Anyone who practices or at least has heard of Kanban knows about the two fundamental artifacts there – the Board and the Card. Kanbanize, as a SaaS based on Kanban best practices , is built upon these fundamentals and we have separate articles to help you get started with them – click here and here.
There are a few important terms that make up the fundamentals of Kanban and upon which almost everyone has speculated at some point in time:
- What is the difference between a card and a task?
- How is a task different than a project, feature, bug, request, story, epic (wink to all the Agilists) etc.?
- How many card types do you have in Kanbanize?
The purpose of this article is to give answers to all of the above and help you get started with managing your work items using Kanbanize. What I’d suggest calling the card in Kanbanize is a “work item”. Something that you need to work on, no matter in which Industry you are.
Can my Kanbanize card be an entire project?
Yes, if you want it to be, it can. First, I’d suggest you take a look at this article, where we talk about project portfolio management with Kanbanize. If you are not that much into reading (although I really advise you to be), you can take a look at the following snapshot to see what this type of scenario would look like:
The board is split into 3 horizontal lanes – for the main campaign (project); for the big chunks of work (the purple swimlane) and for the small tasks (green swimlane). So as you can see the master orange card serves as the entire project. It has the main artifacts like deadline, size (where the budget is documented) and priority.
Note: Instead of using lanes, you can have separate boards where you can break down each larger project card.
How can I easily track the progress of my project?
Recall, we are talking about Lean/Kanban best practices or, also referred to as – visualization of the workflow. By just looking at the master card you can see that 75% of the child tasks have not been started yet in the Requested column and one is blocked. So your project is pretty much nowhere but what is valuable is that you can make this conclusion just by looking at the board. Visualizing work items in this way and positioning them based on their progress removes much of the waste of investigating what is done and what has not been started yet with the individual contributors. You can also use the progress bar in the Main Dashboard as well as your account statistics to check the pulse of your boards and projects on a slightly more global level.
How to create different types of cards in Kanbanize, so that I have projects, milestones, features, tasks etc.?
You can use the different card types and templates on Kanbanize.
Type: as its name implies, is a specific type of card in Kanbanize (the orange, green and purple tasks above) which you can use to label different cards to be able to see, at a glance, what types of work items are in each stage of progress on the board.
Template: a sum of predefined properties (including a task type) than can be reused with one click in Kanbanize for work items that have a recurring structure and properties.
How to configure them is described here.
On the Kanbanize blog, you can also find the Project Portfolio Management Guide for CIOs.