Kanban Guide
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A Kanban board is a tool for Kanban teams to keep track of their projects and workloads in an easy-to-understand way. Here, we’ll cover the different parts of a Kanban board and how to set up a Kanban board in Wrike’s project management tool.

What is a Kanban board?

A Kanban board is a tool used to visualize and manage your team’s work. A Kanban board looks like a table and is laid out using columns to represent different stages of a process. Cards are used in Kanban boards to track individual tasks as they progress through the stages of the board.

A Kanban board can be physical, which involves sticky notes on a whiteboard, or digital, which can be created using dedicated software or tools. 

How to create a Kanban board

How you create a Kanban board depends on your preferred platform, but there are some general steps to consider when creating your own board. 

Map your workflow

First, consider the stages that will make up your project’s workflow. It can be as simple as Planned - In Progress - Completed, although to be more effective, your workflow should probably be more specific. Try to keep your workflow as close to how you work already as possible, and keep in mind where bottlenecks and challenges usually occur. Your Kanban board can help to identify opportunities for change and improvement in your workflows. 

Get feedback

When creating your Kanban board, it’s important to involve all relevant team members and stakeholders. More pairs of eyes on your workflow can help to identify discrepancies and potential points of confusion. 

Choose your interface

It’s time to decide where you want to create your Kanban board. Is a physical board using pen and paper sufficient for your needs, or do you need the functionality of a digital platform? For the majority of projects and teams, a digital Kanban board is much more suitable. Its benefits include:

  • Easy to use
  • Flexible and customizable
  • Analytics and reports features
  • Easy to store details long-term

Update as you go

Once your Kanban board has been created, it’s time to put it to use. Begin tracking your progress and pay attention to how your board aligns with your work day-to-day. Adjust your board regularly to keep up with any changes to your project, and be sure to get regular feedback from team members.

How to set up a Kanban board in Wrike

Wrike’s project management platform is the perfect tool for building your own Kanban board. You can use our dedicated Kanban project template to make it even easier to create a Kanban board and customize it to your teams’ best interests. Follow these steps to get started with our Kanban template:

  1. Create your workflow steps. Wrike’s Kanban template comes with five sample work stages to start with — To-Do, Doing, Done, Canceled, and Backlogged. To create a new custom workflow, click the Settings button and then Manage Workflow.
  2. Add tasks. It’s now time to create the cards that represent the individual tasks within your workflow. 
  3. Assign your tasks. Once you add your cards, you can assign them to a team member by clicking on a card, clicking Add assignee, and selecting a member of your team. You can then select the start and due date for each task by clicking on the date selector.
  4. Edit your board as necessary. As the status of each task changes, they will automatically move along the Kanban board. You can also manually move these tasks by dragging and dropping them to the stage you want. 

Wrike’s Kanban board software gives teams 360° visibility on their projects’ progress, and with customizable statuses, synced team calendars, and collaboration tools, your teams’ projects will be more streamlined than ever before. Try it out now with a free two-week trial.