Create a Kanban wall in 5 steps with Foglietto
The Kanban method is an agile visual management method.Widely used in the IT development community, it can be adapted to all types of projects, whether personal or professional, individual or collaborative.You can thus create a Kanban wall to distribute household chores within your family or roommate, to create a business, organize an event or launch a new product or even all of the above!
Extremely simple to set up, scalable, collaborative… The advantages of the Kanban wall are numerous.At Foglietto, we have adopted it for a long time, both for our daily management and for our long-term objectives.
The following article aims to give you a non-exhaustive portrait of all the possibilities offered by the Kanban method.It is then up to you to appropriate them according to what seems most relevant to your project.Steps 1 and 2 create a basic Kanban wall.The following steps are optional, depending on what you want to use them for.At each step, we give you our little tips to make the best use of it with Foglietto.Andiamo!
Step 1 - Define all the actions to be performed
This first step couldn't be simpler! Take your notepad of Foglietto cards and write down an action to be carried out on each card.You can go into different levels of detail, but in order not to find yourself buried and overwhelmed with cards, we advise you to write down one main action per card, which you will then detail on the same card.Ideally, each record should represent a maximum of one day's work.
Let's say, for example, that you need to write an article for your blog or your company's blog.Note on a “Publish an article” sheet then, on the same sheet, detail all the sub-actions necessary to carry out this action: define the subject, do research, write the text, create the visuals, format, etc.This will allow you to see your actions even better.
Finally, be as exhaustive as possible, this is what will allow you to realize your workload and distribute it as best as possible in the following steps.
💡 You can use a color code by choosing for each color of Foglietto card or for each color of masking tape (see next step), a level of priority, an aspect of your project, a particular project if you use a single Kanban wall to manage several at the same time or one person if you use your Kanban wall in a collaborative way.
Step 2 - Build the structure of your Kanban wall
The first step appealed to your sense of anticipation and projection.This second step invites you to use your imagination and your analytical skills.
You will have to define, from the actions listed in step 1, the structure best suited to your project and your situation.Here you have different options.A Kanban wall generally combines a chronological progression (columns) with a distribution of tasks by teams, projects or activities (rows), but its great advantage is the flexibility of this model which you can adapt to your needs and evolve over time. measuring the progress of your project.
We advise you to start your Kanban wall with a basic structure:
- Column 1: “pending” actions,
- Column 2: actions “to do” immediately (for example, today or in the week),
- Column 3: “ongoing” actions,
- Column 4: actions “done”.
Then, to adapt it as you go along to your needs:
- Add a column “blocks”, for all the actions on which you found yourself blocked, whether for an external reason (a client who does not send you the files on time) or internal (lack of inspiration!) .
- Add an “ideas to explore” column.
- If your project itself follows a methodology with a clearly defined chronology, as is often the case in the field of IT development, for example, you can adapt the titles of your columns to the latter.The columns will then become, in order: analysis, development, test, deployment and maintenance.
- Use the columns to plan your project over several weeks, months or even years: in this case, you can even create “pending”, “to do”, “in progress”, “done” sub-columns. within each weeks/months or years column.
- Create lines to distribute actions between multiple teams,
- Or create lines to separate the different aspects of your project: design, administration, communication, etc.You will be able to identify at a glance the most demanding aspects of your activity.
The possibilities are vast and this list is far from exhaustive.The best thing to do is for you to test different configurations in order to choose the one that suits you best.
Once you have chosen your structure, trace it on a wall using masking tape.Don't forget that you can write on the masking tape, so you can also use it to name your columns and rows.
💡 You will quickly notice that certain actions are recurring.Let's go back to our example from step 1.Our “Publish an article” form is likely to come back every week or every month depending on the publication frequency you have set for yourself.Once done, don't throw it away! But put it back in the “Pending” column.At this point, we also advise you to define in ink pencil the essential sub-actions, as mentioned above, and, in pencil, to tick the boxes if necessary or to add specific sub-actions to the “to do” or “in progress” article, such as “Contact X to interview him”.Here, Foglietto has a huge advantage over its self-adhesive cousin.
Step 3 - Set constraints
Until now, we have projected ourselves, we have dreamed, imagined... But it will now be time to come back to reality and exercise caution.Simple tips can help you make your Kanban wall a particularly effective planning and management tool.
You are probably in a quiet period right now, which gives you the time you need to organize and plan, or at least you have decided to give yourself this time.Take advantage of the hindsight you have today on your activity in order to set clear limits that will help you stay the course during the most tense periods.Among these, you can for example define:
- A due date for each action,
- A maximum flow of actions in each column or box, which will allow you to better distribute the work over time and/or within your teams,
- A priority level for each action,
- In case of teamwork, a manager/referent for each action.
These constraints, clearly named and visible to all, make it possible to encourage collaborative use by avoiding overloading certain teams or bottlenecks in certain activities.You can indicate them on the masking tape that is used to hold each of your cards on the wall or on the card itself, using a pencil of a different color so that these constraints are clearly visible.
Step 4 - Enrich your Kanban wall with a color code
At this stage, your Kanban wall is already fully functional and is already a great planning tool.But you can go even further by giving it new features, in particular via a color code.
You can thus make your Kanban wall a place of resources for you and your team.Associate some of your “actions” sheets with “information”, “pitfalls to avoid” or “food for thought” sheets as ideas come to you.You can slide them under the “actions” sheets concerned or file them in a separate line so as not to overload your Kanban wall too much.In this case, do not hesitate to use the numbering function of your sheets by assigning a number to each "action" sheet, which you will transfer to the corresponding "resource" sheets.
💡 Have you ever used a color code on your cards for another feature? Do not panic ! Use your basic color code for your “resources” cards and distinguish them from your “actions” cards by simply using a different masking tape color or, as mentioned above, by placing them in a new line dedicated to them.
Step 5 - Working daily with your Kanban and Foglietto wall
Here! Your Kanban wall is ready! But don't think the story ends here.On the contrary, it has only just begun.In order for your Kanban wall to retain all its interest, you will now have to bring it to life at the same tempo as your project.
Our advice? Take a few minutes each morning to observe your wall and define what your actions will be for the day.Record them on a “to-do” sheet that you will keep with you all day.If your wall is not in the same place as your workplace (this is the case for us: our shared office does not allow us to spread out so much!), do not hesitate to pick up the sheets concerning your day, whether it's “resources” sheets or “actions” sheets, and to take them with you, for example thanks to our Kanban folders.
If you have the opportunity, also take a few minutes in the evening to update your wall according to your accomplishments for the day.It's rewarding, and it allows you to start the next day with a clear vision of where you stand!
💡 The Archivio storage box could also be useful for you on a day-to-day basis: some completed files may indeed be useful again, whether to keep a memory of your work or simply because these actions are recurrent.To avoid cluttering your wall by keeping these index cards displayed in a corner, store them in your archival box.Use the index cards to better sort them.If you do not have a large space on which to build your wall, it is even possible to transpose certain columns directly into your box, this is for example particularly useful for the “pending” or “done” column.
To summarize, the 5 steps to create a Kanban wall with Foglietto are:
- Define all the actions to be performed,
- Building the structure of your Kanban,
- Set constraints,
- Enhance your wall with a color code,
- Working on a daily basis with your Kanban and Foglietto wall.