What is Kanban
“Kanban” is basically a Japanese word that is used for the term “Visual Signal” or “Card”. A Kanban board works as an agile project management tool that helps in visualizing your work, maximizing your flow or efficiency, and limiting work-in-progress. Kanban boards generally use columns and cards to help service teams in getting their work processed in a well-defined manner. This methodology makes planning so much easy that you just have to enter values and you’ll get it done in just a little reference of time.
Jira is a proprietary issue tracking platform introduced by Atlassian. Jira works entirely on the principles of Kanban methodology and allows agile project development along with bug tracking in your system. JIRA Kanban Board is basically a platform based on digital Kanban technology that offers you the easiest way to get through any work process without facing any hustle.
Let us get a detailed description of JIRA Kanban Boards and see how this technology helps IT teams in improving their efficiency.
In a single line, we can say that Yes, Kanban is a methodology and not any kind of framework. Kanban is a Japanese word that originated in 1940 as a production process model by Toyota. Its structure is entirely based on the supply model of grocery stores, where shelves are used to display enough stock to meet the consumer requirements.
In an IT company, the Kanban model or methodology is used to simplify complex tasks. According to this, enough work gets enlisted for a team that they can complete in a given time, enroll them into a fine working product, and share it with the customer.
Using Kanban in JIRA
The basic Kanban methodology includes a whiteboard or wall comprising cards or sticky notes. Every work item is written on that card along with essential details like owner and deadline. All those cards are then arranged in a way representing workflow like To Do, In Progress, and Done. The cards get their position on the board according to their status.
Now, talking about JIRA, it uses a digital version of Kanban which comes with the basic board and paper interface but couples some additional features. Work items will still be written on cards and can be shuffled by the drag and drop method. However, you are free to add additional information on that according to your requirements such as source code, links, attachments, screen captures, etc. Apart from this, JIRA Kanban Boards also provide you a facility of sharing your work board online with your remote team members.
How to create a Kanban board in JIRA?
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Creating a Kanban in JIRA is as easy as opening a new window in your system. To create a new Kanban, you can simply follow the below-mentioned steps which will lead you in the right direction without any hurdle:
- Open JIRA.
- Click the ellipses in the left side column in your system and click “Create Board”.
- You will see two options here, from which, you will have to choose “Create a Kanban Board” and simply click on it.
- Either click on the ‘Create a new board from an existing filter’ or click on ‘Create a board from an existing board’.
- Give a new name for the board and projects to be included in this board here and simply click on ‘Create Board’.
- No, you will see your Kanban Board.
By following these steps, you will see a new JIRA Kanban Board blinking on your screen with default columns i.e. Backlog, In progress, To Do, and Done. Apart from this, you are also free to add new columns by the ‘Board Settings’ option.
Elements of JIRA with Kanban Methodology
The Kanban technology basically has 5 components that collaboratively play the role of a Kanban Board. Let's take a look at the Kanban Board Elements in the below-given points:
- Visual Signals: The initial part you’ll notice in a Kanban Board is its visual cards. You can write all of your work requirements and tasks along with guidelines on these cards (one item at each card). These cards will help the stakeholders and teammates to understand the entire workflow.
- Columns: The second component of a Kanban Board is its columns. Each of its columns showcases a specific activity, and together they represent the entire ‘workflow’. Cards travel through the entire workflow until they get completed and get a place in the last column. You can also modify the workflow according to your requirements.
- Work In Progress (WIP) Limits: Work In Progress limits can be termed as the highest number of cards that can be entered in a column. In clear words, we can say that a column with WIP limit 3 cannot have cards more than that. This facility is offered just to make you warned about the excess of work, which means you can predefine the number of tasks to dodge the work burden.
- Commitment Point: As a commitment point, a backlog of their board is also offered for Kanban teams. Teammates, as well as the customers, can easily put their ideas related to the project here so that they can be used when needed. The commitment point can be termed as the point where an idea is picked and the team starts working on it. It is basically the starting point of any project.
- Delivery Point: As its name suggests, it is the ending point of any project or workflow. Generally, companies take the delivery point when their projects get in the hands of their customers. So, we can simply understand that the companies work to take the project from a commitment point to the delivery point.
These are the five components of a Kanban methodology, according to which it works. Check out the above figure of the Kanban board to get a comprehensive view. A board coupled with these five elements will undoubtedly lead you towards success.
Types and examples of kanban boards
Kanban methodology can be adopted by any industry from hardcore manufacturing to high-end software development. It can be used in two ways, either digital or physical. You can get detailed information regarding both of them in the below-given points.
It is the simplest Kanban Board, which is nothing but a wall or a whiteboard/blackboard divided into columns vertically. You can use sticky notes to assign work in each of the columns and can move them according to the conditions. These sticky notes will move through the entire workflow and will elaborate the entire flow.
With the reference of time and development of technology, this mode of Kanban Board came in sight. This is the Digital Kanban Board, which does not occupy any physical space in your offices and can be used remotely. These digital kanban boards have a lot of benefits associated with them, such as easy to set up, easy to share, and asynchronous tracking. There are numerous Digital Kanban Boards available around, still, it will be more fruitful to use Treelo for fast/simple work and JIRA for advanced work (features like WIP limits, control charts can be found in it).
To use the Kanban methodology, you don’t have to uproot the entire project. You can get started if you know the ‘What to do now’ tasks. You just have to make an outline of the project and then you can get started. The Kanban requirements are as follows:
- You completely understand the current process and can assign different employees for different roles in the process.
- You agree to pursue regular improvement via evolutionary change.
- You need to encourage effective leadership at each and every level during the entire project.
[Related Page: JIRA Dashboards]
You need to keep this thing fixed in mind that it is a team process and you need to get all of your team together at the initial stage. Then you will have to break all the activities of the process and assign them to the employees according to their roles and responsibilities. Only then you will be able to get that how and when a card will get posted and can estimate how much time the project takes to get completed.
Kanban is undoubtedly a great methodology to get any project completed in a well-managed way. With the help of it, you can see your progress along with your team’s progress efficiently at a single page. There are many Kanban Board platforms available across the globe, so you just need to choose one as per your requirements.