Setting development tasks can be a tricky business, as there are often a lot of moving parts shared out between a large team.
However, workflows have been made relatively straightforward in the industry thanks to the emergence of Kanban boards. Here we explain what they are and why they help coders and cyber security professionals to work more efficiently.
What Is A Kanban Board?
A Kanban board is a tool used to organise work, allowing for parts of a larger project to be easily assigned to individuals. By depicting the different stages of a workflow, Kanban boards can also help project managers understand the progress of a particular project.
Who Invented The Kanban Board?
The Kanban board is derived from the general concept of Kanban, which means “signboard” in Japanese. The idea is drawn from the Japanese “lean method” which looks to share work evenly between workers. The key difference between Kanban and more traditional means of working is that work is taken on by the workers rather than distributed by a manager.
Why Use A Kanban Board?
Businesses use Kanban boards as they help bring clarity to a project by visually depicting its various parts. Kanban boards also break down the silos between teams by bringing together the different parts of a wider piece of work.
The efficacy of Kanban boards generally lies in their simplicity. In Jira – a commonly used tool, the Kanban board has just four phases:
- To Do
- In Progress
- Quality Assurance (QA)
Project managers can also assign details to tasks, detailing the level of urgency to a task, and they can also include deadlines and the time they estimate the job will take.
Tasks will first be added to the “To Do” section before being picked up by a worker, at which stage they will move it to “In Progress”. Once the task is completed, it will be moved to QA, and provided there aren’t any issues, it can be transferred to “Done”, and the task will be closed. If QA isn’t passed, the job can be moved back to “In Progress” or “To Do”. If someone is in the middle of a task, they can flag that they’ve stopped without finishing, allowing the project manager to re-assign it to someone with a lighter workload.
As referenced in the previous section, Kanban boards also place the emphasis on the worker to complete tasks without interference from a manager. This way of working gives the workers greater responsibility, and although tasks can be assigned to particular people, Kanban boards ensure that individuals don’t get overloaded with work.
What Are The Features Of A Kanban Board?
Kanban boards typically have several integrations designed to make it easier to begin tasks without having to speak with the project manager. Tasks utilise attachments, allowing workers to see examples of similar work, and there is also a comments section which allows for conversation in relation to the task that won’t get lost over email or Slack.
Project managers can also view the history of a task, enabling them to see if it has bounced around without resolution, and they can also give each task a few labels to categorise the work, again giving the workers more clarity on its demands.
Are Code Nation Students Taught How To Use Kanban Boards?
We believe that becoming a great tech professional is about a lot more than just your technical knowledge, which is why we teach all students about Kanban boards and workflows as a part of all our courses.
Kanban boards allow development tasks to be completed in a smooth, timely fashion, and they also place the emphasis on the worker to take on more responsibility, which will enable them to grow rather than being micromanaged.
Interested to learn more about the features of a career in tech? Talk to us today!
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Header Image: Wikipedia