Kanban board is a powerful tool that can help you visualize processes, understand the current state of your project, and optimize where needed. However, if it is your first time using this tool, there may be some uncertainty in what type of board you should choose. To help you understand the possibilities of Kanban and imagine what types of boards you can create, we gathered 16 Kanban board examples to get you inspired.
Look through to find something that fits your company’s needs or read more about what is Kanban board and then come back to this list to get started!
Basic Kanban examples
Simple Kanban board example
No matter which industry you are from or what type of work you do, a basic board is always a good place to start. It allows you to visualize your tasks and immediately gain a better understanding of what is currently going on and where your team should be going. The most simple Kanban board example is composed out of 3 sections – Backlog, Work in progress and Done. Where the Backlog holds all of the planned tasks, Work in progress holds tasks that are being worked on, and Done holds the completed tasks.
Process tracking board
Once all your tasks are visually sorted, you will most likely want some more clarity on their priorities and stages of completion. Here, additional sections of the Kanban board come into play. The backlog is enhanced with priority columns, holding tasks that are more important and should be completed first. And theIn progress section is divided into clear process steps tasks must go through. For example, design- manufacturing – testing – shipment.
This Kanban board example is the most common base teams use to set up their process as it is easy to start with and improve on once you begin working.
Advanced Kanban process
For those running more complicated projects, just identifying all the process steps may not be enough to have clarity on the process. Here is where Advanced Kanban boards come into play. They add one more element to the In progress section and allow each process column to have a secondary workflow of their own.
In this case, each column can have a completely separate workflow to track subtasks and to get more accuracy on the progress and stage of the task. It is especially useful for stages like Design or Testing where several iterations of back and forth are required before a team can move forward. With an advanced Kanban process, you can see both – the big picture and the important details.
Accounting and financial services Kanban board example
Using a Kanban for your accounting firm can be a great benefit as it allows you to understand the workload of your team and the effort put in for every client. In this example, Backlog does not have a traditional priority column but is equipped with a similar ‘Ready for distribution’ column which holds tasks that can be taken on by the team. Since the process for accounting tasks vary and is known to the whole team, the In progress column is used to visualize different team members. Allowing you to see how many tasks each of the team members have taken on at the moment. Lastly, process planning is incorporated into the board by using Kanban swimlanes to display separate weeks, thus visualizing what is coming next.
Marketing Kanban board examples
Social Media management board
Marketing teams and projects are known for including a lot of different efforts and variables. Thus, to ensure effective task tracking it is best to use a system of separate Kanban boards dedicated to different types of processes. This first Kanban example is set up to track social media marketing efforts.
Backlog gathers ideas and marks which tasks should move forward. Work In Progress shows what the team is currently working on. With the secondary process, you can quickly check at which stage – design, copywriting, or review the campaign is in. And the In Campaign column keeps track of all live promotions to keep you in control. Lastly, rows are used to distinguish weekS and thus allow to plan out the social media calendar right there on the board.
Campaign Management board
For those working on larger campaigns, a little different Kanban board example may be more sufficient. Instead of using rows to visualize weeks, rows could be used to represent different campaigns, making it easy to sort tasks according to their main goals and track them on the board. Teams can also take advantage of predefined tags and sort the tasks within each campaign, e.g. – Display Ads, Direct Mailing, Events, PR, and others.
Issue tracking Kanban board example
A little different approach comes from this Kanban board used for Issue tracking. To visualize the process and make it clear to all the team members, this board is combined like a matrix. The rows symbolize the priority of the issue ticket and columns symbolize status. Making it easy to assess the situation and identify the most important work. Using a system of columns, the team can sort new tasks into ones ready to be solved or blocked, track which issues are being resolved or just waiting for confirmation, and categorize closed issues as completed or not resolved.
It is a rather simple, but effective way to visualize work when it comes to issue tracking.
Engineering Kanban board examples
Engineering Kanban board to separate Design and Production
Engineering projects are known for their complexity and difficulty to manage. Thus, to ensure everything is under control, it is best to use several Kanban boards. There are a few ways to divide work, the first one is dividing the project into separate stages. For example, Design and Production.
In the Design board requirements are gathered and prioritized. Then the team can mark the stage of completion and check the quality assurance. Once an item reaches the Output column, it is moved to the production board and a separate production process takes place. The percentage of completion in the design board lets the production team know when to be ready and using two separate Kanban boards makes tracking tasks and processes clearer.
Kanban structure to separate Planning and Projects
For engineering companies with several projects or project groups going on at the same, a different approach to structuring the Kanban boards may be more effective. The approach here is to have one board for all the planning and separate boards for the execution of each project.
This way the planning is centralized and once the tasks are ready to be completed, teams can track their progress separately in their project-specific boards. For larger companies, this allows having control over what is being done while still keeping the autonomy of specific teams and tracking tasks with more detail and accuracy.
Kanban structure to separate Project and Administrative tasks
If your engineering company needs to separate project tasks from administrative work, this task board set up will be your favorite. Here the company is using two Kanban boards for their task monitoring. The project board tracks the work being done in several rows dedicated to different projects. This board is more complicated and visualizes the whole process. As well as displaying secondary workflow for the subtasks.
While the Administrative board is dedicated to administrative tasks associated with the projects. Here only 3 stages are monitored – To do, Doing, and Done to see what is the status of each task. This way, the company can separate tasks based on their nature and have an effective tracking process for both.
Kanban board examples for a full product development cycle
Using a structure of several Kanban boards can be useful not only for the engineering teams but for all companies that want to set up a more transparent process. For this, you should utilize several boards, all dedicated to specific aspects of your process. Here is an example Kanban board structure for the full development cycle of a new product.
Kanban for setting the Roadmap
Any new product first starts with a plan. To make sure your company is a long-term player you will want to set up plans on what has to be achieved in the nearest future as well as in the later years. And there is no reason why your task tracking should not begin here as well.
For this you should choose some kind of a roadmap Kanban board example, maybe even the one seen above. By using such a board, it will be easy to register ideas, prioritize, analyze them, and then decide which ones to take on and which are not worth the effort. While setting up rows as year quarters will help you map out your plans in time.
Kanban for managing Backlog
Once you are ready to materialize ideas, they should be moved to the next board for grooming and prioritization. The Backlog Kanban board example above is great for this, allowing you to review the ideas and come up with clear actions for your team to take. You can see the whole quarter’s worth of tasks on this board and prioritize them based on importance and the order in which the team should complete them.
Kanban for Execution
As the priorities are set, it is time for the team to take over. Tasks are moved to the Execution board in chunks that the team can complete within an iteration. Here even more detail is introduced, as the team can see and follow subtasks through a separate process in the execution and testing phases. Allowing the team to see just what they need and focus on the work that has to be done.
Rows can be used to separate iterations and thus provide a more accurate plan for the team.
Release Kanban board example
Lastly, as the product is done and tested, the team should move the task to the release board. Making it easy to track which features have been released with each version and track if the release is live or not.
Software development Kanban board examples
One more example of Kanban comes from the software development sector. This sector has been the first to adopt Kanban in project management and has since found many ways to utilize it for their benefit. One example of such usage is this system of two connected boards.
The first board is dedicated solely to the Backlog and focuses on planning and prioritizing tasks. Software development teams often have to juggle and reprioritize many issues, thus having a separate board for planning is always a good idea. The second board in this example is the board for execution. Here the team can easily track the progress of tasks the team is currently working on, by creating as many process steps as needed.
Kanban board is a powerful visualization tool that can be used by teams from various fields and backgrounds. If you are new to task visualization start with something simple and then improve the board as you get a sense of what your preferences are. If you already know what process works best and simply want to visualize it, pick one of the Kanban board examples, and visualize your efforts today.