Highlight WIP Bottlenecks
If the team is constantly dealing with production issues, the Kanban board should reflect both new functionality, User Stories and Production issues side by side. Add a “Production Priority” Swim Lane on top of your Kanban board. Visualizing high-priority production issues may have the team reconsider the priority of issues in contrast to new user stories.
Derive Effort Estimations for Input to WIP Prioritization
Team members should use effort estimations to help them prioritize their “Committed” work items. One of the work items, e.g. User Stories, may “cost” disproportionate to the value add, ROI. Focus team member efforts to provide maximum value proportionate to the time spent on work items.
Customizing States for Broad Granularity
New, In Progress, and Closed may not suffice to express work item states. “New” may represent the backlog of items, a queue not yet committed to by a member of the implementation team. Once a team member commits to implementing a user story, “In Progress” may be too wide a meaning, so adding the following states may keep the team in sync with their business process:
- Committed – team member commits to implementing work item, E.g. User Story, or Task
- Triage – deeper dive into the committed body of work to confirm crisp “Acceptance Criteria” and perform relative, effort estimations
- Dev Complete – could indicate code complete, and dev testing conplete
- Accepted – a “Closed” status indicating the Product Owner has verified the functionality is implemented in line with expectations, I.e. met Acceptance Criteria
Multicolored Cards Enable Teams to Classify at a Glance
Using different colors for Kanban Board cards allows the implementation team to prioritize work; e.g. Infra Task; E.g. User Interface or API stories. On many implementation teams, members might have areas of expertise such as UI or DB. Those members may hone in on items that are more relevant to them.
Tag, Your IT
Applying tags to Kanban board cards is another level of collectively classifying work items on the board, similar to the multicolored card approach but more diverse, not enough stark color contrast to classify.