Proliferation of Dashboards

Dashboards are becoming more and more popular as a collaboration environment in software development, product development, project management and many other areas of business and personal life. (Read “Personal Kanban” for example). It wouldn’t be overestimation if we say that almost every office worker has some kind of a dashboard, whether it’s an online one or just a whiteboard hanging above the table.


In software development adoption of agile methodologies ended up with domination of scrum (90000+ certified scrum masters). For the past few years there is a growing interest for Kanban method. Kanban method is not software development specific and can be applied to all aspects of life. Scrum-kanban hybrid “scrumban” is also becoming popular.

“Kanban board” either physical or electronic, is the main tool of kanban method.

“Lean” (lean startup, lean management) is another term/approach that calls for better visualisation and sharing of top level activities. A dashboard containing a snapshot of a startup’s state is called “lean canvas”.

Kanban system principles are simple and therefore attractive
– start from where you are now
– limit work in progress
– visualise your work

This Google Trends chart shows growing interest to Kanban board software

growing interest to kanban [board] software

The Market Place

The project collaboration space has 500 over tools, including offering from all major software vendors. There are a few very good software development specific tools developed by Atlassian, VersionOne, Rally Software. Many of those software dev tools have introduced kanban board in a recent few years, as a part of their agile development tool set.

We have looked at 100s of project management/collaboration tools and we can see that over the past year they all added their dashboards, and even made it featured on a home page, meaning that dashboard is becoming a strong selling tool, and everything from now on starts to revolve around dashboards & drag and drop cards.

There are also specific dashboards focused on kanban method. Many of popular ones have “kanban” keyword in them: kanbantool, kanbanize. Although those are not a billion dollar businesses, they all have a very strong client base which is growing. High PPC bids for Kanban related keywords is also the most recent phenomena. While competition for organic listings is relatively low (compared to, say “project collaboration” and related terms) showing that this is a recent trend.

The most notable success story is Trello with over 1M users in 2 years after launch. The reason for such popularity is because it can truly be used to “organise anything”.

Kanbanchi is the only fully-featured dashboard app integrated with Google Drive yet despite that Google Apps are widely used across businesses, schools and individuals.

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