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What is an agile kanban board?

Article originally published in November 2023 by Stuart Brameld. Most recent update in December 2023.

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Definition of an agile kanban board

An agile Kanban board is a visual tool that helps teams manage their work more effectively. It’s a simple concept: you create a board and divide it into different columns, each representing a stage in your workflow. You then add cards to the board, each card representing a task. As you progress with your tasks, you move the cards across the board. This gives everyone a clear view of what’s being worked on, who’s doing what, and where something is in a process. It’s a great way to boost productivity and keep everyone on the same page.

Agile Kanban boards are not just about visualising work, but also about improving the flow of work. By limiting the number of tasks in progress at any one time, teams can focus on completing tasks rather than starting new ones. This is known as ‘limiting work in progress’ and is a key principle of Kanban. The board also helps identify bottlenecks in the process, allowing teams to address issues and improve efficiency. Furthermore, it encourages collaboration and communication within the team, as everyone can see the status of tasks and who is responsible for them. This transparency leads to increased accountability and a more cohesive team.

How does an agile kanban board work?

An agile kanban board works by providing a visual representation of a project’s workflow, allowing marketers to see the status of various tasks at a glance. It is divided into different columns, each representing a stage in the marketing process, such as “To Do,” “In Progress,” and “Completed.” Tasks or projects are represented as cards that move from one column to the next as they progress. This system promotes efficiency and flexibility, as it allows team members to quickly identify bottlenecks, prioritize tasks, and adjust their workload in response to changes or new priorities. It also fosters transparency and collaboration, as everyone can see what others are working on and where they might need help.

An example of an agile kanban board

Board Name: Growth Method Agile Kanban Board

Columns:
1. Backlog
– Improve user interface design
– Develop new customer analytics feature
– Fix bug in payment processing
– Update privacy policy
– Implement two-factor authentication

2. To Do
– Research competitors’ pricing strategies
– Plan email marketing campaign
– Design new logo

3. In Progress
– Develop mobile app version
– Test website load speed
– Revise onboarding process

4. Testing
– Check new security updates
– Validate new customer feedback feature

5. Done
– Launch customer referral programme
– Update website SEO
– Complete annual financial audit

Each task on the board is represented by a card. The card moves from left to right as it progresses through the stages of the workflow. The board is updated regularly to reflect the current state of work.

Questions to ask yourself

As a modern growth marketing or agile marketing professional, ask yourself the following questions with regard to an agile kanban board:

  1. Have I clearly defined and prioritised the tasks on my Agile Kanban board?
  2. Am I regularly updating the board to reflect the real-time progress of my marketing projects?
  3. Is the Agile Kanban board helping me to identify bottlenecks and improve the efficiency of my marketing processes?
  4. Am I effectively using the board to facilitate communication and collaboration within my marketing team?
  5. Does the Agile Kanban board align with my growth marketing strategies and objectives?

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