Kanban Guide
← Back to FAQ

What Are The Kanban To Do, Doing, Done Lists?

We all have tasks to perform at some point — whether these fall into the personal or professional category. Most people find simple to-do lists easy enough to manage for small, less complex tasks. Though these lists can be helpful, they also limit how far a team can go when it comes to handling large-scale or ongoing projects, delivery, or support functions. 

One popular approach to managing larger scale or ongoing support needs is by adopting the Kanban to-do list approach. Instead of a simple to-do list where tasks are checked off when completed, teams can visually track work via a Kanban board. The “To Do,” “Doing,” and “Done” columns on a Kanban board indicate progress and task status.

Read more
blog post

Top Tips for Organizing Kanban Cards

blog post

How to Use Agile Teamwork to Optimize Collaboration

How to use Kanban To Do, Doing, Done lists?

When your team applies the Kanban To Do, Doing, Done approach, team members can get a better picture of the whole workflow and potential bottlenecks.

To use Kanban’s To Do, Doing, Done structure, be aware that each column represents a task’s current state. As that task is picked up by a team member and worked on, it progresses through each stage until it is finally marked as Done. 

  • Kanban To Do list: This list contains tasks that are yet to be handled. Tasks in this Kanban board column can be populated based on received bug reports, fixes to be deployed, customer help desk queries, and more. The Kanban card should include the necessary details of the task including the description, nature of the issue or task, due dates, and any other relevant information. Team members can easily view these details and know what needs to be done at each stage of the workflow.

  • Kanban Doing list: The Doing column houses tasks that are currently being handled. When a Kanban card is moved to the Doing column, it is an indication that a team member is currently working on that task 

  • Kanban Done list: The Done list contains tasks that have been completed. After a task is worked on and completed, the Kanban card is moved to this column. 

The main point of this process is to pull the Kanban cards across each column from To Do, Doing, to Done. This allows teams to visualize the workflow, taking care to limit work in progress, and keeping a close eye on bottlenecks and impediments. This system also allows teams to track status, ensuring that tasks do not get buried or lost in individual to-do lists.