Why We Like Kanban Boards So Much (And You Should Too)

If there’s something we need to recommend as a complete must in any business, it would be Kanban boards. Make it twice as important in the context of doing digital-based business (we’re looking at you, startups, eCommerce ventures and other new types of small business). Let’s just say that for us, Kanban is a true organizational gift to every horizontal of a business. Business owners, supervisors, project managers, employees – all draw benefits from the Kanban method.

Kanban boards are so awesome due to 5 simple reasons:

  • The Kanban concept rests upon a clean, easy-to-understand layout. No clutter.
  • They visualize all those workflows that might have your head spinning otherwise.
  • They boost team communication and improve the delegation of employee responsibilities. No employee overload. Clearly identified areas to be improved. A steady, balanced pace of work that ensures smooth advance to a project’s goals.
  • They help you identify challenges/impediments and tackle them in an early stage.
  • They make your team’s productivity skyrocket.

Going further, let’s dig into what is a Kanban board actually.

The Extremely Lean Concept of Kanban Boards

A Kanban board is a simple means to visualize the workflow of your business. It helps you oversee every single step involved in this workflow and segment your operations properly. Have you ever used sticky notes? There’s a high chance you have. Well, think of the Kanban board as an intelligent way to organize your sticky notes on a whiteboard…something you can now do online too. Here’s the basic “skeleton” of a Kanban board:

Kanban boards and their functional simplicity.

In other words, these are a) the tasks awaiting production, b) the tasks in progress and c) the already completed tasks related to your business’s operations.

Seems like a simple concept, right? Maybe it is, but after all, genius is often found in simplicity. The Kanban method was inspired by Taiichi Ohno who is the brain behind the infamous Toyota Production System. Ohno utilized the Kanban method for Toyota’s sake with great success and we can count the Just In Time concept and Lean Manufacturing amongst his groundbreaking creations. Which means you can do the same for your small business or startup too, drawing from what he found works flawlessly.

So Where Does a Kanban Board’s Secret Lie?

We already mentioned that, but Kanban is extremely clean. No clutter means you can focus on the important things. And focusing on the important things is way easier when you’ve got everything visualized. Both physical Kanban boards and Kanban-based software frequently use specific colors suited to a certain workflow for additional visual cues.

So for example, you can use a green colored visualization for the work in progress across all your divisions while the completed tasks are yellow. Or you can “reserve” a color for the whole workflow of a department (e.g. Software developers get red and digital marketers get purple).

Kanban boards’ simplicity is more than crucial as we’ve seen way too many people who overburden themselves by using too much or too complex tools. As you can guess, such a situation actually does more harm than benefits.

But isn’t Kanban too limited, you might ask.

Not at all. The beauty of Kanban’s simplicity is that it’s incredibly flexible and expandable. If you think about it, the “Awaiting production”, “In progress” and “Completed” graphs can be applied to every single compartment of any business. They can be fitted to your business’s operational narrative like these two Trello-based examples show:

Kanban Board layout type 1

Kanban board in small business and startups.

On Kanban software and Cronforce

We’re mentioning Trello for two reasons. First, it’s one of the best tools utilizing the Kanban method and doing so with extreme finesse. Second, because we’re actually in the finishing stages of integrating it into Cronforce’s rich portfolio of 3rd party integrations. Combining Trello’s lean approach to workflows and project management with our abundance of features will provide any business of any scale with a powerful tool to tackle organization.

In addition to everything mentioned beforehand, the Kanban method is especially valuable for remote teams. It facilitates better delegation of responsibilities and improves the flow of communiacation among teams (and especially between supervisors and the employees they oversee). A trend that’s becoming more and more common, remote-based companies are the ones who benefit the most from organizational tools like Trello or Cronforce. There’s a reason most of the digital-era businesses you’ll encounter utilize Kanban boards and improve the concept’s benefits with an intelligent software tool.

A piece of advice from us if you haven’t tried out Kanban boards yet: grab a whiteboard and some sticky notes or a Kanban-type software. Give our free trial a shot to complement the Kanban way of doing things. It will be a completely free testing period to check out how much more organized your business and team, could be. We know Kanban boards definitely made a change to our workflow – and how productive we were. There’s a high chance the same will hold true for you too.

The Cronforce.com team.

Assign user roles and control access with Cronforce

Nowadays companies grow fast. Ever more so in the tech industry, where small startups begin their lives as agile teams of few friends. But anadrol steroids once they become successful need to employ a growing number of skilled workers and manage them in the most efficient way. Hierarchies are created and medium-sized business needs to be reflect them across the enterprise including software in the easiest and most efficient of fashions. This enables growth as the company becomes bigger and structures more complex, yet should account for future organisation shifts.

We, at Cronforce, aim to be the best solution for human capital and time management and allow for easy, scalable and efficient role assignments. Our software architects build a robust generic foundation for a business of any size. On top we engage daily with businesses to assist in setting up Cronforce for specific company needs around time tracking, vacations, absences, project costing and controlling.

Now let’s deep dive in the available role configurations. For example, of a junior analyst called John who had just been hired by a consultancy agency called TheExperts. John is given a Cronforce profile of a worker and assigned to a project. The role division in the agency goes as following:

  • Supervisor (Organisation > Projects > Project Name > Team Supervisor Management) – A supervisor is a worker who has the authority to approve timesheets of other workers in the context of a specific project. Lisa, a senior analyst, is given the authority of a supervisor for John in the project he’s been assigned to. When John submits his timesheet for the week, Lisa can view and approve it.
  • Project Leader (Organisation > Projects > Project Name) – A leader is the manager of a project. He/she has the authority to assign supervisor roles and change the settings within a project. Unlike other workers the Leader may also view all information, statistics and insights regarding the project. Mary is a project leader and is the one who had assigned Lisa as John’s supervisor since she wanted to delegate responsibilities. She also has an overview of the work and finances being done in the project on a weekly, monthly and yearly scale.
  • Global Managers (Settings > Users > Global Managers) – A global manager is responsible for the activity of a whole company in the context of one module – Organisation, Timesheets, Timeoffs and Finance. The global manager has full visibility and authority of all information in that module. Tim, the global manager of Timeoffs at TheExperts, can track all vacation  and absences bookings and can approve them. He will notice when John books ten days of vacations in August.
  • Administrator (Settings > Users > Administrators)- The administrator in a company has full visibility and authority over all modules and personnel. Normally there would be only one or two such persons in a company. Francesca, head of operations at TheExperts, has Administrator role and she can change every setting in the system to match company strategy, including the global company settings.
  • Department Manager (Organisation > Departments > Department Name > Department Managers) – The department role is a special one. A department manager is in charge of all personnel in a specific department, regardless of project. He/she can change the settings of a department and the ones regarding all workers assigned to it. Lory, the manager of the Business Intelligence department at TheExperts – the one John had been attached to – can access all of John’s data and can also approve his timesheets, if necessary.

As the company grows, more and more workers join the business and specific roles increase. With time, John may be granted more authority including time tracking supervision of more junior workers. When John is promoted and given more responsibility. It is trivial to change his role within the company structure as Cronforce streamlines these processes and allows for easy reassignment and addition of workers, keeping company structures agile. With Cronforce you enable your workers to delegate supervision of human capital and time management, and the best part is: Cronforce is free to try.

Why not do it now and get back control of your company data?

About Cronforce

Cronforce is a leading provider of cloud-based Business Execution Software, and delivers time tracking, vacations management, budget controlling and workforce planning solutions for organizations of all sizes. A one of a kind fusion of dashboards and business tools it provides you and your clients with real-time overview and reports on business and project developments. Cronforce facilitates day-to-day business and enables managers to make data-driven decisions and increase efficiency. With Cronforce you can access your data easily, anywhere and any time! Cronforce is free to test and use (check our free and paid plans). 

The Cronforce.com Team