1. Introduction to card links
With Kanbanize, you can easily break down projects and strategic initiatives across all levels of the organizational hierarchy. The tool’s advanced system for visualizing dependencies allows you to create multiple levels of project Kanban boards, break down projects into smaller assignments at each level, and connect all aspects together with various task relations. For example, users can make any task a parent or child to another or specify the processing order by using a predecessor-successor connection. The status of each connected card is visible at a glance so that teams can react to problems in a timely fashion.
Linking Kanban cards on different boards or workflows helps you to get better visibility and never lose track of your work.
These are the type of connections that can be established between the cards in Kanbanize:
- Parent/child - allows the creation of a hierarchical structure of your work.
- Relative - there is no hierarchy between the work items, but they belong to the same working group.
- Successor/Predecessor - creates rules of order in your work.
- Users can link cards/initiatives that already exist in the system.
- Users can use an existing card/initiative to create new cards/initiatives and instantly link them with the selected type of relation. To learn how to link cards, please check the dedicated article.
2. Type of card links in Kanbanize
Let's go into more details:
- Parent/Child relation
With the child/parent relationship between cards, you can slice a big work item or even an entire project into smaller items. This type of relationship enables you to break down a task (parent card) into smaller pieces of work (child cards) and track each child card separately.
The most common scenario with the parent/child relationship is to break down an Initiative and make it a parent card of the smaller pieces of work that get positioned on the Cards Workflow. Check the short video below.
Note: The system does not allow making a card from the Cards workflow linked as a parent of an Initiative (on the Initiatives workflow). The idea is that initiatives should be used as parents while standard cards should be linked as children to the initiative.
However, two cards located on the same Cards workflow or on different Cards workflows can be in a parent/child relationship.
To learn more about the various ways in which you can link work items together, please check the dedicated article.
- "Relatives" relation
If multiple cards belong to the same group of work items, but there is no hierarchy between them you can link these cards with the relative link to group them together.
Relative cards are usually of a similar priority.
You can use any of the following methods to establish this card connection.
- "Successors/Predecessors" relation
This relationship creates rules of order in the breakdown of your work via dependencies between the cards. This form of linking, unlike the familiar child, parent, and relative relationships, allows the cards to be dependent on each other with an indication of the order in which they will need to be performed. The new link not only implies but also enforces the relationship between successor and predecessor so the successor card cannot precede the predecessor in the order in which they get updated. In this case, the successor will become blocked and immobile until the predecessor is completed.
3. How do linked cards get visualized?
When linking cards, you create a two-way connection between the items.
Each linked card has a direct reference to all cards that it is related to. All established links get displayed on the card's preview.
On hover with the mouse pointer over the icon of each link, a handy tooltip with summary info will pop up.
The Arrow icons beside the card titles of the linked cards show whether:
- the linked card is a parent card (arrow points up)
- the linked card is a child card (arrow points down)
- the linked card is relative ( arrow points right)
- the linked card is successor/predecessor ( curved arrows)
The Colour code stand for the position of the linked cards on the Board
- The grey color corresponds to the "Backlog"
- The blue color corresponds to the "Requested" stage
- The orange color corresponds to the "In Progress" stage
- The green color corresponds to the "Done" stage
- The purple color corresponds to the "Archive".
The color codes are very helpful when you want to get an idea about the number of incompleted cards.
-> To locate a linked card from the same board, just click on its representation and the system will instantly shake the item.
-> To easily locate linked cards from different boards, press the CTRL key when clicking the rectangle. A new tab opens up and the system automatically locates the position of the linked card on the respective board.
The card linking capability is an instrument that plays a major role in the implementation of the Portfolio Kanban Management scenario.