Kanbanize is a next step Trello alternative that you can’t pass by if your goal is to apply Lean management using Kanban. Stick until the end to see why
Kanban has become one of the favorite methods for workflow visualization and Lean management in general. Often, while looking for a digital Kanban solution, teams confuse Trello for such.
However, when they realize that there’s more to the method than moving cards across a board with columns, they start looking for an alternative.
Kanbanize is a next step Trello alternative that you can’t just pass by. However, before going deep into the “why”, let’s just see a quick comparison between the two platforms regarding the six core practices of Kanban:
|Limit work in progress||✔|
|Make policies explicit||✔|
|Establish feedback loops||✔||✔|
|Seek continuous improvement||✔|
From this table, you can understand that if you only seek the ability to visualize work items, both tools can serve you right. However, if you are looking for professional Kanban software, you need something better than Trello.
At this point, it is logical to ask yourself what is the difference between a professional Kanban software and one that covers a few of the practices. To answer it, we will use the Kanban maturity model as a reference. It breaks down the six core practices of Kanban into 7 organizational maturity levels and 132 sub-practices depending on how adept you are with it.
|Visualize an individual’s work by means of a personal Kanban board||✔||✔|
|Visualize basic work item related information on a ticket||✔||✔|
|Visualize work for several individuals by means of an aggregated personal Kanban board||✔|
|Visualize the work carried out by a team by means of a team Kanban board||✔||✔|
|Use avatars to visualize an individual’s workload||✔||✔|
|Visualize initial policies||✔|
|Visualize teamwork by means of an emergent workflow Kanban board||✔|
|Visualize work items on Kanban board with per-person WIP limits||✔|
|Visualize work types by means of card colors or board rows||✔|
|Visualize blocked work items||✔|
|Visualize development of options by means of a discovery Kanban board||✔||✔|
|Visualize individual workload on a discovery Kanban board by means of per-person WIP limits, potentially implemented using avatars||✔|
|Visualize basic policies||✔|
|Ticket design: Visualize concurrent or unordered activities with checkboxes||✔||✔|
|Ticket design: Visualize concurrent activities performed by specialist teams using partial rows||✔|
|Board design: Visualize sequential activities where no dependency or preferred sequence exists using rows or vertical spaces||✔|
|Visualize defects and other rework types||✔||✔|
|Visualize workflow by means of enhanced discovery/delivery boards||✔||✔|
|Visualize project progress on a portfolio Kanban board||✔|
|Visualize “ready to commit” status, also known as “ready to pull”||✔||✔|
|Visualize “ready to pull” criteria, also known as “definition of ready”, “entry criteria”||✔||✔|
|Visualize workflow and teamwork items on one Kanban board||✔|
|Visualize project work items on a two-tiered project Kanban board||✔|
|Visualize parent-child and peer-peer dependencies||✔|
|Use parking lot to visualize dependent work requests of another service or system currently waiting or blocked||✔|
|Visualize upstream options by means of an upstream/discovery Kanban board||✔||✔|
|Visualize discarded options using a bin on an upstream/ discovery Kanban board||✔||✔|
|Visualize replenishment signals||✔|
|Visualize pull signals||✔||✔|
|Visualize pull criteria (also known as “pull policies”, “definition of ready”, “exit criteria”)||✔|
|Visualize available capacity||✔|
|Visualize work item aging||✔|
|Visualize target date or SLA||✔||✔|
|Visualize failure demand versus value demand|
|Visualize aborted work||✔||✔|
|Visualize class of service using ticket colors, board rows or ticket decorators||✔|
|Use Earned Value portfolio Kanban board to visualize project progress and schedule or budget risk||✔|
|Visualize local cycle time|
|Use ticket decorators to indicate risks||✔|
|Visualize risk classes with different swimlanes||✔|
Trello is a fantastic tool for getting started with Kanban visualization. However, as your team matures, you will inevitably feel some limitations. For example, you won’t be able to visualize blocked items, create flexible board layout, nor make classes of service transparent.
If you are already at this stage and are looking for a Trello alternative to facilitate more advanced Kanban implementation, Kanbanize won’t disappoint you.
|Establish personal WIP limits||✔|
|Establish per person WIP limits||✔|
|Establish team WIP limits||✔||✔|
|Establish activity based WIP limits||✔|
|Establish CONWIP limits on emergent workflow||✔|
|Use an order point (min limit) for upstream replenishment||✔|
|Use a max limit to define capacity||✔|
|Bracket WIP limits for different states||✔|
Limiting work in progress allows you to focus team capacity on what is already started before engaging with new tasks. This is Kanban’s primary way of optimizing efficiency, so you will definitely need functionalities related to limiting it.
A quick look at all the different ways to do so in the table above gives you an instant answer why Kanbanize is better than Trello for practicing Kanban. So, if you are ready to take the next step you should carefully consider your options.
|Define work types based on the nature of tasks||✔|
|Define work types based on customer requests||✔|
|Map upstream and downstream flow||✔||✔|
|Manage blocking issues||✔|
|Manage defects and other rework types||✔|
|Organize around the knowledge discovery process|
|Use a cumulative flow diagram to monitor queues||✔|
|Report rudimentary flow efficiency to understand the value of reducing buffers and the leverage of eliminating sources of delay||✔|
|Collect and report detailed flow efficiency analysis||✔|
|Determine the reference class data set||✔|
|Forecast using reference classes, Monte Carlo simulations and other models||✔|
|Allocate capacity across swimlanes|
|Allocate capacity by the color of a work item|
|Make appropriate use of forecasting||✔|
|Assess forecasting models for robustness|
Managing flow can easily be considered as managing process efficiency. To do so you need a variety of features for measuring the stability of your process, forecasting, managing work types.
What really makes Kanbanize stand out as a next step alternative to Trello is the ability to break down a project and manage dependencies between tasks.
|Define personal Kanban policies||✔|
|Define Initial Policies||✔|
|Define initial services||✔||✔|
|Elaborate further policies||✔|
|Define blocking issue escalation policies||✔|
|Define policies for managing defects and other rework types||✔|
|Establish initial request acceptance policies||✔|
|Define work request abandonment policies||✔|
|Establish replenishment commitment point||✔|
|Establish pull criteria||✔|
|Establish a delivery commitment point||✔|
|Define classes of service||✔|
|Collect and report detailed flow efficiency analysis||✔|
|Establish demand shaping policies|
Process policies are your workflow’s law. The more clear you make them, the easier for your team to follow them and perform in the best possible way. Trello is more suitable for personal use, rather than advanced Kanban implementation.
Kanbanize is a logical next step alternative to Trello as it has a plethora of features for advanced process management with Kanban, which allows you to implement all but two of the above-listed practices.
|Ability to leave comments||✔||✔|
Kanbanize and Trello have very similar features regarding feedback loops. You can leave comments to your team regarding any assignment on your projects. Both platforms are equipped with in-app notifications and desktop push notifications as well.
On the other hand, the email integration feature of Kanbanize is bidirectional so you can also send emails directly from cards.
Kanban software solutions can have a serious contribution to achieving continuous improvement as they provide analytics to measure your process performance and show you room for improvement.
Kanbanize is a next step Trello alternative equipped with a powerful analytics module that provides detailed insight into the most important Kanban metrics such as:
To learn more about the specific charts available, please visit our dedicated analytics page.
If you are considering a switch to Kanbanize, we’ve gathered some of the most notable strengths that have led people like you here before.
From a visualization perspective, Kanbanize provides a far greater diversity of features for mapping your workflow and getting everybody on your team in the loop about what is going on.
For instance, you can create a comprehensive board layout containing as many columns and swimlanes as you need. Nonetheless, you can merge or split them as you please to create a layout that perfectly fits your needs. On top of that, this is done with just a few clicks thanks to the flexible workflow designer inside.
As a next step alternative to Trello, Kanbanize allows you to define various block types for any problem that may appear in your workflow. Afterward, you can visualize them as card tokens and make issues transparent as soon as they appear.
We already expressed the need for WIP limits in this article. In addition to keeping your team focused, you can protect your process from getting cluttered with started but unfinished work.
Whether you prefer limiting work on an individual level, setting up CONWIP for your team or even limiting work per project dispersed across several teams, Kanbanize allows you to do so with just a few clicks.
Kanbanize allows you to facilitate better team collaboration by providing a system for visualizing various task dependencies such as:
With their help, you can break down large initiatives and connect the different aspects that comprise them.
Even better, you can specify the order of processing and improve the execution handling.
Analytics are another reason why you should consider Kanbanize. With the available set in our platform, you can gather data about the cumulative flow of tasks in your process in order to maintain stability.
In Kanbanize, you can also gather various data regarding the performance of your assignments. For example, you can measure the cycle time of every card and initiative in your workflow, see trends (increasing or decreasing over time), filter cycle time by criteria such as type, assignee, priority and much more.
Why waste time on activities that can be easily automated? Kanbanize is equipped with a powerful business rules engine that you can put to use for various types of workflow automation.
Basically, you set up hooks that trigger actions when certain events occur.
When you decide that you want to transition from Trello to Kanbanize, we encourage you to check our product knowledge base. There you can find an extensive archive of information regarding features and functionalities in Kanbanize.
If you wonder how you can transfer your projects from Trello to Kanbanize, don’t worry. We have developed an integration between the platforms that allows you to transfer all your cards to Kanbanize in a simple fashion.
All you need to do is re-create your boards in Kanbanize and everything else will be copied from Trello.
Both platforms use a very similar glossary so the transition will feel seamless. Here are some of the most fundamental terms in Kanbanize as an alternative to Trello:
To get you up to speed quickly, we have developed an onboarding process in Kanbanize that will walk you get you started with the platform when you create an account.
In addition, our team is always ready to assist so just drop us a message and we will contact you shortly.
Accelerate project delivery.