Kanban is one of the most popular frameworks used by software development teams looking to improve processes and deliver better software, faster. Kanban boards are physical or digital boards that hold work items in columns indicating the current state.

The first step of implementing Kanban is to map and visualise the workflow onto a Kanban board. Some of the most common workflows that software teams use are visualised in the following Kanban board examples:

  1. Simple Development Kanban Board
  2. Development Board with Code Review
  3. Development Board with client approval
  4. QA Team
  5. Crossfunctional Kanban Development Board
  6. Product Design Board
  7. Basic Product Management Board
  8. Product Feedback Board
  9. Basic Product Roadmap Board

Simple Development Kanban Board

simple development kanban board

This is the most basic Kanban board that can be used for software development. It has the following columns:

  1. To do
  2. In-Development
  3. Testing
  4. Deployed

The most basic kanban board can be used by small software development teams that want to improve visibility and avoid imposing complicated processes. This is a simple 4 column kanban workflow that requires minimal setup and team restructuring. All items are by default placed into the to-do column. The higher priority items can be moved to the top of the column. When items are ready for development, they can be moved to the next column. The same process is carried out for the QA and deploy stages. This Kanban workflow is simple, effective and gets the job done for small fast moving teams.

Development Board with Code Review

development kanban board with code review

This Kanban Board has the following columns:

  1. Backlog
  2. Design
  3. In-Development
  4. Code Review
  5. QA
  6. Deployed

This kanban workflow is a development workflow that has been slightly tweaked to incorporate code reviews. This allows the engineering team to maintain high coding standards while maintaining a straightforward workflow. One thing to note is that the code review sometimes may delay QA and is moved to a post the QA column. The idea is to ensure maximum productivity while maintaining high quality code.

Development Board for Software Services

kanban board for software services

This board for software services has the following columns:

  1. Backlog
  2. Design in Progress
  3. Client Approval Pending
  4. Ready for Dev/Dev Backlog
  5. In Development
  6. QA
  7. Deployed

This kanban workflow takes the traditional software development model to incorporate client approval steps in between the design and development steps. This is very crucial for software development teams that work on a service based model with their clients. The client is usually collaborated on the board, sometimes as an observer. Once the design step is done, the client can review mockups, suggest edits and collaboratively work with the design team to get a satisfactory outcome before the ticket is moved to the development phase.

QA Team Kanban

kanban board for qa team

The QA Kanban Board has just 5 columns:

  1. QA Backlog
  2. Testing
  3. Fix in Progress
  4. Ready for Deploy
  5. Deployed

The QA board can be used by QA teams that operate separately from development squads. This kanban workflow can be customised for any QA process that is not part of a cross functional squad. User Stories or bugs are sent to the QA backlog by default. Bugs or features that are selected for testing are moved to the testing page. When the bug is identified and reproduced it is moved to the fixing column. Any bug that has been fixed or feature that has been found to be bug free is then moved to the ready for deploy column.

Crossfunctional Kanban Development Board

crossfunctional kanban board

This Kanban board can be used by cross functional development teams and has the following columns:

  1. Product Backlog
  2. Specification
  3. Dev Backlog
  4. In Development
  5. Ready for QA
  6. In QA
  7. QA Done
  8. Deployed

Agile teams may often require more structure to build and ship products. This calls for a kanban workflow that is more streamlined than the simple kanban board. The agile kanban board has 8 columns. All items are placed in the backlog by default. These could be user stories, tasks, bugs or any tickets from external systems. The next step is specification which includes design and scope. Once the specification is done, the item is placed in the dev backlog. The dev team picks up items from the backlog and pushes them to QA once the development is finished. This process continues till deployment. This robust kanban workflow helps incorporate different personas in an agile environment.

Product Design Board

product design kanban board

This Kanban board helps facilitate collaboration between product managers and designers for prioritising and designing features. It has the following columns:

  1. Design Team
  2. Design Backlog
  3. Scope in Progress
  4. Wireframe in Progress
  5. Copy
  6. User Testing
  7. PM Review
  8. Mockup/Prototype in Progress
  9. Spec in Progress
  10. Spec Ready

In large product development teams with a robust design process, this workflow can be used to coordinate work between designers and product managers. Prioritised items are moved to the design backlog. The project manager scopes these items one after another and then hands them over to designers for initial wire-framing. Technical writers can add copy to these wireframes and these low-fidelity solutions can be put forward for user testing. Items that yield satisfactory results can be reviewed by the PMs and sent back to the designer in case changes are needed. Satisfactory wireframes can be moved to the designer who creates a high fidelity mockup. The last step is for the PM to specify the product/feature behaviour before moving it to a spec ready state where the item is ready for development.

Basic Product Management Board

kanban board for product management

This Kanban board can be used by product managers who are prioritising and getting features ready for the engineering team. It has the following columns:

  1. Product Management
  2. Product Backlog
  3. Scope
  4. Design
  5. Spec
  6. Ready for Dev

This kanban workflow can be used by product managers to manage their overall product design and spec process. Product ideas are placed in the backlog as user stories or enhancements. The product manager can prioritise and rearrange items to bring the higher priority items to the top of this column. The next column is to scope the prioritised items. The cards are then moved to the design column where mockups are created. The final step is for the product manager to specify the product in detail and pass it to the development backlog.

Product Feedback Board

kanban board for product feedback

This Kanban board can be used to track product feedback from customers. It has the following 5 columns:

  1. Product Management
  2. Product Backlog
  3. Scope
  4. Design
  5. Spec
  6. Ready for Dev

This kanban workflow can be used by product managers to manage their overall product design and spec process. Product ideas are placed in the backlog as user stories or enhancements. The product manager can prioritise and rearrange items to bring the higher priority items to the top of this column. The next column is to scope the prioritised items. The cards are then moved to the design column where mockups are created. The final step is for the product manager to specify the product in detail and pass it to the development backlog.

Basic Product Roadmap Board

kanban board for roadmap

This Kanban board serves as a basic product roadmap that product managers can use. It has 5 columns:

  1. Ideas
  2. Future
  3. In Consideration
  4. In Development
  5. Done

This kanban board can serve as a basic boilerplate product roadmap for product owners. It is a very simple template that can be shared with customers and other stakeholders. All ideas for future implementation are placed in the “ideas” column. High priority items that the team plans to work on immediately are moved from the in consideration to the development column. Ideas that are planned for later will be moved to the future column. This template can be used as a product roadmapping board till the team requires a more robust roadmapping solution.

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