Fast-Moving Projects #4 – Workflow and Process


13 September 2018 • 5 min read

    If you want to see how your team’s tasks are going on the Kanban board you have to determine what steps they need to pass along the way toward completion. In the absolutely minimal version, two task states can be set: Open and Closed. That is obviously not enough. It’s more about you looking at how your team is currently completing tasks and which stages or roles they go through – and then express it on the board.

    Visualization of task realization

    You can visualize different processes on the Kanban board, also those that are quite complex and include multiple stages. But here you may also fall into the trap of easily overdoing it and dealing with too many statuses. The more statuses, the more difficult for the team it will be to get used to the process and understand the importance of individual statuses in the context of different types of tasks. Atlassian recommends the visualization of up to 7 statuses (columns) on one board.

    That’s why at the very beginning it’s better not to think about how this process should look like but instead focus on capturing what the workflow looks like in your team right now, in a simplified way.

    For example, it can be a simple realization process pictured below. That or similar course of the realization can be your starting point you and your team will gradually and evolutionarily improve.

    Work statuses

    When starting project management process within the Kanban board, remember to describe and publish the meaning of individual statuses in advance.

    Then discuss the importance of updating work data and encourage all members of your team to reflect the current job statuses on a regular basis. Only then will the visualization of the tasks statuses bring benefits to your team during your regular team meetings when everyone will see the status of the work when discussing it. (Moreover, the very fact that everyone will see the statuses of all tasks will be the reason for some extra stress among those who have had a more lenient approach toward  the implementation of their tasks)

    Example of statuses description:

    • New – a task that has just been received by the team. We do not know what’s going on yet, whether we will take care of it, and when we will do that.
    • To do – a task identified, planned for implementation in the next period, e.g. week
    • In progress – the task is in progress
    • Paused – the task was stopped due to the so-called blocker (no data, no information, no cooperation)
    • Done – the task has been declared by the assignee as ready for collection
    • Closed – the task has been received and closed by the recipient
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