A Kanban Board is a tool for visualizing and optimizing work and workflow. Typically it is a physical board like a whiteboard, though it can also be an online tool, which uses “cards” on a “board” to show status, progress and issues related to a project or business initiative.
What are Kanban Boards, and what are best practices, tools and templates for teams and organizations?
Definition of Kanban Board
Description of Kanban Boards
Kanban was originally introduced by Taiichi Ohno, an industrial engineer at Toyota in Japan. Production workers used colored cards (called Kanbans) to notify their counterparts further along in the process that demand existed for assembly line parts. Kanban cards provide visibility to the work and workflow in any project, and the movable nature of the Post-it notes make it easy to track progress. A physical Kanban Board helps to limit the number of tasks in progress at one time, so that workflow is more evenly distributed.
Since Kanban Boards are a physical display of how a project is progressing, team members and stakeholders have easy access to valuable information without spending time tracking down progress updates or sitting in status meetings.
More recently, a number of technology providers have digitized the Kanban Board concept, introducing online Kanban Boards for use with various web and mobile technologies.
Tools & Templates
The Kanban Board is a tool that can be as simple as a whiteboard with three columns labeled “To do”, “Doing”, “Done”, with Post-it notes stuck in the corresponding column to indicate status, or more detailed with many columns and color-coded Post-its to designate the person responsible for completing the task. Online Kanban Boards often replicate this approach but may also include additional data, dashboards, or other information relevant to a particular task.
upBOARD's Online Kanban Board Tools & Templates
Unlike most traditional Kanban Board templates in MS Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, upBOARD’s online Kanban Board tools allow any team or organization to instantly begin collaborating with our complete templates and input forms. Our digital platform goes far beyond other software tools by including progress dashboards, data integration from existing documents or other software, elegant intuitive designs, and full access on any desktop or mobile device.
Learn more about upBOARD’s portfolio of other operations best practice tools and templates, including:
5 S System, Brainstorming, Business Process Re-engineering, Gemba Walk, House of Lean, House of Quality, Huddle Boards, Just in Time (JIT), Kaizen, Kanban Boards, Key Performance Indicators, Leading and Lagging Indicators, Lean Manufacturing, Objectives & Key Results, Operational Performance Management, Outsourcing Decision-Matrix, Performance-Based Budgeting, QDIP Board, RATER Model, Six Sigma, SQDC Board, SQDCM Board, Supplier Relationship Management (SRM), Theory of Constraints (TOC), Total Quality Management (TQM), Value Stream Mapping, and Zero Defects.