It´s hard to find a good Kanban tool! In 2014 I started to search a tool cause I wanted to swich from my physical board to a digital one. That is harder than I thought …
I need a tool to organise my private life which is usually pretty busy with several private projects ongoing.
First I started to use LeanKit, then switched to Trello, tried some other tools and even tried Jira. A few weeks ago I – again – decided to search for something better. Nothing so far. Why is it so hard? I have some requirements for my tool but so far none of the tools was able to provide them all. So here they are …
Personal Kanban Tool Features
That is the big disadvantage about Trello. With several projects running in parallel I need a board that supports horizontal clustering of cards in swimlanes. LeanKit and SwiftKanban provide a super flexible way. That is what I really need. I especially like how this is handled in Leankit because it is possible to arrange the cards horizontally. So instead of having the cards prioritized from top to bottom it is possible to prioritize them from right to left. Even with a lot of cards I don´t loose oversight.
Create a Card where it Belongs
The one big disadvantage of several tools like Leankit, Jira, Swiftkanban is that you can not create the card right where it belongs. In Trello I can just click in the list and create the card right there. With the other tools I need to either create a card, select the list in a sort of drop down or the card is initially created in an inbox like column. After that I then have to search for the right place. This is an absolute no-go because this is a real disruption of my flow!
Checklists & Next Step
To reduce that number of cards on my board I need a checklist feature. The Trello checklist is super. The only thing I missed until recently is that the checklist is hidden. This chrome extention solved that problem: Next Step For Trello
No Kanban tool so far provided the possibility to switch between these views:
Project Planning View
I want to have a “project planning view” where I can see my projects, plan tasks and arrange them on a time line. Each Project is a column and I can create cards right there, move them vertically to set priorities or just order them in a meaningful sequence. The coolest thing I have seen so far regarding this is the Jira Story Map view: Easy Agile User Story Maps for Jira (for me each epic was a project).
Magic Estimation View
I can not remember which tool it was, but once I came across a Kanban tool that had its own view for Story Point estimation. So what I want to have is this:
- I can define my estimation scale
- then I can switch to a view having a column for each category of my story point scale
- i can here move cards across the board and story point field is updated automatically
The Trello calendar power-up is more or less what I am thinking of. If I move cards across the calendar, due date field should be updated automatically.
Context (GTD) View
Similar to Class of Service or Issue Type in Kanban I want to have context information in my cards like introduced by David Allens “Getting Things Done”. Most Kanban tools provide issue type or class of service features that can be adapted as context information. Trello has noting like that unfortunately. It is though possible to use tags or labels as a workaround. Not perfect but somewhat feasible.
So what is needed here is this: when I am on the go I need to know all tasks that I can now complete. When I am with my learning group I need to know all things that I wanted to discuss with them. When I am working on my PC I want to know all tasks that need to completed on the PC.
It would be sufficient to attach a context label to each card and then have a context view where each context is a column and respective cards are arranged in those columns.
I also need some way to handle cards with a fixed delivery date. I have several solutions for this in mind:
- having a swim lane FDD cards (like kanban class of service)
- having a column for FDD cards (like an own backlog having all cards with due dates ordered from top to bottom)
- a filter that hides cards that are not due “soon”
The main point here is that I dont want to see cards that are due in 4 month from now while I am in “working mode”. I only want to see them when I am in “planning mode”.
More about Kanban
- Kanban Reading List @digite.com
- Swimlanes for Trello (Chrome Extention)
- Retrospective Activity: Ongoing Experimentation
- Card Wall Update Reminder
- 2 Approaches to Handle Impediments in Kanban
- Information Radiator Definition
- Swarming – A Characteristic of Improvement Focussed Teams
- 12 Steps to Getting Started with Kanban
- Kanban Goals – Let´s Start with Why
- Target Lead Time – An alternative to Estimation in a Kanban Setup
- What is the Best Size for Your Kanban Backlog?
- How to do a Daily Standup in a Kanban Team
- How to handle Unordered Activities on a Kanban Board
- How to handle Parallel Activities on a Kanban Board
- 2 Approaches to Introduce WIP-Limits
- Kaizen Culture
- Kanban: A 6 Step Recipe for Success
- 9 Step to build a Mature Kanban Team
- Ingredients to produce world-class results
- The 5 Kanban Properties
- Kanplan – A nice Add On Feature for every Kanban board
- Little’s Law verstehen – Ein Anfang
- CDF for Trello
- How to always be ready for learning or Classes of Tasks
- Why I need 4 Boorkmarks for Reading 1 Book
- Agile Wheel
- Scrum – Kanban – Scrumban
- Summer Reading List 2016
- Burndown Scrumban
- Trellists – Hide Lists in Huge Trello Boards
- Scrum for Trello – Balance Your Workload using Story Points
- Kanban WIP for Trello – Get focussed by adding WIP to Trello
- GMail to Trello – Easily create cards from your emails
- Web Clipper for Trello – Easily create new cards
- Plus for Trello – Time Tracking & Burndown Charts for Trello
- Kanbanchi – Nice alternative to Trello or LeanKit
- Plus for Trello
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- LeanKit als Personal Kanban Tool
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