What is Kanban Software?

What is Kanban Software?

Kanban software is one that utilizes the principles and practices of Kanban, to help people - teams, departments and companies - to project manage their work. These solutions consist of columns and lists to help teams create backlogs, select items, visualize the flow and pull performance data.

Although a lot of software look like they might be Kanban solutions, only the ones that adhere to the principles of Kanban can be considered a total solution. Here are some features that we believe you should consider before selecting tool that’s right for you.

More than just a digital Kanban board

Very often, when we think of Kanban software, the first thing that comes to mind is a digital board. The board - although at the centre of the application - is not the sole feature of Kanban software. Full solutions also offer the following helpful functionality:

  • Powerful visual cues allowing teams to read data in a glance through custom cards views, various card colors and icons,
  • Intelligent built-in engines, that help you set due dates and reminders and to create rules that control the cards behavior on the board through underlying custom scripts,
  • Intuitive interface and design that clearly shows the progress or status of work,
  • The ability to handle multiple projects or work streams through the means of swimlanes (rows),
  • Insightful reports that show work performance and highlight areas for improvement, i.e. the cumulative flow diagram,
  • Integration interfaces, that allow you to interact with team members email, coding repositories or message boards
  • Data Security of your data, especially if you are employing remote workers you might want the online Kanban solution. However, if you have sensitive data that you cannot send to the cloud, you should consider safe and security On-Premise Kanban software installed on your own servers.

While all Kanban-based tools may seem similar, we can see that the above software features are a far cry from a simple group of to-do lists in process columns!

Utilize the power of remote teams

Often times, company team members will be scattered geographically, due to either a choice to work remotely, or to multiple office locations. In such cases use of physical boards is limited, sometimes two separate boards are maintained, causing status synchronization problems to occur. For these teams digital boards are a much easier way to go.

Unlimited space and other advantages of Kanban software

When team members are limited by seating space or when processes are complex, physical boards can also be limiting. All team members may not be able to see the board, or the board may not be able to present all the relevant information - compared to a digital solution that can be accessed simply via web browser and which can scale limitlessly to contain all your data.

When processes and ways of working change

Evolving processes mean that teams will periodically need to change their ways of working which requires them to update the number of columns on the board, reorder them or even build the board from scratch. Software solutions cater for this very well, whereas redesigning physical boards is typically a chore. Furthermore, interactive checklists can break down large tasks into multiple steps, saving board space and providing easier tracking.

Superior reporting with Kanban software

Physical Kanban boards are very useful, but they will never provide the reporting abilities of a Kanban software. Tracking performance across last months or years is impossible with a physical board. Also, the speed at which data can be built and distributed to shareholders via Kanban software cannot be matched when operating on a physical board.

Kanban boards are fabulous and easy to use means of managing any process, and if you’re considering their use, we believe you would be missing out if you did not try both a physical and a digital Kanban board.