The Kanban board

2022-10-19T13:13:18+02:00Dashboard Kanban|

The Kanban board is the tool par excellence of the Kanban method, a method that is part of the agile methodology and widely used by software development teams.

Next, we will see what a Kanban board is, what it consists of, how to organize them and the different boards that exist, both physical and digital.

What is a Kanban board?

The Kanban board is a visual project management tool used to map and visualize work flow, limit work in progress and maximize efficiency.

The goal of these boards is to help development teams define the order of their daily work.

Visualizing work on a Kanban board will increase productivity and eliminate any bottlenecks during project development.

The Kanban board is the star piece of the Kanban method, and originally consisted of a white board divided into rows and columns, these indicate a phase of the process and it is in them where the cards indicating the tasks will be added; placing it in a column or another will quickly indicate the status of that task, thus getting to see, in a visual and quick way, the state of development of the project.

what is kanban board

How does a Kanban board work?

As we have just said, a Kanban board is characterized by being a board divided into columns that indicate the development status of tasks with cards that represent just those tasks. As we will see later, these boards can be physical or digital.

Kanban board elements

Columns and color cards are the basic elements needed to create a board, although there are more elements to be aware of when working with Kanban boards.


Each project can have as many columns as desired: each column will indicate the status of the tasks added to it.

One of the most commonly used column divisions is:

  • To do“: where the cards indicating the pending tasks are added
  • Doing“: where there will be the cards with the tasks that are being developed at that time
  • Done“: where the cards of the tasks already completed will be placed

With this simple division, you can quickly see which tasks are pending, which are in progress and which are already closed.

Another fragmentation could be according to project priorities: “low”, “medium” or “high”, or even one in which a workflow is represented as: “order received”, “payment collected”, “shipped”, and “delivered”.

An interesting column to adopt in a Kanban board is the “Blocking” column, where cards indicating tasks that cannot move forward will be placed. Thanks to this column, visually it will be quickly detected which tasks are stuck and which require other actions.

These sharing are infinite and will always be done thinking about how it is easier to visualize the mapping of the project development.

To achieve a more exhaustive mapping, you can create as many subsections as you wish within each column, thus, you will see the workflow in much more detail.

pass your tasks to done

Kanban Cards

Kanban cards are the key element in a Kanban board and each card corresponds to a single task or work to be developed and moves along the columns of the board.

The use of the cards is to visualize the progress of the tasks and to limit the work in progress or WIP (Work in Process”). During this process, the cards help to reduce the number of unnecessary meetings, improve the transparency of workflows and help to know what each task consists of.

An easy way to quickly visualize the type of task on the Kanban board is with colors: each card can have a color assigned to it by the development team where the color indicates a specific type of task, e.g. pink cards can indicate design tasks, orange cards can indicate development tasks and/or green cards can indicate testing tasks.

Kanban cards
Using Kanban cards has a number of advantages

The use of these cards, which we have already seen are the mainstay of a Kanban board, provides a number of advantages:

  • Facilitate the detection of inefficiencies: thanks to the visual nature of the Kanban board and the colors of the cards, you will quickly see when there is a problem with the tasks. For example, if a pink card corresponding to design does not progress within a reasonable time frame to the next column, the team will see that there is a problem with that design and will start to fix it
  • Achieve deliverables on time: the cards will allow you to limit the WIP, you only need to create as many tasks as can be completed within the timeframe. If a column is full of cards, the team must use them to speed up their output and deliver the project on time
  • Teamwork: precisely because of the two previous advantages, teamwork is encouraged. When a team member sees a card that is not progressing, that is blocked, he/she can see what it is about and can sometimes solve the task, allowing the project to move forward

Work in progress limits

For the development of the project to be effective, it is necessary to limit the work in progress, this means that the number of cards in a column must be limited.

When a column has reached that limit number of cards, the team should focus on those tasks and output them to advance to the next columns and thus, be able to advance the tasks of the previous columns, it is a way to streamline the workflow and control bottlenecks.

Kanban board types

The first Kanban boards that appeared were physical boards and the cards were colored post-it cards, this ease of implementing this work methodology made the Kanban method popular, especially in software development teams.

But over time, digital boards have appeared, tools that can be accessed by any member of the work team with only an Internet connection. This has facilitated the decentralization of work, creating teams in which only their technical skills are valued, since their location has become irrelevant, thus helping companies that promote teleworking and are committed to digital transformation.

Kanban boards in multiple industries

Kanban boards are used for development in software teams, but they can be extended to other sectors thanks to their great flexibility. Thus, a board can also show for example, the sales circuit of an eccommerce, to manage a sales funnel, it can even have non-professional uses, such as using a Kanban board to prepare a trip: it can help to make a checklist of the things you have to buy, what you have to put in the suitcase and what souvenirs to bring.

Kanban board benefits


In short, working with Kanban boards brings great benefits to product development:


  • Visualization of the workflow: they detect bottlenecks and remedy them, while streamlining the work process
  • Empowering teamwork: when team members see a column with the maximum number of cards defined, they should all get to work together to unblock that column and move forward with future tasks
  • Time delivery periods are met: thanks to workflow mapping, more or less emphasis can be put on the development of some of the cards according to the delivery date, it is a way to prioritize tasks
  • Elimination of unnecessary meetings: you avoid meetings in which you explain the status of the project, the tasks assigned to each one, thanks to see the cards represented on the board, it is easy to know the status of the development
Go to Top