Kanban board examples may vary depending on the focus of work. In this sense, Kanban boards of teams with a different scope of work will differ. Some of them will be simple, but others will be more complex with multiple columns and swimlanes.
There is no doubt that the Kanban board is a tremendous tool for improving workflow efficiency. As long as Kanban boards visualize all tasks in a working process, they provide transparency. It allows teams to have a clear overview of all work items and to control them through the different stages of their workflow.
Of course, customizing your board correctly will depend on your team’s needs.
Let’s have a more detailed look.
A Basic Kanban Board Example
The basic Kanban board is a great start for teams who are new to the Kanban concept. It usually consists of 3 to 4 columns without any complications. It is a great way for beginner teams to visualize their work and establish the foundations of a highly efficient workflow.
Time-based Kanban Board Example
This template can serve well teams who have time-focused work (e.g. customer support, technical support, etc.). Time-based Kanban boards can be really helpful when there are many small tasks planned, which don’t require much effort and go intensively through the workflow. They are a perfect solution for a workflow which hosts fast moving tasks with a short cycle time.
Portfolio Kanban Board Example
Often, teams are focused on day-to-day operational tasks and when the workflow begins to run faster, it becomes difficult to see the bigger picture on a strategic level. This is the exact moment when portfolio Kanban boards come into play. The portfolio board template is similar to the previous one, however, it is suitable for long-term plans and overall strategies. For example, it is a great way of visualizing the strategic evolution of a company, a department or a team.
Development Team Kanban Board Example
Dev teams usually have a workflow that consists of many functional steps. Here is why a Kanban board designed for development teams can have a certain level of complexity. A Kanban board template for dev teams will naturally have a large number of columns such as “Business requirements”, “Development”, “Verifications” and etc. However, very often the essence of work is different. For example, some tasks may require work on defects/bugs and others may require work on new product features. This is a great opportunity to implement swimlanes. They divide the board horizontally and distinguish different types of work according to their focus. This contributes to greater transparency of the workflow.
QA Team Kanban Board Example
QA teams are usually closely related to Dev teams. In this sense, both are seemingly important for the success of any product development process. They are interdependable and this is why their boards often look similar. Even more, it is a widespread practice Dev teams and QA teams to work on the same board. As well as in the previous example, here, the swimlanes also find their application. It is QA team’s responsibility to test the quality of any product and their work usually goes through different stages depending on the importance of tasks. In this case, swimlanes can be used as a prioritizing tool. With their help, critical issues can be easily located and tracked when needed. Therefore a QA team’s Kanban board can have swimlanes such as “low priority”, “normal priority” and “expedite”. Additionally, QA teams can rely on different card types so they can specify what kind of issue they work on (e.g. bug, new feature, etc.).
Marketing Kanban Board Example
Marketing teams have a wide variety of tasks and their workflow is very dynamic. Therefore, many marketers are already taking advantage of using Kanban boards. It helps them to visualize and differentiate tasks with a different scope, so they can be focused and organized. If you are a marketer you can use swimlanes to divide tasks according to their focus on your Kanban board. For example, you can have different swimlanes for content, traditional media, digital marketing and design tasks.
What Is the Bottom Line?
Kanban boards can be structured in many different ways depending on work focus, team’s functionalities, external factors and etc. Building the right Kanban board template is an ongoing process and it should reflect all dynamics in the working environment.
You should constantly improve your Kanban boards in order to find the best structure that fits your team’s working processes. But even when you find it, you don’t have to stop because there is always a place for improvements.