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What is a Kanban Board? Best Practices To Follow?
You might have heard about the effectiveness of the Kanban system and are planning to use it to your advantage to streamline your project. Well, there are good chances that by now, you must have started looking for Kanban best practices, and you should know that it is a bit of a controversial topic. This is true because Kanban is not a type of framework, and therefore, there is no standard way to do it.
The best approach in the Kanban system’s case will be to start with what you have and then evolve. Every team, every project, and even every industry out there is different, and therefore, they will be using different approaches after understanding what the kanban board is.
If you have got your answers for basic questions like what is a kanban board, then it’s time to get familiar with some tricks that might help you with your Kanban approach.
Organizing teams with the help of swimlanes
During the Kanban systems’ initial stage, most teams will be applying individual swimlanes for every team member. This might be an ideal start, but the real challenge will arise when you continue with this approach. The problem will become worse when you are dealing with a larger team.
This is why the first step to Kanban maturity will be introducing swimlanes in the Kanban board based on classes of service or work. If you are looking for an ideal approach, you will need to paint your swimlanes in different colors. In addition to this, you can also use some visual representation for labeling a person who has completed his task.
Use activity-based WIP
When you begin your Kanban board journey, the team will mostly begin by applying per person and team WIP limits on the whole board. Well, this might be the right way to begin, but it’s undoubtedly not the right way to continue. To deal with more complicated processes, you will need to make sure you are using activity-based WIP limits.
In the activity-based WIP limits, you will have to set a different list for every work activity or work stage, and it should be represented by a completely different column on the Kanban board. If you will take help from Kanban software, then monitoring the team’s tasks will become easier during each stage.
Visualize blocked work items
Visual signals are used everywhere in a Kanban system. This is one of the main reasons why visualizing work items that have been blocked and even those that can no longer continue through the workflow. There can be several reasons for the blocker like the task needs to be completed by some other team or another important task requiring your attention.
It doesn’t matter what the reason is; you will have to make sure that the blocked work items’ main reason is properly communicated on the board. This will improve the work item’s awareness in your team, and you will maintain a level of transparency.
Introducing the Kanban system in your workflow will not be beneficial as you will have to make sure that you are using the right trick and tips to make the most of the Kanban board. Just use the tips mentioned in this blog post and improve the output of your project.
Larry Alton is a blogger and passionate writer at managerteams.com. He loves cooking and is fond of traveling.