Kanban is a system to control the logistical chain from a production point of view, and is not an inventory control system. Kanban was developed by Taiichi Ohno, at Toyota, as a system to improve and maintain a high level of production. Kanban is one method to achieve just-in-time (JIT) production.
At its simplest, a Kanban board is a white board (or even just a large piece of paper) with a number of columns representing the stages or lifecycle of a piece of work. The actual columns may be something simple as “To do | Doing | Done” or can reflect the methodology of the team, for example agile development.
Sticky notes (cards) are stuck on the board to represent the actual pieces of work and can be moved from column to column to show how the work is progressing. Some organisations use the cards to represent use stories (use cases or requirements) while others may use them to represent actual tasks (to dos).
Here is an example of a Kanban board:
In this case they have used different colours of sticky notes to represent different parts of the system they are working on. Some people stick little photos (or cartoon characters) onto the notes to show who is working on their piece. You can also write different bits of information on the notes for example an estimate of how long it will take to complete that task.
Psoda now allows you to set up a virtual Kanban board for your project that can be shared with team members who are at different locations. This way the whole team has access to the Kanban board and can remotely update their tasks on the board or even move tasks to a different column.
The columns on the Psoda Kanban board is defined by the workflow applied to the requirements on that project. The workflow can include sub-states if you want to split some columns into smaller pieces.
The requirements themselves are the sticky notes (or cards) on the board. The cards can be moved to a different column by right-clicking on that requirement and selecting one of the workflow options. The right-click menu also has options to edit, delete, move or view the requirements’ details.
The Kanban board is available as a dashlet that can be added to the project dashboard. Here is an example of the virtual Kanban board in Psoda:
A Kanban board is a very visual way of seeing what is happening on a project, what work is coming up and what has been completed. A physical board is great way to do this when the whole team is in one location. Psoda’s virtual board makes sure that remote team members are also included.