use kanban for production support

One of the first applications of the Kanban method in the IT industry was with support teams. The reason is clear – such teams need to be extremely flexible due to the unpredictable arrival of work, they need to be able to quickly determine priorities and they must strictly track how much time each item takes to complete.

The Kanban method has been tried out in the support domain with amazing results and a lot of teams nowadays consider it as the de facto standards to address change requests or defects. Below is a sample implementation of a Kanban project for support teams that you can implement yourself or enhance as required.

Support Kanban Board Structures

Support Board rework

Support is a business function that may be structured in many different ways depending on the size of a company, its complexity and so on. This is way in the following paragraphs I tried to highlight some of the most popular scenarios of Kanban boards for production support teams.

Enjoy!

  • First Level of Support Board

Kanban board Support first level

Usually support teams are divided into first and second level of support. The first level of support is in charge of fixing regular user’s issues.

In many cases, users can be external and internal users. So it is a good idea to use swimlanes in order to separate internal support cards/tickets from external ones.

In such situations, some typical process stages may be implemented as a Client Feedback , a Waiting on RND or any other stage applicable to a specific team needs.

  • Second Level of Support

Kanban board Support second level

This is a more in-depth level of support where the team mates are highly skilled and have an extensive knowledge of a given services (product) for example. Thus tasks may be of high business importance.

This is why, swimlanes may be applied to differentiate regular support tickets from high business value tasks, as shown on the image above.

Of course you can always apply an Incidents/Expedite lane where only urgent tasks appear.

  • Combined Support Board

Kanban board Support combined

On many occasions, production support teams prefer to work on a single board in order to acquire a better understanding of the whole process. On the board above you can see a combination of the previous two examples. As you may notice the swimlanes may be used for  work prioritization and time management.

This board can help the different lines of support to collaborate in a better way and keep control of all customer issues, no matter their complexity status.

These are just few templates a support team can use. Basically, each team can build its Kanban board based on its own preferences.

Kanban Helps Support Teams:
– Organize and manage great amount of work
– Keep track of every support issue
– Acquire better understanding of the work process
– Shorten cycle times for solving customer’s issues

Check Our Case Study “The Most Productive Way of Doing Support”

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6 thoughts on “Kanban for Production Support Teams

  1. rajani Manoj

    I belong to a production support team and need to know how can i use Kanban for my team and what are the costs/additional setups that would be required by me/my organisation to make this up and running.

    Reply
    1. Monica Georgieff

      Hi Rajani,

      I just sent you an e-mail to set up a call with our team.
      We would love to hear more about your particular use case!

      Cheers,

      Monica | Kanbanize

      Reply
  2. suraj

    I belong to a production support team and need to know how can i use Kanban for my team and what are the costs/additional setups that would be required by me/my organisation to make this up and running.

    Reply
    1. Alex Novkov

      Hi Suraj,
      In order to answer your question precisely, we need to learn a bit more about your team and work process. I’ve passed your contact to one of our customer success managers. He’ll be more than happy to learn about your specific needs and help you find the best solution for you. We’ll leave you a message soon with an invitation for a call.
      Cheers,
      Alex

      Reply
  3. Bhanu

    In our support team we have different types of work items which goes through different stages. So there is no identical column for these work items. In such cases how do we put WIP limits?

    Ex Set of Work Items go through X/Y/Z and Next set of work items go thru A/B/C.. How do we visualize the work items on board and how to set wip limits

    Reply
    1. Alex Novkov

      Hi Bhanu,
      Thank you for your question. It is a complex case with multiple solutions that our customer success team will gladly discuss with you in order to identify the best option for your team.
      Please expect them to contact you at the email address that you’ve provided.
      Cheers,
      Alex

      Reply

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