A) Introduction to Project Boards

What is Project Boards?

Project Boards is a project management built around the KISS concept (keep it simple and smart) and that uses the Kanban methodology originally developed by Toyota to be more efficient.

There are only two constraints imposed by Kanban:

  • Visualize your workflow
  • Limit your work in progress

Visualize your workflow

  • Your work is displayed on a board so that you have a clear overview of your project
  • Each column represents a step in your workflow

Limit your work in progress

  • Encourages focus by avoiding multitasking
  • Each phase can have work-in-progress limits
  • Limits help identify bottlenecks
  • Limits avoid working on too many tasks at the same time

Performance Measurement

Kanban uses lead and cycle times to measure performance:

  • Lead time: Time between task creation and completion
  • Cycle time: Time between task start and completion

For example, you may have a lead time of 100 days but only have to work 1 hour to complete the task.

Kanban vs Todo lists

Todo lists:

  • Single phase (just a list of items)
  • Multitasking possible (not efficient)

Kanban:

  • Multiple phases, each column represents a step
  • Bring focus and avoid multitasking by setting a work-in-progress limit per column

Kanban vs Scrum

Scrum:

  • Sprints are time-boxed, usually 2 or 4 weeks
  • Do not allow changes during the iteration
  • Estimation is required
  • Uses velocity as default metric
  • Scrum board is cleared between sprints
  • Scrum has predefined roles like scrum master, product owners and the team
  • A lot of meetings: planning, backlogs grooming, daily stand-up, retrospective

Kanban:

  • Continuous flow
  • Changes can be made at any time
  • Estimation is optional
  • Use lead and cycle time to measure performance
  • Kanban board is persistent
  • Kanban doesn’t impose strict constraints or meetings; the process is more flexible

Usage Examples

You can customize your boards according to your business activities:

Software development

  • Backlog
  • Ready
  • Work-in-progress
  • To be validated
  • Validated
  • Deployed in production

Bug Tracking

  • Reported
  • Confirmed
  • Work-in-progress
  • Tested
  • Fixed

Sales

  • Leads
  • Meeting
  • Proposal
  • Purchase

Lean Business Management

  • Ideas
  • Development
  • Measure
  • Analysis
  • Done

Recruiting Process

  • Job offers
  • Candidates
  • Phone screens
  • Interviews
  • Hires

Online Shops

  • Orders
  • Packaging
  • Ready to send
  • Shipped

Manufactory

  • Customer Orders
  • Assembly
  • Tests
  • Packaging
  • Ready to ship
  • Shipped

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