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Which Kanban Examples Best Suit Your Team?

A kanban board offers a useful, organised approach to workflow management and visualisation, but how exactly does it work and which model is best for you? A look at a few kanban examples will help you to understand how this can allow your team to work more smoothly.

The Basic Approach with a Whiteboard

The first of our kanban examples is a simple board that can work well for any size of team in any industry. It has just three columns: To Do, In Progress and Done. Each task starts out in the To Do column and then moves across to In Progress and, finally, Done.

This is a possible way for a team that is new to this kind of workflow management process to get started. You just need a whiteboard and marker, together with some sticky notes to write the tasks on. It is then very easy to see exactly where in the process each task is.

Are there any drawbacks or limitations to this example of a kanban board?  Well, it might be too simplistic for large, complex projects or for those teams that work remotely or with different working patterns. If someone forgets to manually move a task over then this will lead to problems too.

Examples with More Columns

You might feel that the above kanban method is too basic for you. This is likely to be the case if you have a complex or lengthy workflow process to deal with. Maybe new tasks need to go through stages such as Quotation Request, Customer Feedback or Delivery, it all depends upon the exact work that you do.

Adding in an extra column or two is easy to do. It is simply a question of deciding in which position on the board it needs to go. The layout should reflect the actual flow of the work, with elements moving across from left to right naturally. The big issue when you add more columns is that it could start to become large and unwieldy. 

If each team member only deals with a certain part of the process, they may be confused by seeing lots of other columns that mean nothing to them. Managing a large team is difficult at the best of times, and this is one of several issues where you may have to adapt.

If you outsource work or pass it to other parts of the company then this makes life more difficult as you will lose control over the workflow. But sometimes outsourcing is necessary, so you may have to put the next part of the task on hold until it gets back to you.

Different Boards for Parts of the Process

After looking at the previous points, you might think you need some other kanban examples to help you to find the ideal solution for your company. For instance, you might think that the process should be split out into two different boards.

This idea could make sense if you currently have a long, varied process that doesn’t fit in comfortably to one board. It could be that there is an obvious way of splitting up the tasks so that each part of your team only sees what they need to know.

Of course, the key here is in ensuring that the two parts of the process are then tied together. In other words, once the task drops off the end of the first board, it probably needs to go straight onto the second board or it could get lost.   

The Online Kanban Board

The next kanban example takes the original idea and adds a large degree of flexibility to it. By moving the task management process online, it becomes a lot easier for every member of the team to access it from any location and at any time.

By going online, you can also avoid the problems we saw in the second example, where adding in extra columns made it more detailed but introduced the risk of confusing people. The online example lets you add in more details without it getting messy or complicated. 

You can simply add or remove details as you need to, without any hassle or delay. This means that everyone in the team can always see the most up-to-date information. It works no matter how big or small the project is, and can be adapted to your exact needs.

Summary

As we can see from all of these different kanban examples, it is a flexible kind of tool that you should look to make the most of in a way that suits your business perfectly.

Kanbanchi is an online kanban board that gives you the flexibility to mould it to your needs. Regardless of whether you have a large team, remote workers or any other type of logistical challenge, this is a smart way of accurately keeping track of everything that is going on.

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