In this technologically dependent era, the successful implementation of a digital workplace is more than just important, it is necessary. A digital workspace is now crucial for the efficient functioning of any organization. With remote work taking over a huge percentage of office culture, establishing a seamless digital workplace has become a necessity.
To make your digital workplace efficient, you can adopt Kanban workflows. Founded in a Toyota factory in Japan (the 1940s), Kanban is essentially a workflow management system. In simple words, these are explicit policies and principles, followed by Kanban teams to increase efficiency and agility in production and development processes. This is done by eliminating waste, reducing costs, getting rid of redundancies, etc.
In this article, we take a comprehensive look into what a Kanban workflow really is, and how it might help you and your team solve your workflow-related woes. Read on to know more!
An overview of a Kanban workflow
Kanban workflow, a very simple and visual representation of your workflow, comes quite handy in the digital workspace. But what is a digital workplace? A digital workplace refers to a virtual environment that is always connected and provides instant access to all resources, files, etc. a remote employee would need to do their work efficiently. Essentially, 90% of all the information that is transmitted to the brain is visual. Therefore, a visual workflow board would make it a lot easier to keep track of things and increase overall efficiency.
A procession of tasks across all their respective multiple stages is displayed on a Kanban board. This format of displaying tasks grants progress clarity at any given point and makes the manager's work easier by helping him track every moving task within the project. The manager can also keep an eye on the time management of the employees.
3 ways Kanban boards are a boon for your workforce
Visualize and manage
Brands big and small rely on kanban boards to define and visualize tasks in the stages that they currently are in. How? These elaborate boards help you visualize your tasks in the form of task cards. But what do these task cards look like? Think of them as little containment units, with the description and prerequisites to fulfill that day's task mentioned.
Monitor and collaborate
With the ability to keep accurate records on the progress of tasks, different teams can function smoothly alongside each other and pass work along. For instance, if the product has entered the design stage, this will be displayed on the board, and the developers will be notified about how far along the project is and when it will reach them for further deployment.
You can even visualize this progress in the form of percentages to get a clearer idea. When tasks are added to the platform, the assigned people are notified immediately.
Measure and deliver
Kanban boards are a very useful way of identifying roadblocks and bottlenecks. Since these boards are visual, you can identify places on the board where tasks have started piling up. These are areas prone to inefficiencies and need smoothening out. The team can easily figure out where resources are lacking and what they might have to do to fix the issue.
3 tips to get the most out of Kanban boards
Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your Kanban boards.
See your throughput
The output generated in a fixed amount of time is called throughput. Let's say your content team produces around 25 articles in a month. You can easily see this number i.e. your content creation throughput in your Kanban board.
With this, you can decide if you need to raise your lower throughput based on the resources at hand to maintain consistent quality standards.
Set WIP limits
Set work-in-progress limits to decrease the pressure on your team members. Let's take an example. Suppose your Kanban workflow looks something like this.
Backlog > To-do > Design > Development > Testing > Review > Completed
Let's say a lot of your cards get stuck on the review stage, which is piling up the pressure on the review team. You can simply set a daily limit of say 5 cards on the review list to resolve this issue. This means that not more than 5 cards will be added to the review list at any given time. This also helps you identify inefficiencies and bottlenecks in certain stages.
Use a dependable Kanban tool
The use of a dependable Kanban tool is very vital for a smooth workflow. The tool should not only help you visualize your workflow but also keep your team in the loop and manage people at the same time. With a good Kanban tool, you should be able to:
- Create a workflow
- Personalize tasks
- Assign and manage projects on the go
- Document discussions
- Maintain transparency with clients
- Add shortcuts and automation
To perform these tasks easily, you can make use of tools such as Trello, Asana, Nifty, etc. Read on to know more about these dependable and easy-to-use workflow management tools.
Popular Kanban tools to consider in 2022
Being the most reviewed tool on Software Advice, Trello is usually used by agile software development teams. Although, it can also be used to design swift workflows for marketing, sales, support, and HR. With Trello, you can share calendars, reminders, tasks, deadlines, etc., and also comment on cards to update the progress of that particular item in the workflow. It is ideal for large teams with projects distributed across multiple departments.
With Asana, you can do everything from agile project management, team collaboration, and bug tracking to business process management, road mapping, and more. In essence, Asana is a well-rounded workflow development tool, adding new features every now and then to make the platform more customizable for users. Other features include calendars, custom templates, robust reporting features, etc.
Nifty is a project management tool that offers unique features such as customizable templates, idea management, Gantt charts, status tracking, and project planning and scheduling. With the aim to streamline the workflow processes for project and product development, the platform allows you to peek into real-time discussions, KPI milestones, shared files, editable documents, etc.
Taiga allows you to switch back and forth between Scrum and Kanban, based on your methodology to finish the project at hand. With a Software advice rating of 4.4, other Taiga features include integrated issues and bug tracking, dashboards and reporting, etc.
Following the framework for "easy planning, tracking, and releasing software", Jira as a software development tool uses a clean interface with a straightforward Kanban board. Jira integrates more than 3000 apps, allowing you to create a very tailored experience for your team.
Managing tasks and projects for a remote workforce is often more complicated than expected. With Kanban workflows, you can streamline your remote business with minimum effort. Taking the visual “do, doing, done” approach towards streamlining your remote workflow will increase efficiency and help you identify areas that require more attention.
We have covered everything you need to know to get started with a Kanban workflow. And with lots of tools and apps that already have the Kanban methodology integrated, you could start using it right away.
About the author:
Hazel Raoult is a freelance marketing writer and works with PRmention. She has 6+ years of experience in writing about business, entrepreneurship, marketing, and all things SaaS. Hazel loves to split her time between writing, editing, and hanging out with her family.
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