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23 March 2015

WIP Limits In Updated SharePoint Kanban Board

Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint logotypeI am happy to announce the release of a new version of Kanban Task Manager – again! If you follow this blog you know that the SharePoint version had a major update in January and the two Outlook versions as late as earlier this month.

In spite of the recent releases we have decided to give users one more enhancement: WIP limits. Today the SharePoint version has been updated with this new feature that reveals bottlenecks and helps the team achieve a steady work flow.

Visualize work process
Kanban style task and project management means visualizing the work process by moving cards between different phases or stages. Originally the cards were pinned to a physical board, but the kalmstrom.com kanban boards are virtual and use the latest technology of Outlook or SharePoint. The color coded tasks are moved within or between phases and lanes by drag and drop, Ctrl + arrow keys or with a finger on touch screens.
Kanban board in SharePoint

Limit work in progress
When the different tasks of a project are visualized on a kanban board, it is easy to discover bottlenecks in the process. A warning when there are too many tasks in a phase or lane is a clear signal that something is wrong and action has to be taken, so the new possibility to set WIP (work in progress) limits is an important time saver.

Limit per phase or lane
In the new version of Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint WIP limits can be set for all phases and lanes, and when the limit has been exceeded the name of that phase or lane will turn red. Also the number of tasks in the phase or lane will be shown in red.
Kanban Task Manager WIP limit warning

Experiment
When setting WIP limits I recommend you to start with limits on just a few phases or lanes. You probably need to test what is the optimal number of tasks and be prepared to make changes. Note that the WIP limits does not prevent users from adding more tasks, so a level that is set too low will not stop the work process.

Upgrade
kalmstrom.com upgrade iconFree upgrades are always included in kalmstrom.com Subscriptions, so current users of Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint are welcome to upgrade their installations.

Try
kalmstrom.com download iconDoes your organization use SharePoint? Do your work teams need a way to visualize and cooperate on projects and tasks? Do managers need a way to quickly get an overview over different projects? If the answer to these questions is Yes, I think you would find Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint useful.

The Kanban Task Manager subscription covers an unlimited number of installations within the subscribing organization, so it can be utilized by many teams. Why not try it? We allow a 30 days trial of the full version of Kanban Task Manager, and I am sure you will like it!

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer
kalmstrom.com Business Solutions