What is Kanban Software?

What is Kanban Software?

Kanban software applies the principles and practices of Kanban to help teams, departments, and companies to project manage their work. The software delivers Kanban boards with columns and lists to help teams create backlogs, select items, visualize the flow, and pull performance data.

More than just a digital Kanban board

Although much of the project management software available in the market looks like it might support Kanban project management, only the applications that adhere to the principles of Kanban can be considered a total Kanban solution. Typically, when we think of Kanban software, the first thing that comes to mind is ..a digital Kanban board. The board itself - although at the center of the application - is not the sole feature of Kanban software. Complete systems will also have the following characteristics:

  • Powerful visual cues, allowing you to read data at a glance through custom card views, various card colors and icons
  • Built-in Work in Progress Limits, helping to minimize multitasking and increase process throughput
  • Intelligent engines, that help you set due dates and reminders and to create rules that control card behavior on the board, through underlying scripts
  • Intuitive interface and design, that clearly shows the progress and status of work
  • The ability to handle multiple projects or workstreams through the means of swimlanes - horizontal rows
  • Insightful reports that show work performance and highlight areas for improvement, i.e. the Cumulative Flow diagram or the Lead and Cycle Time
  • Integration interfaces, that allow you to interact with team members email, coding repositories or other third-party apps
  • Security of your data. If your team is distributed across many offices, or when you’re employing remote workers, a secure online Kanban software will be ideal. However, if you have sensitive data that you cannot send to the cloud, you should consider having a secure On-Premise Kanban software installed on your servers.
  • Mobile access, providing a continued view of your workflow regardless of where you are and what device type you have on you.

Kanban Software

Leverage the power of remote teams

Often, 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 will be limited, sometimes two separate boards would be maintained, causing status synchronization problems. For these teams, digital boards are the easier way to go.

Unlimited space for your data

When team members are limited by seating space or when processes are complex, physical boards can also be constricting. 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. On the other hand, there is no need to worry about having to deal with forever scrolling, huge digital boards - an online Kanban should let you collapse those board portions, that you’re not currently interested in, and to filter out the data that isn’t relevant to your immediate need.

Open to process changes

Evolving processes mean that teams will periodically need to change their ways of working, requiring them to update the number of columns on the board, reorder them, or even re-build the board from scratch. Software solutions cater to this very well, whereas redesigning physical boards is usually a chore big enough to make the team think twice about implementing a process alteration. Which hinders improvement in the long run! Thanks to how easy it is to change a digital Kanban board’s layout, you really can have the board work for you, and not the other way round.

Superior reporting

Physical Kanban boards are useful and are the easiest way of introducing teams to Kanban. But they will never provide the reporting abilities of Kanban software. Tracking performance across the last months or years is not possible with an analog board. Furthermore, the speed at which data can be built and distributed to shareholders via Kanban software is far greater, than attempting to do the same through a physical board.