What is card linking?
Before going into the details let’s first explain what “card linking” is. At its core, the card linking as its name suggests, is the ability to link several cards together. The reason for deciding to do this may differ depending on the goals you are working towards achieving. Card linking helps you easily group together several cards which are related to one another. For the Scrum savvy users, this can be easily explained with the so-called user stories. In other words, card linking is the functionality which allows you to start conducting Process Management by only using Kanbanize.
Types of links
Kanbanize supports several types of connections a user might choose in order to create relationships between different cards.
The Parent/Child relationship gives you more advanced control over the tasks which are related to one another. The user can track the logged time and lead time for the given task and even include its children tasks if such exist. A task can have only one parent but an unlimited number of children.
The Mirror tasks allow you to easily clone a task that is connected to its original. That way the mirror task will be automatically updated after you make a change in the original one and vice versa. When a task gets linked as a mirror to another it starts to share its: task details, subtasks, comments and history. NOTE: A task can become a mirror to another one only if it doesn’t have any parent/child links.
The relative task looks very similar to a child task but does not show any sort of hierarchy between the two linked cards. Relative cards are of the same priority while child tasks are similar to subtasks to the parent card.
Predecessor & Successor Cards
This form of linking, unlike the familiar child, parent and relative relationships, allows the cards to be dependent on each other with indication of the order in which they will need to be performed. The new link not only implies but also enforces the relationship between successor and predecessor so the successor card cannot precede the predecessor in the order in which they get updated. In this case, the successor will become blocked and immobile until the predecessor is completed.
Read more about this form of linking in the dedicated blog post published when this article was first released.
Where task linking can be applied?
Sometimes a card is just part of a bigger picture. Sometimes a card is just a little link in the big chain. In these cases, we need to establish a parent/child relationship to track and monitor the whole process. This is where card linking comes along. This feature helps you create relationships between multiple cards without sacrificing the agility of the team, nor the lean culture which you worked so hard to establish. Card linking also helps you create a certain level of granularity for you boards which leads to a better predictability.
Card linking is one of the things that makes Kanbanize even more flexible and easy to implement. This functionality can be especially useful for bigger organizations, with well-established processes and procedures that need to collaborate on multiple levels.
A good example of how this can be applied is the basic scenario of when a user reports a bug. When the bug is reported the Support team creates a card with information about the bug. Then they can create a card in the Devs’ board and link it as a child to the one the Support team has on their own board. This way, both the Support and Development teams will have access to the entire situation. If, on one side, the Developers decide that the bug has to be reviewed by a 3rd party, we can either create a second child to the parent card or to create a second level child card.
Where can I visualize links between my cards as a work breakdown structure?
Using the board Analytics module, access the links on that particular board through the Links tab among the charts and maps of your data. It can show you a diagram or table view of linked tasks in the entire board or just the columns you can indicate. This is a really visual way of showing the breakdown of your project tasks.