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The Ultimate Guide To Agile Working & Why Agility Really Matters

05. Kanban & Agile Work Management

Kanban Boards

Kanban is Japanese work meaning ‘visual card’, and is a popular visual system of managing work through stages that supports agile ways of working.

Stages can be as simple as ‘To-do, Doing and Done’. ZOKRI uses stages like: ‘Idea, Up Next, In Progress, and Completed’ as well as ‘Slow, Stuck, and Abandoned’ for cards.

The amount of work at key stages is deliberately limited in order not to overwhelm the execution team, in addition to spotting bottlenecks and any constraints.

Planning, prioritisation and completing work are at the heart of Kanban, with a limit to the number of priorities being active and committed to at any moment in time.

A team may set a limit to the number of to-do’s (also sometimes referred to as cards, activities / To-dos) at any moment in time, and will not move on to the next cards until those are completed. This maximizes the focus on priorities and removes inefficiencies like switching costs – the time and productivity penalty of picking up and putting down new work.

ZOKRI allows teams to add P1, P2, P3 labels to Priority Boards. Individual and team priorities can then be discussed.

You can also see which priorities and to-do are aligned with goals / OKRs and which are not, which offers its own insights. It’s not uncommon for people to be delegated tasks that are not aligned with OKR achievement or to have BAU jobs-to-be-done that take up precious time. Making work and priorities visible helps align the work being done around goals that are being committed to and also see how much work is going into reaching KPIs and OKR achievement.