[Tool Review] – LeanKit Kanban – Optimize Your Flow

[We review Agile tools. Have you seen our Agile tools list?]

Kanban is kicking into high gear these days as more and more enterprises are taking on the challenge of utilizing Kanban to help them visualize their business. It’s just a matter of time before some really good Kanban tools come out to help. Lucky for us, they have. 

[Enter]: LeanKit KanbanOptimize Your Flow of Work

After you sign up for a 30-day free trial, you’ll have access to a simple dashboard. Get started with a few clicks and you’ll be on your way to creating your board:

The board is so intuitive and simple to use. Simply add a story, fill in as much information as you need into the card and save it!

Then you have a pretty snazzy drag and drop interface:

What else could one say about this tool? Easy to use, colorful and inviting, and just enough options to get you started.

After taking a deeper dive into the system, I believe that where this tool really shines are not only the plethora of settings you get, but the metrics options. Kanban is supposed to be simple by nature, but having metrics and ways to track productivity and progress are a must in our business world. Well, you can do with them, or you can do without.

From Cumulative Flow Diagrams, Cycle Time Diagrams, Card Distribution Diagrams, and Efficiency Diagrams, you have more than enough ways to visualize how work is being done.

Features include the ability to:

  • Organizational-level analytics allow you to monitor the health of work across the entire company
  • Analyze the data from multiple views (by User, Card Type, Priority, Queue Size, Card Size)
  • Choose the Lanes and sublanes that you wish to include and exclude from your analysis
  • Rollup sublanes into their parent lanes for aggregate level reporting
  • Select the start and end lanes for calculating lead time and cycle time

Filters upon filters allow you to dive even deeper into these metrics allowing for the right information you need to know and then get back to workin’.

Lots of options.

As a techie, I love shortcuts and hotkeys. LeanKit allows this as well. Have they thought of everything here?

See your teams status, the way you want to:

Cut down on status meetings and just SEE your team’s status. With LeanKit Kanban, work tasks are represented by note cards which are organized into lanes that represent the status of your work. This reduces the time you must spend tracking down the status of your team’s work.

Make sure you work on the right things:

With the amount of tasks you are responsible for, it can be difficult to know what your top priorities should be. With LeanKit Kanban, you see the priority on your tasks and immediately know what to work on next. This prevents you from slowing up other team members by working on something they do not need.

Of course they have email and RSS integration. You can subscribe to the entire board or just individual lanes. Say, for example, the QA department only wants notifications when there are new items ready for them to pick up. They could subscribe to the QA: Ready lane, and only get notified of the events they care about.

iPhone and iPad!

Oh, and iPhone and iPad apps make keeping up-to-date easy while on the go: [Download here]

iPad Features

  • Full visualization of your entire Board just like web based version
  • All the visual signals provided in the web based version
  • View, create, update, move, delete ,and comment on cards directly within the app
  • Drag and Drop movements of cards (tap and hold then drag)
  • Easy navigation with gestures including slide, pinch, and double tap.
  • Move all card within a lane by tapping the lane header.

iPhone/iPod Touch Features

  • List based visualization of your entire board suited for the small viewing area.
  • Easy drill-through navigation
  • View, create, update, move, delete ,and comment on cards directly within the app

This tool is free for a single user, so definitely jump on it, try it out and see whether it’s something that can scale for your organization.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLuJgCNiFjw&feature=player_embedded

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVfKiG-ekBc&feature=player_embedded

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7mlJnzB6xk&feature=player_embedded

 

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8 Responses to “[Tool Review] – LeanKit Kanban – Optimize Your Flow”

  1. toolsjournal
    August 24, 2011 at 1:49 pm #

    Excellent review Peter. Love your style to keep it simple yet cover everything.

    • peter
      August 24, 2011 at 7:07 pm #

      Thanks man. I know you guys love tools too :)

  2. Walter
    August 26, 2011 at 7:47 am #

    Thanks for sharing!

    After we implemented Scrum on the developer side we are looking at Kanban for business matters.

    • peter
      August 26, 2011 at 10:12 am #

      Great! Glad we could help!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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