1. Welcome to Kanbanize
Kanbanize is a Kanban platform for agile project management with which you break down your projects and visualize them into multiple levels of hierarchy.
Kanbanize helps managers and team members to visualize their work processes and get things done quickly and efficiently. It enables all stakeholders to see the big picture and be aware of the overall work progress at all levels. The software is embedded with powerful analytics tools and business rules of automation to facilitate your everyday work with the system.
The aim of this document is to show how Kanbanize supports work at all levels in the organization.
Before you start with Kanbanize, it is recommended that your PM organizes training for the collaborating teams so that each member is introduced to the key Kanban principles.
The training must include a review of the boards in the account and the respective workflows.
Once everyone is familiar with the process, they would be able to work and suggest changes that will move every team in a positive direction.
2. Kanbanize User Roles and Privileges
The person who has registered the Kanbanize account automatically becomes an Account Owner.
The Account Owner has full permissions in the account. The Account Owner creates the initial account infrastructure: Workspaces, Boards, custom roles definition and invites the first users that will collaborate in the system.
Every Kanbanize user should be granted a Role: either default or custom.
The default role allows regular users to create, move, block and update cards; search and filter account data, create their own widgets, configure card view, board defaults, and notifications.
With the custom role, certain actions and permissions might be granted or restricted.
The Workspace Manager status overrides any user role. The user granted this status has full permissions to manage Workspaces (respectively the belonging Boards) to which they are assigned to.
The Admin Privileges are system-level permissions that allow users to access and manage different account areas. For example, only when granted the respective privilege, a user can make payments in the account, invite users, or manage the system integration.
3. Types of Workspaces
The Home Dashboard is the entry point of your Kanbanize account that provides centralized information and monitoring of all Workspaces and Boards in your account.
Note that when you access your Kanbanize account, you will see only the Workspaces and Boards that you are assigned to.
The Workspace: think of it as the folder that collects the Team Boards of a certain department in your organization. There are two types of Workspace:
- (1) Team Workspace (the blue ribbon). It is designed for Teams. The folder collects the Kanban boards that visualize team workflows where team members collaborate.
- (2) Management Workspace (the green ribbon). It is designed for Managers and allows them to connect one or more team boards to a single Management Layout to easily track progress across multiple departments and projects.
Note: Only Account Owners and users with Create Workspaces privilege are allowed to create Workspaces.
4. How to manage Custom Dashboards?
Every Kanbanize user can create their custom dashboards. The system allows you to create multiple custom dashboards inside Kanbanize to meet the unique needs of your organization.
All custom Dashboards become available under the Home button (1). Every new Dashboard appears at the bottom of the list, but you can rearrange the order at your convenience.
Each dashboard can display a combination of:
- Workspaces - add workspaces, which are relevant to the Dashboard context.
- Widgets - add widgets including Kanbanize Analytics charts, custom search reports and Power BI reports to track critical business health metrics.
- Workspaces and widgets - combine Workspaces and Widgets in a logical group (e.g. a project workspace with the respective metrics).
Home menu (All Workspaces): on hover, you will see the Home menu (the three dots icon) where you can choose to:
- view Worklog reports
- show/hide hidden dashboards
You create a new Dashboard using the New Dashboard button (2).
The Favorite boards pane (3) located at the top of your Home Dashboard displays all boards in your account that were marked as Favorite (click the Star ). When you mark a board as a favorite, it appears as such for you only (it doesn't appear as a favorite for anyone else).
Using the "My Workspace" buttons (4), you perform the following actions:
- Create Workspace
- Access the Workspace Templates panel
- Show Archived Workspaces and Boards panel
5. The Kanban Concept
Every Kanban board has three main sections that show the state of your tasks in the flow
- Requested - this is the area where you place the work that you plan to work on next.
- In Progress - when you start working on a particular task/card, you have to move it to this area.
- Done: when the task is completed, you move it to Done.
Kanban Card – This is the visual representation of tasks. Each card contains information about the task such as owner, deadline, description, size, priority, etc. There are many ways to create a card.
You move cards to show their progress in the workflow.
Kanban Columns – Each column on the board represents a different stage of your workflow. The cards go through the workflow until their full completion.
Kanban Swimlanes – These are horizontal lanes you can use to separate different types of activities, teams, classes of service, and so on.
Work-in-Progress Limits (WIP) – They restrict the maximum amount of tasks in the different stages of the workflow. Limiting WIP allows you to finish work items faster as you focus only on current tasks.
To learn even more about the Kanban concept and how to take advantage of it, please check the following article.
Kanban in Practice:
For more detailed mapping of your process, your PM can create as many subsections as you need in order to reflect your unique workflow. For example, a Development team may have a Kanban board that consists of multiple columns and swimlanes.
6. The Kanban workflows
By default, your Kanban Board consists of two workflows: the Initiatives Workflow and Cards Workflow. The board can be set to display either workflow or both - it depends on the use-case and the way a certain team is using the board.
The Initiative Workflow (1) is the top swimlane on your board, designed for Senior team members/Project managers. The Initiatives Workflow is the place where Projects/Epics/Bigger tasks are visualized through automated Initiatives.
You know that breaking a large project down into smaller tasks helps team members identify the scope of their work and understand better the things they need to work on. This is what Project Managers do with the Initiatives. They break them down into smaller actionable items. Each individual step is represented as Kanban card on the Cards workflow.
The smaller work items are representing the "Who"What"& "When" part of your project. Each task is assigned to a team member and it provides details on the project's deliverables such as the goals the project will achieve, requirements, deadlines, estimated budget, and cost, etc.
Note that the Initiatives and the Kanban cards are linked and there is a parent/child dependency between the items. The Initiatives move completely automatically when any of its child cards are moved to "In progress". Once all of the child cards linked to the Initiatives move to "Done", then the Initiative is 100% completed and moves to the "Done" section too. To better understand the concept, please watch the short video below.
Note that Project Managers may prefer to visualize Projects on a calendar view.
If so, they will enable the Timeline Workflow that runs horizontally across the top of your Board layout. The Initiative shows duration (start & end date), progress as well as project delay.
To learn more about the Timeline workflow, please read the dedicated article.
TIP: Knowing how the Initiatives Workflow works, we can have a better understanding of the Management Workspace.
It contains all Initiatives Workflows of selected boards so that managers have visibility of all initiatives that matter in their domain in a single view mode. For more information, please check the dedicated article.
7. The Kanban Board features
The features located on the sidebar to the right of your board interface help you to easily manage and track your personal work in Kanbanize.
- Create a work item - use the plus icon to create a new card or initiative. By default, the card/initiative will be created in the first column of the "Requested" area. If the first workflow is a timeline one, the initiative will be created in the Backlog.
- Card Tokens - there are two types of tokens: blockers and stickers, which are custom for your account. Use them to block cards or additionally mark them with a certain label for categorization. For more details, please check the dedicated article.
- Board Filter - using this feature, users can filter out cards that are relevant to their search and match certain criteria. For more details, check this article.
- My Queue and Worklog - use this feature to quickly see at a glance all cards, which are assigned to you, across all Workspaces and Boards. You can easily check the time you logged against tasks.
For more details, please check the dedicated article.
- Related Boards - this feature is designed for Project managers. It facilitates the work breakdown process. For more details, please check the dedicated article.
- Board Background - make your board more stylish by adding an image or set a color as a background of your board. Check the dedicated article.
- Import/Export cards - Project Managers use this feature to quickly populate boards with cards using the Excel import functionality or when they need to export data.
- Configure Card View - use this setting to personalize your card view and show/hide card properties that are visible on a closed card view. These settings are configured individually.
- Invite a new user - only users with "Account Owners" privileges can invite new users to the account.
- Board Policies - this section provides information about the board's description, column/lane policies as well as information on business rules. Check the dedicated article for more information.
- More options include:
- Calendar - the default calendar view is set to Deadline, which means that all of the deadlines from your workflow are highlighted in the Calendar integrated with Kanbanize. More on that can be found here.
- Board Settings - use it to apply default properties for the respective board.
- Webhooks - use them if you need to integrate Kanbanize with other systems.
- Custom Fields - designed for Project Managers to create and manage custom fields.
- Tags - use this menu to check what tags are available for the current board. More on tags can be found here.
- Types - use this menu to check what card types are available for the current board. More on types can be found here.
- Card Zoom Switch - It allows you to toggle between four different levels of zoom for cards on the board. More on that can be found here.
8. Additional Dashboard Navigation
The Dashboard provides access to many other useful functionalities and control panels in the system.
(1) If you are searching for a particular card in your account, enter a keyword in the Search Field.
Click the Magnifying glass to open the powerful Advanced search panel and refine your search information, to generate custom reports.
(2) To invite new users, manage users' permissions, process automations, integrations, and your account security, go to the Account Administration.
(3) When you need to quickly find information about the product open the Help Center and visit our Knowledge Base or contact the Support team.
(4) Subscribe for in-app or email notifications from My Notifications to keep track of your team's activities and your own actions. Note that the notification settings are configured per board.
(5) Visit My Account to manage your personal account data, get an API key or access the Payment panel.
(6) The Filter located at the bottom left corner of your screen allows you to filter your dashboard and run a quick search or display Workspaces and boards. If you have selected favorite boards in your account, you can apply a filter to display only those boards. Just click the star to apply the filter.
9. Additional Product Tips
- When working with cards, the Card context menu provides a shortcut to a lot of functionalities.
- If you want to get your colleague’s attention (a registered Kanbanize user) on a specific topic or simply want to communicate via the card, you can use the “@” mention symbol.
- Not only can you create and update cards via email, but you can also collaborate with customers and track all replies in the comments section of a card. For information, please visit the following dedicated section.
If you need any additional help with the software, you can find more guides in our Knowledge base or get in touch with our support and customer success teams.
To get more information about the Kanban concept, please visit the Kanban resources page.