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Cover image for Kanban board: the way to organize your work even outside the agile project.

Kanban board: the way to organize your work even outside the agile project.

agazaboklicka profile image Aga Zaboklicka ・2 min read

This post was originally published here.

My company uses IBM DOORS connector for JIRA to simplify requirements tracking process. However, the way requirements are transferred to JIRA from DOORS makes it hard to say what the requirement is about. So when I was looking for a way to view the actual requirement my project manager told me about a possibility to create a Kanban board in JIRA.

It took me a moment to actually pick up the tool - I used the old way coz I've got no idea how to set up the board, then I waited for permission from JIRA admin... The regular corporate way... But when I finally set up my first Kanban board I instantly fell in love. Really... (James, if you'll ever read this: thanks a bunch!)

So why to use a Kanban board even outside any agile methodology?

Even though the main purpose of Kanban was to view the requirements without opening them in a new tab the first thing I've noticed is that it's extremely easy to read and helps me manage my tasks without them going awry.

If you are interested what Kanban board can do for you (even outside the agile process and without JIRA) here are the pros of Kanban board:

Kanban board is based on a very simple idea. Its shows the workflow in an easy to read, visual way
Kanban enhances just-in-time management system (JIT) of producing only what is required, exactly when it is required and delivered exactly where it is required on time.
The board gives you a visual sign indicating you can start new work.
It helps you remember to start with what you do now and focus on tasks at hand.
It limits work in progress, so it keeps you from working on too many tasks at once.
When you look at properly set up kanban board you know the context of the task i.e. the deadline, project, dependencies, etc:
You can add as many columns as you want (The easiest is well-known SCRUM flow: TODO, In Progress, Done) but you can add fields such as review, integration, closed etc ;) Whatever you feel is needed so you can see what's in what stage of work.
You can divide vertical columns into swimlanes indicating, for example, the due date, story, project or whatever else you want so that you have your work divided into meaningful chunks instead of a long list of TODO tasks without the context.
You can customize task cards by adding colors to them - for whatever purpose you want ;)

Kanban board can be easily applied in any management system in the world of software development. I believe it helps you avoid mind wrestling with remembering what to do first and helps concentrate on important tasks so if you have a possibility try it, even if you're not a part of a SCRUM or Kanban team ;)

Discussion

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lenarunner profile image
Lena Runner

Nice post. I agree that Kanban may be successfully used outside Agile, it's quite an independent tool. Such an intuitive and easy board like pl.pinterest.com/pin/5174918134027... doesn't even need the whole framework like Agile to be used well. Personally I use it at work (HR) as well as at home.

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agazaboklicka profile image
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Rostane Gribi

One more proof that Kanban is useful for both pro and professional life, whether it's on paper on digital, it's all about the mindset and methodology first, then the rest flows.
As for the tools to use, our team at Zenkit developed a free online task management that works well with Kanban method, we’d love your feedback on it: zenkit.com/

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Akiko

I totally agree. Kanban boards are awesome, both for work and organizing private matters. I've been using Kanban Tool for some time now ( kanbantool.com/ ) and I can't really imagine living without it anymore. It has many useful features like seamless time tracking, analysis and chats. Besides it is easy to personalize and you don't need almost any time to learn it because using the tool comes so naturally. What's the most important, it really teaches you how to focus on one task at a time and forget about multitasking.

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Aga Zaboklicka Author

@work I use JIRA Kanban board since that's what we have. But I also like the sticky note solution and trello for private use ;)

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Jess Lee (she/her)

Great post and totally agree. I have a Kanban board for household chores :)

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Aga Zaboklicka Author

Exactly! It's what I love about Kanban - you can apply it for any tasks you want :D