Planview Leankit Updates
The 11 Best Kanban Apps to Build Your Own Productivity Workflow
Toyota perfected the just-in-time manufacturing system over 60 years ago with Kanban, a series of cards that stayed with an item as it went through its manufacturing process. Each part for a vehicle needed the same steps done to it, and the kanban card helped one see which phase of the process that part was in.
Today, that system has been codified into a vast array of kanban board apps. They each help you break your project up into a workflow, with lists for each stage of the process and cards for your tasks. They're great—as long as each task in your projects needs to go through the exact same workflow.
But often, projects aren't that straightforward. Perhaps only certain cards need one stage of a workflow, or you need to list a unique workflow for each stage of the project. That's part of the Agile project management style: you can respond to change, and build an iterative process that fits your own work style.
That's what Planview LeanKit is designed for. As a lean app, Planview LeanKit lets you create the perfect workflow for your projects, no matter how complex or straightforward it may be. It's similar to a typical kanban board app, with the default layout featuring a handful of lists with tasks on cards that you can drag between lists easily. But it's flexible enough to make the detailed boards with sub-lists and sections that are featured on its homepage.
When you create a new board—or workplace for your project—in Planview LeanKit, you can choose from either a default kanban-like board with 3 columns, or can pick from a variety of board templates to start out with a pre-set project management workflow. Either way, most Planview LeanKit boards include two minimized columns on both sides: one for ideas and tasks that aren't started on the left, and another on the right for finished tasks that can be archived. That keeps the focus on your active work—with ideas and finished stuff still nearby.
For a more customized workflow than the default, click the gear icon in the top right and select Board Layout Editor. There, you can add Lanes, or columns, or can add a vertical or horizontal split to any existing lane. Each can have a name, can be as wide or narrow as you'd like (with width measured by the number of cards that can be shown side-by-side), and can include a card limit to make sure there's not too many tasks in any given stage at one time. Or, click the tiny gear on a lane to set the lane's type and activity for statistics about your workflow types, or add a rich text description if you'd like.
With your project workflow in place, click Save to see your completed board. Now, add cards from the square button in the top right, giving each a title and type. You can then add more details, or just quickly add another card to fill up your lists. Then, select a card, and you can add tasks, description, tags, start and finish dates, links, comments and attachments. You can also add connections, to link tasks to other tasks to show when one task has to be completed before another can proceed.
Once all that info is added to cards, you'll notice something new on your board: each card includes a preview of everything inside, so you can at a glance see tasks, the number of uncompleted sub-tasks, and more (and on the dashboard, you'll see a similar overview of each board for a peek into the project from its thumbnail). Each card is its own project—there's even a mini kanban board inside each cards to give your sub-tasks their own workflow. Combine that and the connections, and you'll have an easy way to give structure to each task and project and make sure everything gets shipped on time.
Planview LeanKit also includes filters to view parts of projects you need to see most, an activity stream to see what's been done over time, and analytics to get a detailed breakdown of how your projects are going. It's everything you need to manage projects in your own workflow, and make sure things get done on time, every time.