Friday, November 19, 2010

How To: Create a Kanban Board in SharePoint 2010 with Zero Code

imageUpdate:  If you're looking for a quick and easy Kanban board you should also check out my book Enter, Trello Dojo.  In it, I show you how to use the awesome kanban service Trello and even give you templates for getting started right away.

For those unfamiliar with it, Kanban is a project management technique developed by Toyota and popularized in IT circles by its application in Agile software development methodologies.  In software development, it’s simplest form is a whiteboard with columns for each status, in which post-it notes are affixed for each task.  As tasks migrate through development, the post-it note is moved from column to column.   Several web-based services and downloadable project management applications exist for implementing something similar sans the whiteboard (one of the best being AgileZen).  However, in some cases a lightweight version based on SharePoint might be handy.  SharePoint provides out-of-the-box functionality for creating project task lists, and, with a little pointing-and-clicking, it’s possible to display these out-of-the-box project task lists Kanban-style.  Here’s how:
Create the Project List
The standard Team Site has one of these, called ‘Tasks’, but you may choose to create your own.  To do this, click Site Settings –> More Options –> Project Tasks.  Give the list a name and url, and click OK.  Once you have a task list, to create a few tasks- one for each status.  When you’re done, you should have something like this:
image
Next, create views for each column that will be on the Kanban board.   You may want to give some thought as to what the columns will be, but for this demo, I chose views named ‘Not Started’, ‘In Progress’, and ‘Recently Completed’.  Tasks with a Deferred or Waiting status will be considered ‘In Progress’.  To do this, follow these steps:
  • Click ‘List –> Create View –> Standard View
  • Enter ‘Not Started’ as a view name
  • Uncheck all columns except for title
  • For Sort, choose Priority and then Due Date
  • For Filter, Check ‘Show items only when the following is true’
  • Set ‘Show items when column’ Status is equal to Not Started
  • Repeat for each view, changing the name and filters appropriately
  • For the ‘Recently Completed’ view, sort by Modified instead of ‘Due Date’
Create the Kanban Board
To visualize all of these in columns, create a new page and then add each view in a table.  To do this, follow these steps:
  • Click ‘Site Actions –> New Page’
  • Enter the page name and click OK
  • Click ‘Insert’ and drop down on ‘Table’ to create a 3 column table.
image
  • Click inside the first column and click Insert –> Existing List
  • Choose the task list you created (or the default one) and click ‘Add’
  • Drop down on the web part menu and choose ‘Edit Web Part’
  • Choose the ‘Not Started’ view and click ‘OK’ for the warning.
  • Enter ‘Not Started’ for the Title.
  • Repeat for each column, choosing the appropriate view.
  • For In Progress and Completed, also choose ‘No Toolbar’
In the end, you should have something that looks like this:
image
And there you have it!  A simple Kanban board, built in minutes, with out-of-the-box SharePoint functionality!
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can spice it up a little bit by customizing the page in SharePoint Designer.  I’ll leave that as an exercise for the reader for now, but here are some ideas on how to improve on this:
  • Remove those ‘Title’ column headers
  • Use formatting to highlight items that are deferred, waiting, or past due
  • Use Content Query Web Parts instead to roll up tasks from multiple sites into a single Kanban board.

20 comments:

TheoWorlds.com said...

Amazing use of Sharepoint.

How about using a specialized tool like smartQ (www.getsmartQ.com)?

Mikko said...

Thanks for a great tip! The Scrum teams of our company use physical whiteboards, but this method might be just good enough for some part-time improvement teams that we have.

NPTS said...

You can even had the total count value so it can show how many item are on each column

MeiroMagix said...
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MeiroMagix said...

Great and easy-2-implement idea! If you need more comfort and like to drag & drop tasks, check out this Task Board:
CS Task Board on YouTube

Rafał said...
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רפאל ואסל said...

look at this! http://kan.bo

Nils said...

Nice! I really liked the solution!!

Macon said...
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Macon said...

This is great! Is it possible to also change the link to "Tasks" on the left quick nav to this page?

Ewa KanBo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ewa KanBo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ewa KanBo said...

If you want to use Kanban professionally on your SharePoint you cannot overlook KanBo, It combines the best of SharePoint, Kanban and Social ways of communication in real time. You will love the Metro Design. Check it out here: www.kan.bo It also works on mobile devices.

Uli!i!i!i!.. said...

thanks Great!

Ella Mapple said...

Nice article on Kanban Board

Heather Angelo said...

Not sure if you still look at this post/comments, but I'm trying to follow these steps and I am having the hardest time getting the list views into a table. Any pointers?

Daniel Root said...

I am still here ;) I don't really have any tips beyond the steps above. The SP in-browser editor can be a little wonky, and there can be browser compatibility issues, but in general, if you have inserted a table, you should be able to just click in the cell and insert the existing list.

Heather Angelo said...

Thanks for getting back to me. It's strange. I can only add a table via content editor then the only way it will allow me to add the list is through a separate web part, which won't go in the table cell. Oh well, thanks anyway.

Daniel Root said...

I see. That's because you're on a web part page. Create a new wiki page and you'll be able to follow the steps above. Alternatively, you can modify the page in SPD.

Heather Angelo said...

Thanks! I'll try that now. I appreciate your response