Kanban Tools Tip No. 2: How to Collaborate

Up next in our kanban board tips series are a few helpful hints to help you collaborate with team members once you’ve established your board.

As we mentioned in our previous post, a kanban board system is a simple way to visualize your workflows and quell the chaos that often clouds projects. “Kanban” is the Japanese word for “visual card,” which is an apt description for the system. It’s a solution that allows team members to visualize workflows for projects and all in one convenient place while also keeping tasks transparent for the entire team.

Whether your chosen kanban tools or a simple whiteboard, the basic configuration is essentially the same and can be scaled up to meet a company’s needs. And modern kanban solutions, such as online kanban boards and kanban software, can alleviate the workload for over-stressed project managers while creating a sleek, collaborative workflow for team members.

Here are a few ways to collaborate using either kanban software or physical kanban boards, and some reasons this kind of team collaboration is so integral for success on your project.

The Importance of Targeted Collaboration

Kanban boards, particularly kanban software, allows managers to invite only the specific team members working on a particular project to collaborate. This kind of targeted collaboration ensures critical updates, important files and other communications are delivered only to relevant colleagues.

This type of targeted collaboration also helps to boost productivity. Keeping communications around a specific task or project all in one place prevents missed updates and important hand-offs. It also helps eliminate endless email churn and reduces the risk of miscommunication.

Location also isn’t a factor for digital kanban systems. Whether employees work on-site or remotely, kanban software allows members collaborate in real time from anywhere.

So once a team has established their kanban board for a project (read up on how to set up your kanban board), invite the relevant colleagues to collaborate on your board. In kanban software, that can be a relatively simple process of ensuring all the relevant team members are registered with the software. You should then be able to extend invitations to them from there.

Assigning Ownership

Once your team members are set up to collaborate on your board, it’s time to assign ownership to particular tasks and to the overall project.

As managers create tasks, they can give ownership for each task to a specific team member. You can also assign ownership to multiple team members to share the responsibility of ensuring the task is completed.

Team members can set up and assign tasks to themselves or other colleagues, which helps keep the entire team engaged as the project progresses.

Instant Feedback

Collaboration through a kanban system, especially kanban software, is also fantastic because the entire team can receive real-time updates.

Team members can communicate right on each kanban card. They can offer feedback, brainstorm ideas, post links or files and take polls all in one place. This kind of instant feedback cuts down on miscommunications and helps move projects and tasks forward faster.