Kanban Guide

What Is a Kanban Board? Features and Fundamentals

What Is a Kanban Board? Features and Fundamentals

A Kanban board is an easy-to-use tool used to visualize and manage workflows. It can be physical or digital and features columns representing stages of a process. Cards are used to track individual tasks and activities as they progress through the stages.

Here’s an example of a digital version — Wrike’s own Kanban Board view:


If you have worked in software development or are familiar with the Scrum framework you’ll be familiar with the physical version of a Kanban board: a whiteboard covered in post-it notes that project teams huddle around during their daily meetings. 

Because of its simplicity, Kanban has seen adoption grow across many industries and business functions. The board’s ‘interface,’ which is central to the framework, hasn’t changed that much since it was first conceived. 

Why use a Kanban board?

There are many reasons your team may choose to use a Kanban board for project and task management. Delivery and support teams, for example, can find that Kanban boards are a simple way of visualizing already existing workflows. Before exploring this further, let’s dive into a few more reasons why you should be using Kanban boards for your projects.

Benefits of using a Kanban board for task management

Ease of use - Kanban boards can be explained and set up in minutes.

Flexibility - Kanban boards can be adapted for most processes.

Clarity - Kanban boards offer both big-picture views of a process as well as the more granular detail (the information carried by individual cards).

Collaboration - Kanban boards become a focal point of a project where team members congregate to discuss work-in-progress. This is true for both physical boards and online versions.

Efficiency - Efficiency was the original objective when Kanban was first developed in manufacturing. The visual approach, complemented by a set of principles and practices, has helped thousands of organizations streamline operations.

Culture - One of Kanban’s principles is to “encourage acts of leadership at all levels in your organization.” Kanban’s simplicity means that everyone understands where projects stand. Information is not hidden away in documentation or complex charts.

These are all important points but the first one — ease of use — is a big reason why Kanban has been so successful throughout the years. The barrier to adoption is minimal. They are cheap to set up and you don’t need training or certification to use them.

Further reading
blog post

Top Tips for Organizing Kanban Cards

blog post

Unlock All Your Team “Kan” Do With a Kanban Template

blog post

How to Use Agile Teamwork to Optimize Collaboration

blog post

Tips for Agile Team Management When Working Remotely