Kanban has cropped up recently especially after an enjoyable information session (Kanban in SharePoint – SharePoint Without Information) at the SP24 Online SharePoint Conference from Michal Sobotkiewicz. If you can, see his great analogy about information and collaboration using beer, Smarties and golf balls!
I like this short explanation: “Kanban is a flavor of agile that emphasizes the flow and continuous delivery of work.”
So it’s main focus is for project management and of course SharePoint comes into that mix.
Kaban involves columns and cards. The column is the status and the card is the action or task. Simple really. What columns and cards you use can vary a little.
Here’s 3 columns:
And the cards (actions/tasks) are moved from one column to another as they are progressed.
What is Kaban and what does it have to do with SharePoint?
Michal has a Kanban solution (www.kan.bo) which is far more sophisticated way of team collaboration and project management. It’s an innovative cloud solution built on SharePoint which starts at €10 per user per month. Top SharePoint guru Christian Buckley also provides an overview of using Kaban with Sharepoint and talks about Kanbo.
You can of course build your own version in Sharepoint and its straightforward enough.
I’ve produced one for a project team in the last place I worked and they used it on a daily basis for tracking their project tasks.
There are also 3rd party products that may or may not be useful to you. Here’s one.
And then there is Trello (www.trello.com). A free cloud service which offers a form of Kaban for you, a team or a company. That one is certainly worth a try.
What I like about Kaban is its relative simplicity. We all know how difficult it can be in managing projects and knowing who is working on what and when. The thing though is that everyone has to buy into it and everyone has to use it properly. Otherwise we just get back to emails and shared drives! And we don’t want that now, do we?