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Visual Task Boards

Visual task boards are a great alternative for replacing their to-do lists or endless Excel sheets. Easy to use, fun to look at, and a gateway for open communication.

Learn how to set yours up below!

What is a task board?

A task board is a tool used in project management to visualize the tasks of a team, project, or company. It is usually composed of 3 main sections:

  • Planned tasks
  • Tasks in progress
  • Completed tasks

The tasks themselves are visualized with the help of cards, which are then moved from one column to the next.

kanban-vs-gantt
Kanban and Gantt dashboards on Teamhood

Depending on the tooling and the team’s process, the task boards can be as simple as the one above or more complex and filled with additional features like Kanban swimlanes, secondary workflows, scope limits, dependency management, and more.

Compared to other task management systems, task boards present a more visual and collaborative way to prioritize and complete work. Everything is visualized in one place, making it easy always to see what is the most important towards the shared goal.

Types of task boards

As mentioned above, most task boards differ from one another. The composition, features, and uses depend greatly on the team that is using them. However, they can still be categorized into 2 main types – physical and online task boards.

Physical task boards

When it comes to physical task boards, you’re dealing with something you can touch and see in your workspace. These are often in the form of a whiteboard, corkboard, or a designated wall space where you and your team can organize tasks and projects. Most choose sticky notes to visualize tasks as they can easily move around.

  • Composition: You’ll typically use sticky notes, index cards, or magnets to represent tasks or projects on these boards. It’s hands-on – you can physically move these items around to reflect progress or changes.
  • Features: These task boards are simple and low-tech. You can create columns for task statuses like ‘To Do,’ ‘In Progress,’ and ‘Done,’ and add elements like due dates, team member assignments, and additional notes. Some even have sections for priority tasks.
  • Uses: These boards are perfect if you have a co-located team and prefer face-to-face communication. They make work progress visible to everyone in the room.
physical task board
Source: PATBoard

A physical task board is quite easy to implement. You simply use what you have in the office to visualize the process for the team. As such, they work great for small co-located teams that all have access to the location of the task board.

In most cases, physical task boards are used as an entryway into visual project management. They allow us to experience the benefits of visualization before committing to an online task board solution.

Online task boards

If you want to get a little extra from your task board, the online or digital option is the way to go. These task boards offer all the same functionality of the physical boards and then some.

Daily standup sprint board
Online task board on Teamhood

Firstly, you can easily and quickly change the board composition. Add more columns or rows, introduce a secondary process, or create another task board that is directly linked to the first one. Changing the look and functionality of your task board is much easier with a digital solution.

Second, you can add much more information directly to your task board. Besides the traditional information fields like task name, due date, and assignee, online task boards can hold any amount of data related to your tasks. Add detailed descriptions, tags, and child items, attach files, and then collaborate by leaving comments directly on the task.

With such functionality, the task board becomes a place for information and collaboration.

Task dependencies Kanban board

Lastly, online task boards allow you to analyze the process with live reports. Most online task board tools are equipped with various reporting capabilities. Thus, such task boards become a tool for managing tasks and improving your processes. Review such information as tracked time, team workload, project timeline, and quick dashboards summarizing the most important points.

asana workload alterantive
Workload View on Teamhood

It goes without saying that online task boards are preferred by teams working remotely as they offer easy access to the most important information.

Task board examples

By now, you are probably wondering how visual task boards look in real life. So, let’s look at them. Below, you will find several examples portraying different task board applications.

Personal task board

First up is the most simple adaptation of a visual task board. This example contains just three columns to visualize planned, in progress, and completed tasks. Individuals or small teams often use such boards that run uncomplicated processes.

As teams grow, such task boards are usually expanded with additional columns to visualize different process steps and rows to categorize items easily.

kanban board teamhood

Team task board with secondary process

Adding more columns and rows is insufficient for larger teams with more complex processes. In such cases, task boards can be enhanced with an additional process. This means that any column on the task board can have a secondary process (set of columns) to track the child item’s progress. The example below shows that the ‘In progress’ column has a secondary process to track the child item completion.

task management
Task Management on Teamhood

Such task boards are especially useful for teams that use a lot of child items and want to have more accurate progress visualization.

Task list board

Lastly, while online task boards often replace task lists, they offer the option to view all tasks in a list view. This allows quick comparison of all the tasks, despite their progress on the task board. Moreover, you can pick and choose which item details to show and filter out unnecessary information to perform a quick analysis.

Such a task list board is often used for planning or prioritization.

project management templates

Find more examples targeted at specific industries and teams – Kanban board examples.

Summary

Visual task boards are powerful tools that allow you to visualize and analyze data to improve your processes. Use them to ease communication within the team, report progress to the stakeholders, and share information more easily.

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kanban board example
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