Transparency & Effective Teamwork with Kanban Tool21 Oct 2014

No matter the project's shape and size - good teamwork is key to making it work and to actually work well. What are the most common obstacles and difficulties when it comes to teamwork? How to best overcome them? Kanban Tool provides an enormous scope for teamwork improvement. In fact, the most common problems can be highly improved upon, just by implementing Kanban Tool.

Effective Teamwork with Kanban Tool

1. Long meetings with endless hours of discussion, which conclude with disproportionatelly little directives

When using visual management tool, such as Kanban Tool, the real need for meetings really drops to one a week, one a month. This is because all current tasks are accessible at a glance - and to everyone. The team know what they are doing, as well as what their colleagues are doing. Any comments can be made in the task cards, and all people involved will get the memo. All there is left to discuss are new ideas and new schedules - these can be added to the backlog, commented on initially and by that - be pre-discussed when it comes to the once-a-month meeting.

2. The need for swift communication of project status and task assignment

When a new task is added to the Kanban board, it becomes visible to all people using it. All that is left is either for the manager to assign the task to someone, or - if this is your work model - for an available team member to pull it for himself. No need to discuss it any further.

3. Distribution of documents and updating / overwriting them in such a way that all of the team are aware of changes

The tasks in Kanban Tool can have attachments added to them. This way you can add as much and as detailed information, as you like. And once you change it - just change the attachment version (or even better - use the cloud attachments, so that they update automatically).

4. Inability to find the cause of a recurring problem

If a certain type of a task is constantly done incorrectly and there is no-one to "blame" - with Kanban Tool finding the root of the problem will be easy. By assigning tasks to people you are ensuring that their development will be traceable to the creator.

5. Miscommunication

When communicating verbally, and in large groups, in loud and "fun" meetings - miscommunication is unavoidable. The level of concentration and the ability to remember is not highest during boring, weekly meetings. Why not just leave everything to the written word? It's clear, explicit, and more permanent than a spoken command. People can go back to it, when in doubt or when memory just fails.

6. Inequality, that stems from team members not being able to present the amount of work that goes into their tasks, that are perceived as easy by others - and the other way round - unfair taking a lot of credit for short-lasting, easy tasks

Once you implement Kanban Tool with seamless Time Tracking, there will be no room for making it seem that a particular job takes much longer than it actually does. The proof will be in the time records. This is a great opportunity to evaluate your team - with regards to their effort and actually - their honesty.

7. Inability to match tasks to the best person available, that leads to many people doing things they don't know much about or don't like

With Kanban Tool Analytics the team manager (or anyone else, for that matter) can clearly see how good people are at which kinds of jobs. Thanks to this kind of information, it is very simple to match a task to a team member and to get everyone working on the things they are good at.

8. No clarity with regards to who does what and what are they trying to achieve as a team

Kanban Tool is a visual project management tool, therefore all users have a quick access to everyone else's progress. By setting the columns and swimlanes correctly you can ensure that people remember what is the common goal.

Effective Teamwork

9. No accounting for people's actions, a kind of anonymity - which causes lack of dedication and responsibility

If you don't receive any sort of feedback and are aware that your effort will not be evaluated or traced back to you, chances are you will not try your absolute best. We'd all like to think that we perform exactly the same when supervised that when we're independent, but this is certainly not true. In Kanban Tool tasks are assigned to users and followed by Analytics. Nowhere to hide from what you've created and what you've let slide.

10. To high a level of competitiveness among the team members - may lead to putting their own goals ahead of common team goals, not to mention the amounts of unnecessary stress and bad blood involved

There is no real way to cut out the competitiveness really. Many would say that it is needed, to improve overall performance of all. But it still has to make sense. If you assign similar sort of tasks to different people, and later evaluate not only the speediness of their performance, but also its quality - a kind of competition measured fairly only shows the real value of your team.

11. Low flexibility - creates a stressful environment and puts unnecessary limits on the team

With Kanban Tool flexibility is welcome. Whether it comes to working hours, workplace, types of jobs, types of businesses - it's always up to you how you want to use your Kanban board. Because it is an online tool - it can be accessed from everywhere and anytime. Extensive board and function customization options allow you to make Kanban Tool fit your organization like a glove.

12. No met deadlines or a strong tendency to miss them

Keeping deadlines is one of the things that makes our business look reliable. With Kanban Tool it is easy to stay on top of your commitments. Make sure to use due dates to follow your progress with accordance to making the dates. Seeing the days remaining on the cards will make it difficult to forget them. You can also use My Work widget reminders, just to be sure.

13. Very little contribution from some members and lots of it from others

Teamwork needs to be teamwork - use Analytics filtered by users to see exactly how much each member contributes. You can look at the difficulty of their tasks and the time they took to do them. This is an easy way to evaluate team's performance.

14. Inability to focus on one task at a time, leading to low productivity and low motivation, as well as very poor job satisfaction.

This is the most vital aspect of Kanban - limiting work in progress to a minimum. This way you can completely focus on one thing at a time, therefore getting much better results. Not only will the quality of your work increase, but your work experience (far less chaos) and work satisfaction (getting much more done in a much better atmosphere) will rise too.

So, make sure you're utilizing all of Kanban Tool's features, and following all the essential rules to ensure a really well-working teamwork.