LeanKit: Kanban Board Experience Report
This is an Example of a Kanban board from http://www.leankitkanban.com
As a new team that has transitioned to Kanban and also deals with distributed team members, we decided to implement a virtual kanban board. After googling around for possible virtual kanban boards we were unable to find any we felt that suited our needs. This lead me to ask around to fellow teams inside of development who also deal with distributed teams and the implementation of Kanban. This led to the recommendation of the LeanKit: Kanban board(link above).
So we started implementing the new Kanban board just over two weeks ago, with pretty good success. The Kanban Board is web based and you can get access to 1 board with 5 users for free. Because we have a team of 7 I created 3 accounts for the Team’s PO, Dev Lead and Team Lead, and then one generic developer account and one generic tester account. We then went and created our Kanban columns for process/development flow with simple drag and dropping and editing. We were even able to create feature swim lanes with there own sub WIP limits to enforce One story at a time for internal development projects(keeping the main focus on deliverables.)
We still use an internal system(JIRA/Greenhopper) so we titled our stories with the JIRA# and a quick description. Inside the comment field we put the team members working on the story, the effort, type and any additional information we may of needed. Then the Process Lead Engineer(this happening to be myself) would manage syncing up JIRA and the Board(or at least observing that this was being followed by the team members moving the story).
So far we have been able to use the board to point out the bottle necks in our development process, mainly for us it was having available builds to test and demonstrate our “delivered” product to our Product Owners.
So far I can say I highly recommend this digital Kanban board for people with distributed teams. We keep it always on display like a real board using the Television pictured above. There is still many new features in development and you can vote for them right at the website on what you want to see next, they have a very agile development cycle as well and deliver frequent updates.
I will report back later in the coming months to let you know how the continued and extensive use of this board fares.