When it comes to building or enhancing your Kanban board, looking at real-world examples can be a valuable source of inspiration. Looking for inspiration for your Kanban journey?
Examples in this article showcase how teams leverage Kanban boards to streamline their workflows and unlock greater efficiency. While you may find commonalities with other teams’ board structures and tracking methods, it’s important to recognize that your team’s unique nuances should shape your own Kanban board.
What is the Kanban board?
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, you may be uncertain about 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 various Kanban board examples to get you inspired. Review all of the sample Kanban boards or choose the ones of interest in the menu below.
But before that, we invite you to get a feel of what the Teamhood Kanban board can do for you and your team. Open a full-screen read-only Kanban board to get closer to the real experience!
We hope this comprehensive list of examples will help build the perfect Kanban board for your team.
Click on any image to see a larger, more readable version.
All the examples are built using the most advanced Kanban board in the market – Teamhood. Complete with WIP limits, Kanban swimlanes, and Kanban metrics, Teamhood allows you to visualize any process easily.
1. Basic Kanban Example
Simple Kanban Board Example
No matter which industry you are from or what type of work you do, a basic Kanban board is always a good place to start. It allows you to visualize your tasks and immediately better understand what is currently happening and where your team should be going.
The simplest Kanban board example comprises 3 sections – Backlog, Work in progress, and Done. The Backlog holds all of the planned tasks, Work in progress holds tasks that are being worked on, and Done holds the completed tasks.
Kanban Board Example with Process Tracking
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, which hold more important tasks that should be completed first. And the In Progress section is divided into clear process steps tasks must go through. Like in the example below, Design – Manufacturing – Testing – Shipped.
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.
For those running more complicated projects, just identifying all the process steps may not be enough to clarify the process. Here is where Detailed Kanban boards come into play. Offering a small addition allows splitting the process columns into a secondary workflow.
In the Kanban board example above, the ‘Design’ phase has a separate workflow to track subtasks and get more progress accuracy. Such an addition is especially useful for stages like Design or Testing, where several back-and-forth iterations are required before the team can move forward with a task.
You can see both the big picture and the important details with a detailed Kanban process.
3. Kanban Project Management Example
If you are looking for a Kanban board example to help you with project management, the main criteria are the visualization detail and depth. In the example above, you can see a board that provides various visualization levels all in one place.
The Kanban swimlanes define separate teams working on the project. At the same time, columns are used to visualize the process of both – tasks and their subtasks. Thus, providing a deeper understanding of what is going on.
Lastly, each task card shows if it is blocking or waiting for another task to be finished. Providing an additional layer of valuable information.
4. Task Management Kanban Board Example
Managing all team tasks and tracking their progress is often quite a big headache for project managers. With a Kanban board, teams can visualize all of their tasks in a single space while organizing them in an easy-to-read and understandable way. Each team can:
- Visualize and prioritize their process using the status columns.
- Expand any more complicated process steps with an additional process of its own and track subtasks separately.
- Categorize items using rows/swimlanes.
- Mark dependencies between tasks to know when each of them can be performed.
5. Kanban IT Support Example
A little different approach comes through in this board used for Kanban IT support or issue tracking. This board is combined like a matrix to visualize the process and make it clear to all the team members.
The rows symbolize the priority of the issue ticket, and the 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 items 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.
One more Kanban board example comes in the form of Kanban for software development teams. This sector has been the first to adopt Kanban in project management and has since found many ways to utilize this approach for its 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. Such a system makes it easy to use Kanban for software development needs.
7. Kanban Product Management Example
Using a structure of several Kanban boards can be useful for the engineering teams and 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 product management board that covers the full development cycle of a new product.
Kanban for Setting the Roadmap
Any new product first starts with a plan. To ensure your company is a long-term player, you will want to set up plans on what has to be achieved in the near future and later years. And there is no reason why your task tracking should also not begin here.
For this, you should choose a roadmap Kanban board example, like the one seen above. Using such a board will make it 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 develop 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 what they need and focus on the work that must be done.
Rows can be used to separate iterations and thus provide a more accurate plan for the team.
Release Kanban Board Example
Lastly, the team should move the task to the release board dedicated to Kanban product management as the product is done and tested. Making it easy to track which features have been released with each version and track if the release is live or not.
8. Accounting 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 the team can take on.
Since the accounting task process varies 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 team member has 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.
9. 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, separate Kanban boards are best dedicated to different types of processes. This first Kanban example is set up to track social media marketing efforts.
The 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 us to plan out the social media calendar right there on the board.
Campaign Tracking Kanban 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 use predefined tags to sort the tasks within each campaign, e.g., Display Ads, Direct Mailing, Events, PR, etc.
10. Sales Kanban Board Example
A sales Kanban board can be used to track the client lifecycle effectively. With the help of columns, sales teams can effectively visualize the client path from a lead to a customer. While Kanban swimlanes are used to differentiate the leads based on the channels, they come from, the company size, or other factors.
11. Design or Creative Process Kanban Board Example
Design teams and creative individuals usually love visual solutions. Thus, a Kanban board can become a great way to track their work and ensure everything is delivered on time.
The most important aspect of such a process is a review. Often this is done not once but 2 or 3 times before the final result is approved. Thus, it is important to create a Kanban board that visualizes this progress and lets outside parties understand how far along the process each task is.
The Kanban board example above shows that the board is divided into two review stages. As team members work on the task, they can track the subtasks through individual process steps and then submit the whole task for the first review.
Once that is done, they can either complete the task or move it into the second iteration and improve what’s needed. Then again, they submit the task for review. This way, the whole team and the external stakeholders always know the exact stage of each task.
12. HR Kanban Board Example
A similar process could be applied when using a Kanban board for the human resources team, especially in hiring. All of the prospective candidates would be visualized with different Kanban cards, while the columns represent the hiring process. Lastly, Kanban swimlanes would be used to define the position candidates are applying for.
Such tracking makes it easy to see which candidates advanced through the steps, which did not, and at what step.
13. Engineering Kanban Board Examples
Engineering Design and Manufacturing Kanban Board
Engineering projects are known for their complexity and difficulty to manage. Thus, using several Kanban boards to ensure everything is under control is best. There are a few ways to divide work. The first one is dividing the project into separate stages. For example, Design and Manufacturing.
In the Design board, requirements are gathered and prioritized. Then the team can mark the completion stage and check the quality assurance. Once an item reaches the Output column, it is moved to the manufacturing Kanban board, and a separate production process occurs.
The completion percentage 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 System for Planning and Execution
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 on 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.
Structure to Separate Project and Administrative Tasks
If your engineering company needs to separate project tasks from administrative work, this task board setup 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 the status of each task. This way, the company can separate tasks based on their nature and have an effective tracking process for both.
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 develop 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.
14. Portfolio Kanban Board Example
The Portfolio Kanban Board Example offers a powerful method for managing complex organizational projects and initiatives.
Unlike the Team Kanban method, the Portfolio Kanban approach involves using parent and child Kanban cards. The parent card represents a higher-level task or initiative, while the child cards reside on the Team Kanban board and represent specific subtasks or components of the parent card.
An important aspect of this method is the automatic updating of the parent card’s status based on the status of its child cards.
To illustrate, let’s consider a scenario where a child card on the Team level is moved to the “In Progress” column. As a result, the parent card associated with this initiative should also be marked as “In Progress” since work has commenced on at least one of its child cards.
Similarly, when all the child cards on the Team Kanban boards are moved to the “Done” column, the parent card on the Portfolio Kanban board should also be considered “Done,” indicating the completion of the entire initiative.
15. DevOps Kanban Board Example
The DevOps Kanban Board Example offers a streamlined approach to managing the tasks and responsibilities of a DevOps team. While there is potential for a more intricate board structure, it is advisable, to begin with a simple format and enhance it as needed.
The provided sample board consists of three default columns: “To Do,” “Doing,” and “Done,” supplemented by three horizontal lanes that serve specific purposes.
The “Production Issues” lane is the team’s top priority, requiring immediate attention. Tasks are put on hold to address critical production issues before resuming regular tasks. The “Automation” lane emphasizes automating repetitive tasks, tracking job numbers, and automation time. This highlights the team’s commitment to efficiency.
The “Operations” lane handles support tickets and administrative tasks, best kept minimal for focus on automation and strategic projects. Minimizing Operations tasks allocates more resources to drive progress and innovation.
16. Agile Kanban Board Example
The Agile Kanban board example presents a valuable opportunity for you to elevate your workflow management by implementing work process automation.
You can streamline repetitive tasks, improve communication regarding unforeseen changes, set timely deadline reminders, and seamlessly transfer work among team members. The manual handling of these processes often consumes substantial time, eventually leading to inefficiencies and disarray within the system.
Agile Kanban boards frequently offer the capability to establish “if-this-then-that” rules, initiating specific processes within the Kanban board when certain events occur. This personalized automation empowers you to enhance their efficiency and effectiveness in executing Agile methodologies, resulting in increased productivity and the delivery of exceptional work.
17. SAFe Kanban Board Example
SAFe Kanban teams operate within the Agile Release Train (ART) iteration cadence to optimize the flow of value. Unlike traditional push-based systems, Kanban teams utilize a visual and pull-based approach, where work is not forced onto the team but instead pulled based on capacity and demand.
This method incorporates three core practices: defining and visualizing a workflow, actively managing items within the workflow, and continuously improving the workflow.
Within the SAFe framework, Kanban systems play a vital role in managing backlogs and ensuring a smooth flow of work at every level. Each team’s Kanban board reflects its unique process for delivering value, allowing for customization and adaptability based on its specific workflow and capacity.
18. Physical Kanban Board Examples
While digital Kanban boards have their advantages, physical Kanban boards also hold value in certain contexts.
- Physical Kanban boards offer a tangible and visual representation of the workflow.
- They make it easier for team members to engage and understand task status at a glance.
- Moving cards or sticky notes across the board provides a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.
- Physical boards do not rely on technology or internet access, making them reliable in environments with limited or unreliable connectivity.
- The simplicity and tactile nature of physical boards can promote collaboration and creativity.
- They can be effective, particularly when a visual, hands-on approach is preferred.
On the contrary, digital Kanban boards offer several advantages over physical boards, making them a better choice for many teams.
They save time with automated notifications and updates, provide flexibility and scalability, enable seamless collaboration for remote teams, offer enhanced data collection and analysis capabilities, store relevant documents and track project goals, ensure increased security measures, and eliminate the limitations and vulnerabilities of physical boards.
19. Kanban Board for Daily Planning
Imagine you’re organizing your daily tasks using a Kanban board. You can have columns like “To Do,” “In Progress,” and “Completed.” Each task is represented by a card that you move across the columns as you work on them. This visual representation helps you prioritize tasks, track progress, and ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.
Kanban can also be applied to managing your daily routine. For example, you can have columns like “Morning,” “Afternoon,” and “Evening.” Each task or activity that you need to accomplish during the day is represented by a card that moves across the columns as you complete them. This helps you stay organized, maintain a balanced schedule, and ensure that you allocate time for important tasks.
20. Kanban Board Example for IT Operations Teams
As an IT project manager, you probably used Kanban boards to manage the team’s work at some point. These visual boards provide us with a clear overview of projects, instantly identifying their status and where the focus should be directed.
We can easily communicate and address priority conflicts through Kanban, ensuring our work flows smoothly. Specific objectives include managing different types of demands, adapting to shifting priorities, capitalizing on team member specialties, overseeing project work, and optimizing various processes.
One particularly beneficial application is managing new infrastructure IT projects, from initial build to final deployment, while effectively handling planned and unplanned work requests. Kanban can transform the project management approach and enhance overall productivity.
21. Kanban Board for Scrum Teams
Scrum teams are dedicated to delivering potentially shippable increments of work within fixed intervals, known as sprints. The primary objective of Scrum is to create learning loops that enable teams to gather and integrate customer feedback rapidly. Scrum teams adopt specific roles, utilize specialized artifacts, and conduct regular ceremonies to keep things moving forward.
Scrum boards are characterized by a systematic approach, requiring more preparation and organizational effort. The Kanban board is a complementary tool to the Scrum board, providing a more detailed and real-time view of the team’s progress.
22. Remote Team Kanban Board Example
Enhanced Visibility and Transparency: Imagine a software development team working remotely. Each team member can update their progress on the Kanban board by moving cards across columns such as “To Do,” “In Progress,” and “Completed.” This transparency allows everyone to see the current state of each task, identify bottlenecks, and make informed decisions.
Streamlined Workflow and Prioritization: Remote Kanban boards help teams streamline their workflow and prioritize tasks effectively. For example, an e-commerce team managing product launches remotely can use a Kanban board with columns representing stages like “Ideation,” “Product Development,” “Marketing,” and “Launch.” Cards represent specific products, and the team can easily see which stage each product is in and prioritize accordingly, ensuring a smooth and organized workflow.
Accountability and Task Ownership: Each card represents a project or a specific task, and team members are responsible for moving cards across columns to show progress. This visual representation fosters a sense of ownership and accountability, as everyone can see the status of each task.
However, it’s important to note that Kanban boards may be less suitable for large, complex projects or teams with diverse working patterns.
23. Lean Kanban Board Example
The Lean Kanban methodology combines the principles of Lean and Agile to optimize project workflow. Originating from Lean manufacturing processes, Lean Kanban focuses on identifying areas for improvement, increasing project efficiency, and removing obstacles in product development.
The Lean Kanban approach offers reduced planning time, improved predictability, and lower project risks through shorter feedback loops and phased development.
Let’s say a software development team adopts the Lean Kanban approach for a new feature development project. Instead of spending extensive time upfront on detailed planning, they focus on creating a prioritized backlog of user stories or tasks. They then begin development in short iterations or phases, typically called “sprints” in agile methodology.
Kanban boards align with Agile project management principles and support Lean principles by minimizing work-in-progress and implementing a pull system for efficient resource allocation. Integrating Lean and Agile principles makes Lean Kanban a valuable framework for optimizing project management.
24. Kanban Board for Content Creation Example
This Kanban board example consists of several columns that guide the team through each stage of content production. The first column, “Ideas,” is a brainstorming space where team members generate and gather content ideas. Once an idea is selected, it moves to the “Writing” column, where tasks related to writing and creating content occur. After the initial draft is completed, the content moves to the “Editing” column, where team members review and make necessary revisions. The next column, “Design,” is dedicated to tasks involving the creation of visuals or graphics that enhance the content. Finally, in the “Published” column, the content that has undergone all necessary stages is marked as finalized and ready for publication.
25. Advanced Kanban Board Example
Teamhood‘s advanced Kanban board offers an exclusive feature that allows you to track the progress of both work items and their associated child items.
With this functionality, when a work item reaches a phase that involves a secondary process, the child items automatically move into the corresponding secondary process steps. This provides a comprehensive view of what has been completed and is still in progress, allowing you to understand the overall status clearly.
The flexibility of Teamhood’s advanced Kanban board enables you to add child items at any stage, ensuring that you have full control and visibility over the entire workflow. This feature enhances transparency and facilitates effective project management, empowering teams to streamline their processes and achieve optimal results.
Kanban board is a powerful visualization tool for teams from various fields and backgrounds. If you are new to task visualization, start with something simple and then improve the board as you understand your preferences. 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.
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2020 - Present Marketing specialist at Teamhood.
2014 - 2020 Marketing manager for Eylean.