If you’re not using a kanban board, you’re not as productive as you could be

Jack Wallen’s eyes had been not too long ago opened to the concept of kanban boards. If you happen to’ve but to comprehend how useful these instruments may be, learn on and uncover the productiveness magic that awaits.


Picture: Elnur/Shutterstock

I am late to the get together. Manner late. This was principally by design. What I do for a dwelling is not one thing that usually advantages from the likes of undertaking administration instruments. However then I used to be tasked with protecting kanban boards and found the software is not only for software program engineers and undertaking managers. 

SEE: The way forward for work: Instruments and techniques for the digital office (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

It took me perhaps two days to discover a kanban answer I may tweak excellent to suit my wants. So as an alternative of statuses like New, Prepared, In Progress, Prepared for Check, Finished and Archived, I may use Thought, First Draft, Beta Readers, First Spherical Edits, Second Spherical Edits, Third Spherical Edits, Proof Studying and Despatched to Writer. As soon as I had that setup, the “Ah-ha” gentle went off over my head and I spotted why so many individuals across the globe rely upon such instruments.

They make work and life much more productive.

Rather a lot.


It isn’t nearly productiveness, but additionally about accuracy, accountability, trackability and group. As somebody who tends to have a number of writing tasks going without delay, it might typically get a bit complicated as to which undertaking is through which state. Through the use of a kanban board, I can now inform precisely the place every e-book is in its workflow, who has the manuscript and what’s left to be accomplished. I can even get a greater concept as to when one undertaking is likely to be completed and the way far different tasks are from that state.

All of it makes a lot sense now.

I used to consider kanban boards had been designed for managers who favored to get manner too micro with their employees and job them into oblivion, take management of their each working second, and have the power to carry ft to fireside when one space of a undertaking had fallen behind.

Now, I perceive this technique is extra about empowering the customers, be they builders, designers, knowledge analysts, admins or assist. Actually, it would not matter what place you maintain. You do not even must be employed by an organization or employed in any respect to profit from a kanban. 

Take into account these: 

  • A kanban chore board.
  • A kanban cooking board.
  • A kanban research board.
  • A kanban writing board.
  • A kanban board for fantasy sports activities.

This record can go on and on. In truth, in case you can break a job down into constituent components, chances are high good you need to use a kanban board.

What’s a kanban board?

Earlier than I proceed, let’s reply this straightforward query (as a result of not everybody comes into this within the know). Kanban means signboard and is a lean technique to handle and enhance work throughout techniques that depend upon people. Objects for duties are visualized to present these concerned a view of the progress of the duty. 

Think about a spreadsheet that’s divided into columns like this:


In progress

Peer Evaluation




Process 1

Process 2

Process 3

Process 4

Every column represents a state for every job. On the far left is the place every job begins and on the far proper is the place every is accomplished. As you possibly can see now we have 4 duties (1, 2, 3 and 4), every of which is in a special state. Process 1 is in Testing, Process 2 is in Starting, Process 3 is in Peer Evaluation and Process 4 is Finished. You’ll be able to shortly see, at-a-glance, the place every job stands in its workflow.

Let’s make this extra relatable.









So the toilet chore hasn’t been assigned, the dishes job has been assigned, trash is in progress and homework is finished. A mum or dad may take a look at that kanban board and know precisely the place chores stand day-after-day. 

That is progress. 

That is effectivity.

That is efficient.

Why it took me this lengthy to comprehend that kanban can apply to absolutely anything is past me. And now that so many individuals are working from house, with out the added bonus of a supervisor trying over their shoulders always, some would possibly want a little bit of assist staying centered on the lifecycle of a job.

The advantages of utilizing a kanban board

Sure, kanban boards are usually employed by software program builders and managers. However given how versatile most kanban platforms are, they are often made helpful for any job, staff or subject. The advantages of kanban embody:

  • Higher visualization of workflow
  • Improved effectivity
  • Improved collaboration
  • Elevated and balanced productiveness
  • Keep away from over tasking staff members
  • Elevated focus
  • Waste discount
  • Flexibility
  • Higher time administration
  • Empowers customers
  • Higher useful resource allocation

Not each profit will apply to each state of affairs, however that shortlist alone ought to have you ever significantly reconsidering your stance that kanban is not the software for you. Chances are high good a kanban board would make your life simpler.

I am not right here to promote you on any given kanban board answer. Though I’ve discovered the one which works for me, your wants and calls for will range. What I am right here to do is shrug off that cloud of thriller that will or could not encompass kanban boards for you. If you happen to’re like me, you have ignored these instruments, as a result of they merely did not apply to your state of affairs. However in case you wrestle to handle any form of job or have turn into so busy you may use a little bit of assist holding your workflow organized, a kanban board is likely to be simply the factor. And it would not matter in case you’re part of a staff or a one-person present, kanban boards can nonetheless assist. Though I do work instantly with editors, they do not essentially must know the place any given manuscript or article is in its lifecycle. I, then again, do. And given how a lot I write, having one thing to maintain me on job and arranged has been an actual eye-opener.

If you happen to’ve not given a kanban board consideration, achieve this. Your day by day life will thanks.

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