Initially, it was a method of improving the automaker’s manufacturing efficiency.

Taaichi Ohno studied how supermarkets determined when to reorder supplies of grocery items from their vendors: not until customers had purchased all but the last few on their store’s shelves. His insights led to the “just-in-time” manufacturing. 

Toyota’s employees used special cards to know when it was time to take the next step in the process. This system was rather visual and every worker could see what work needed to be done at each stage. Applying those cards led to faster development cycles and less waste. 

The engineer called this process “Kanban” (form Japanese “visual card”). Sometimes in English-speaking environments, Kanban boards may be named as signboards.

Physical and Digital Kanban Boards: Types and Examples Kanban boards can be physical and digital.

The type of board directly depends on the specifications of your project, your team, and the sphere (industry).

Physical Kanban Boards

Physical Kanban boards are pretty convenient, but they force you to be here and now all together with your colleagues, not giving a chance to cooperate remotely. They are good to use during Kanban meetings.

Digital Kanban Boards

Online Kanban boards are a natural response to remote teams’ needs. They suit modern companies, where working from home is an available option. Digital boards combine the established principles of Kanban, such as WIP limits or Swimlanes, helping businesses succeed in highly competitive markets.

Online Kanban looks more beneficial as a digital Kanban board provides the possibility for your progress to be automatically monitored and analyzed with time tracking and numerous metrics.

Popular Examples of Using Kanban Boards

Development Team Kanban Board

Software development teams implement Kanban boards to increase visibility, handle interruptions, and visually divide development work from bug fixes. The main goal of such a board is to produce features, fix bugs, and resolve issues.

At Hygger a typical workflow looks like this: To Do > Pause > Reopened > Developing > Testing > Live.

UX Design Team Kanban Board

A Design Kanban board is aimed to create interfaces and experiences for products that will amaze customers. 

At Hygger the workflow may be like following: Prototype > Implementation > Review > Done.

Product Backlog Board

This kind of board is aimed to organize all the tasks and queues within your product backlog.

At Hygger a workflow may look like this: Backlog > Next up > Specification > Development > Done.

Explore some more options:

What are the Key Benefits of Using Kanban Boards?

Kanban boards assist teams in breaking down their projects into discrete tasks and tracking each stage of progress of those tasks.

They are a great way of allowing teams to organize workflows, assign and track specific actions, and optimize communication. Kanban boards give teams an immediate visual sense of where they stand in terms of the project’s progress. Compared to other Agile project management techniques, the Kanban method is much easier to implement.

What about downsides? One of the few pitfalls of a Kanban board is that it is a strictly tactical method of managing a project. Kanban boards are not designed to help teams set and communicate high-level objectives for a project.

Kanban boards:

  • visualize workflows
  • help implement continuous improvement in the processes
  • increase productivity levels
  • reduce waste and bottlenecks
  • empower team communication
  • maximize team’s efficiency
  • improve project delivery success rate

Hygger provides handy and easy-to-understand online Kanban boards to help teams and organizations coordinate effectively.

Create your board now and keep track of all tasks and projects in one place.

Kanban FAQ

  • Is Kanban Methodology?

    Kanban is one of the big family of Agile methodologies. And it is not necessarily iterative. Scrum has short iterations that mimic a project lifecycle on a small scale. They have a clear beginning and end for each iteration. When you choose Kanban, you can develop software in one large development cycle.

  • How is Kanban Different from Scrum?

    Both methods are part of the Agile methodology. Kanban is applied to visualize workflows and plan out projects, while Scrum involves completing work projects in time-boxed “sprints.” They both are based on a similar ideology, however, each method has its own steps and unique workflow.

  • Are there Sprints in Kanban?

    Kanban does not use Sprints. It is not necessarily focused on cross-functional teams.

  • What are the Kanban Principles?

    Kanban principles involve creating a particular level of responsibility, reducing inefficiency, and limiting work in progress to focus teams on their individual tasks.

  • How to Make a Simple Kanban Board?

    The first thing you should make is to divide a board into 3 basic columns: to-do, in progress, and done. Add tasks and break your workflow into stages. Each stage should belong to a specific team or a team member.

More About Kanban Board

Everything you need to build better products with Kanban

WIP Limits

Limit the number of tasks in progress for any status and determine bottlenecks in your workflow.

Swimlanes

Organize tasks on your boards using Swimlanes and make blockers and bottlenecks visible.

Time in Progress Tracker

Track the time every task took to complete to track the efficiency of your team.

Subcolumns

Keep your board clean and laconic without losing any important status.

Labels

Categorize tasks and then filter them using labels quick filter.

Versions

Group tasks within board or project using Versions and track the whole release progress.

Estimations

Teach your team to meet their commitments.

Time Tracking with Reports

Log time on tasks to track your team performance and generate detailed reports.

Success stories

Find out why these teams are in love with Hygger

FoodMaven

An innovative online marketplace and rapid logistics company

Why did Hygger become a choice?

FoodMaven sells high-quality local, oversupplied and out-of-spec food from distributors, manufacturers and producers to restaurants and institutional kitchens via their online marketplace. The company ensures any rescued food that is not sold gets donated to local nonprofit partners or sent to environmentally conscious alternatives. FoodMaven is good for profits, good for people and good for the planet.

Read more

Clear Fasting

Fasting app that is better than any diet

Why did Hygger become a choice?

Clear Fasting is a remote company that cares about people’s health by providing a fasting app that is better than any diet. The app helps to track users’ fasts and get more about correct fasting.
Clear Fasting has recently begun to utilize Hygger to choose the right features and improvements, plan update cycles and manage their small but active team. We’ve asked some quick questions to get more info about the company and our collaboration.

Read more

The Prezenter

Design Agency from Bristol, UK

Why did Hygger become a choice?

The main concern with swapping to the new software was familiarity. Because you can use Hygger like you use Trello, the transition was painless. So we had something that worked like Trello, with more features, for a better price, and with excellent customer support.

Read more

USA InterCargo

Auto logistics company. Carmel, United States.

What three main features are crucial for you?

Hygger is simple, cost-effective, combines the most important features needed for software development. It saves us time while developing new features of our service.

Read more

Cycle

Renewable energy company. Columbia, Bogota

What are the three main features in Hygger?

1. The Backlog board. When you have a lot of tasks, and you pass them from backlog to the development, that’s the main characteristic of Hygger for us.
2. Then the time logs.
3. And a Roadmap.

Read more

Digital Empire

Digital marketing company. El Paso, Texas

Why did Hygger become a choice?

We tried Trello, Bitrix, and so many different kinds of other project management tools. The biggest reason that we came back to Hygger is that we can value what’s important to us. Me and my partner created a value scale, depending on what board and what project we’re doing.

Read more

Rockifi Ltd.

Rock music fans community. Edinburgh & Glasgow, Scotland

Why did Hygger become a choice?

We trialed other PM tools before settling on Hygger, but we either found them overly complex and confusing or lacking in certain features. Hygger is a good balance of useful features and complex functionality with an intuitive interface.

Read more

StayActive

Creators of wearable health device. Vigevano, Italy

Why did Hygger become a choice?

Our team used various PM tools previously, such as Asana and Trello. We come upon Hygger and found it a clear and practical solution for our needs. The division of the project on different boards helps us to organize the work better.
We choose Hygger for its better structure and division. And it’s a pretty simple tool.

Read more

What our customers are saying

Trusted by great teams worldwide

For companies of any size and projects of any scale, Hygger drives high-perfoming teams all around the world.

Integrate with Hygger

Keep using tools you love

Make your clients to see new work coming every day.

Please enter your valid email address.
No credit card required.
Send this to a friend