The greatest advantage of using an online Kanban board as opposed to a physical Kanban whiteboard is the benefit of the auto-generated metrics. All you need to do is set up the columns of your Kanban board, start creating and moving tasks, and the rest will get done on its own.
What metrics are there?
With Kanban Tool, all you are doing is making task cards and sliding them along the project swimlane, while in the background, all the statistical information about the team's performance is being measured and recorded for you, automatically.
The data that you can view and analyze is available in a couple of forms: a Breakdown Chart, a Time Report, a Lead and Cycle Time, a Cumulative Flow Diagram and a basic Changelog.
What information do they provide?
The Breakdown Chart is used to see the way the tasks are distributed among the team. The information can be aligned with regards to task difficulty, type, priority etc. You can also view the tasks in a particular column or a swimlane, to analyse one or multiple projects at a time. It provides a basic insight into what is being worked on, what's done and what still awaits attention.
The Time Report
The Time Report shows the exact time entries for each team member or all of them. It provides an insight into how much time the team has spent on each task. The Report can be generated for all of your Kanban boards at once. There is a summary report and a detailed one for your convenience.
Lead and Cycle Time Diagram
The Lead and Cycle Time Diagram is the one to go to for seeing the average time it takes for a task to get from the point of being placed on the board to getting completed. It's also a place to compare this lead time to time this task was actually being worked on for.
This way, you gain information about the actual process throughput. For most businesses it's a matter of great importance that the Lead Time is as short (and close to Cycle Time) as possible, as this means the speed of their response to a customer need is good.
Cumulative Flow Diagram
Cumulative Flow Diagram is a graph illustrating the process on whole - it clearly shows the distribution of work among process phases (to do - doing - done). By looking at it, you get to instantly see just how well the team performs.
If everything runs smoothly, the bands (each color represents different stage of the process) are staying even. So no jumps or sudden rises - with only the "Tasks Completed" stripe rising. As soon as you notice a rise in the height of the "In progress" band - this informs you of a possible issue: too many tasks, too difficult for a particular team member, more time, manpower or information is needed. It's the most insightful tool of all - you know the current situation without even entering the office.
The Changelog is a record of all modifications of the board and tasks. It can be helpful when needing to locate the source of particular information.
With all this information available at all times with no extra effort - would you still consider a physical Kanban board a perfect solution?
All your team is required to do is move task cards with accordance to their stage, the rest gets done automatically.
Instead of guesstimating how long things are going to take, base your estimates on previous experiences, available in Kanban Tool's Analytics. This way your team doesn't get overworked, your stakeholders get what they've ordered delivered on time and you become a reliable business partner. Why not try it for free now?