Kanban is a popular framework used in development workflows. It requires real-time communication of capacity and full transparency of work. Work items are represented visually on a kanban board, allowing team members to see the state of every piece of work at any time.
Kanban uses visual cards, labels, etc. to help teammates and stakeholders quickly understand what the team is working on.
Work-in-Progress (WIP) Limits
WIP limits are the maximum number of cards that can be in one column. When a column is “maxed-out” the team will work diligently on those cards to move them forward before new cards can be moved into that stage of the pipeline. To set the WIP, start with the number of teammates x 2, and adjust as needed.
Keep it simple
Select a tool like Trello®, and lay out the Kanban strategy for your team. Keep it simple. Make sure everyone on the team knows how to use the board.
Have only one card owner
It may be tempting to add more than one card owner. We recommend a single card owner and creating individual checklists within each card that includes separate owners and due dates. The owner of the card acts as the manager of the card and is ultimately responsible for successfully completing the task.
When a card requires multiple team members or steps to complete the task, create a checklist and assign owners and due dates to each item.
Add a Card Description
Ensure every card has a clear description of the objective. Use a video service like Loom® to explain the objective if it is complex. It’s much easier to explain difficult tasks with video than it is with text and it accommodates team members who learn visually.
Add Due Dates
Add due dates, so that everyone knows when the task is due and when it is late. Tools like Trello® will send reminders to team members when a card is approaching a due date, or they can filter cards based on approaching deadlines.
Use Labels & Tags
Tags and labels not only help with the visual element of the Kanban board, but they also enable the team to filter cards as needed.
When you work on a task, leave a note for your team to update them, or use @username to notify your teammates when a card needs their attention. At EVANCED we believe someone that knows nothing about the card should be able to drop in and understand the card’s deliverable, due date, and status.
Automate Repetitive Tasks
If you find yourself doing the same things over and over, use automations like Trello® buttons to speed up the process. With automations you can do the following with one click: mark the card complete, notify the team, and move the card to the complete column.
Say you’re using Trello for a content pipeline to create blogs, and each time you create a card, you add the same checklist and information that needs to be collected before the blog can be written. Create a template card to save time. Set the card up with all the necessary information and simply copy the template to a new card each time you need to start a new blog.
Integrate Trello® into your tool stack
Now we’re getting advanced! Use Zapier® to integrate other tools into Trello. For example, when someone sends a support email, you can set up a zap to create a new Trello card. We’ve done this integration with Freshdesk® and it works quite nicely. Gone are the days when customer requests are sitting in someone’s inbox!
Grant Carmichael, MBA, CISSP, Google Partner
Digital Marketing & Websites – For businesses that want to dominate the competition.