Kanban board is the central place to execute your work based on your own workflow, where your work is visible as it flows while limiting work-in-progress. The SwiftKanban Board is a powerful and flexible real-time Kanban board for executing projects based on visual management. It is designed such that it gives you visual cues to identify the priority, the status of work, bottlenecks, to help you get work done quickly and efficiently.
Example of a Kanban Board with default Workflow
The SwiftKanban Board provides all the required flexibility to customize it to suit your value stream with so much less complexity and which is reflected within a few minutes.
To view the Kanban board, go to the Module Menu adjacent to the Profile pic at the top-right, and click the Boards link. The List of Boards view displays the boards that you created as a product owner, or boards on which you are a team member. Double-click the board row to open the board. The Kanban board is displayed by default. Next time you log on to the application, the Kanban board you accessed last will appear by default. Alternately, you can open the board from the Recent Boards icon located on the top for quick access.
Let’s look at a default Kanban Board.
Have a quick look at the Card Anatomy to understand how much information a card can provide on the Swift Kanban Board.
SwiftKanban provides the best of the features for:
Add a card on the board to indicate work-item, and then move it to the next column as you complete your part of work. To add a card, right-click anywhere in the column (i.e. lane that indicates the current state of the work-item) to which you want to add. Select Add Card in the shortcut menu. In the card placeholder, select the card type and then type a card title and press ENTER.
The card appears in the lane with the card carousel showing default values for mandatory card attributes such as Priority, Class of Service, and Size. Click the card title to edit values and add other details. Type the description for the card. You can use the formatting toolbar for text editing that provides basic features, including adding URLs and inserting images. Provide values for card attributes such as Due Date, Estimate, and so on. Estimate can be entered for a Card in days / hours / story points (as selected in preference). You can use this estimate to track the progress of deliverables in a CFD and Throughput Chart.
You can expand the Edit Card pop-up for full viewing of Description and Comments by dragging the right corner of the card.
To assign different card owners, click the Avatar box showing your name and picture profile as you created the card. You can select multiple owners to a card by holding the SHIFT/CTRL keys in combination with the cursor/arrow keys. Thus, the card owners can add their own tasks to the card and report progress against them, which will finally roll-up to the card-level progress.
You can select ‘Unassigned’ as a value for Card Owner, in case you do not want to assign the card to any specific team member for that time.
Alternately, you can also add a card by clicking the Add Card icon on the Kanban Board toolbar. Here, you can select the lane to which you want to add the card. You can even select Backlog to add the card to the backlog, if you do not want to work on it currently. If you miss to select a lane when adding a card, the card will be added to the first lane on the board by default. You can change it later, if you need to.
You can also add cards / work-items by navigating to Board Cards » Backlog, or Board Cards » <Card Type>, or Board » Cards » All Cards. From these views, you can add cards, edit, or delete the cards. You can filter and sort the list of cards to view, edit, or delete specific cards.
If you have already defined a backlog (created a user story, defect, or an issue), you can just pull the cards from the backlog and push it to the board.
To pull a card from the backlog, click the Add Card icon on the Auto-hide toolbar. Select Search and Add from Backlog and enter the required details.
Note that If you have defined lanes on the board, you should select the first column in the Lane that shows up below. The card attribute-enabled lane displays the lane based on the attribute value of the card. For example, if the card is tagged ‘Critical’, only the Critical lane name is displayed. For custom label-enabled lane, you can select from any one of the lane appearing.
SwiftKanban provides a separate Backlog Board, where you can view your backlog in the form of cards and push them to the board quickly. You can view the card details upfront as on the board and decide which cards to push to the board.
Click on the Backlog Board icon on the Auto-hide toolbar. The cards, if added as Backlog from the Backlog view or Card Type List View are shown here. Click the Add to Board icon to push the card to the board, which appears on mouse-over on the card. Card Menu is also available for the cards on mouse-over, enabling collaboration and card-related actions on the Backlog Board. If required, add cards to the Backlog Board by clicking the Add Card icon on the Auto-hide toolbar on the left edge. It works similar to the Kanban board Add Card feature. You will find other important board features on the Auto-hide toolbar to focus and prioritize cards- Board Filter, Legend, and Card Sizing Views.
The Backlog Board can be organized more effectively based on card attributes to help you quickly locate and push cards with the specific attribute value. Moreover, the category lanes. resets the attribute value of the card when you move it to another category lane.
The Backlog Board also provides flexibility to organize the board by creating your own backlog category lanes. As the prioritization can keep changing based on the dynamic business need, the categorization may need to change.
To organize your backlog based on card attributes or custom categories:
1. In the Backlog Board view, click the Backlog Settings icon on the Auto-hide toolbar.
2. Click the Enable Organization button.
3. Select any one of the options from the following:
a. Select ‘Organize Backlog based on one of the following Card attributes’ option and then select any card attribute, for example, Priority.
b. Select ‘Organize Backlog based on custom categories’.
4. Click Submit.
For Card attribute-based Backlog, the backlog is categorized into lanes according to the values available for the selected attribute. Considering the ‘Priority’ example, the Backlog Board will have separate lanes for Priority values such as Critical, Medium, and so on. The cards matching the Priority value are placed in the applicable category lane. If there are no cards moved to a lane, the lane will be collapsed. As in Lanes, if you move a card of ‘Medium’ priority to the ‘Critical’ priority lane, the priority of that card will be set to ‘Critical’.
For Custom categories-based Backlog, the Backlog lane now shows a Category Lane toolbar on the right corner. Click the Add Category lane icon on the toolbar for the lane, below which you want the new custom lane. Provide a name and description for the new custom lane.
Expand the lane and move the cards to the lane. Add a few more lanes, as and when required and organize the lanes by clicking the Move Up and Move Down icons. To delete a lane, click the Delete icon on the toolbar for that lane. The lane will be removed and if it has any cards, these will be moved to the ‘None’ lane created.
Adding a card using the Add Card icon, adds a card in the first lane by default. For Backlog organized on Custom Categories, right-click anywhere on a custom lane to add and associate the new card to that lane.
To push cards randomly, reset the Backlog Board to the default setting, by clicking the Disable Organization button in the Organize Backlog window. For more on Backlog Board, see Define Backlog page.
Resequence the cards within the lane by dragging and dropping as required – to be picked up in the left-to-right order. The resequenced cards persist across sessions.
You may even pull an archived card if you want to resume work on it. To pull an archived card, select the Search and add from Archive option.
To pull a card from the archived cards, click the Add Card icon on the Auto-hide toolbar. Select Search and Add from Archive and enter the required details.
Note that If you have defined lanes on the board, you should select the first column in the Lane that shows up below. The card attribute-enabled lane displays the lane based on the attribute value of the card. For example, if the card is tagged ‘Critical’, only the Critical lane name is displayed. For customlabel-enabled lanee, you can select from any one of the lane appearing.
Move All Cards to Another Column: Right-click a Column header and select ‘‘Move All’ option in the menu.
Move Selected Cards to Another Column: You can also select a set of cards using CTRL+ click and right-click to move selected cards. The selected card is indicated by a yellow check mark. To unselect when selecting cards, use CTRL + click on the cards again. The yellow check mark on the card disappears. Next, right-click on the lane header and select the 'Move Selected' option and then the lane and its respective column to where you want to move the cards.
Note that you will not be able to select an unblocked card for moving it to another lane using this option.
Archive a card when it reaches the last lane on the board to indicate that the work has been delivered. You may even archive a card from its current lane if you decide that the card need not progress through the remaining flow.
Click the Options icon appearing on hovering over on the card. Click the Archive icon and the card will no longer be available on the board. However, you can view it from the List View of the Card Type as Archived/Closed. Current Owner of the card is retained even after Card Archival. This will help you keep track as to who was the last User to work on the archived card.
Archive All Cards: Right-click on any lane header to archive all the cards in that lane in a single click.
Note that any blocked cards in the lane will not be archived.
Archive Selected Cards: CTRL + click the required cards and right-click to use ‘Archive Selected’ option. The yellow check mark appearing on the cards indicate that cards have been selected. To unselect when selecting cards to archive, click CTRL + click again. The yellow mark disappears for the card.
Note that you cannot select any blocked card to archive unless you unblock it.
You can move a card to another board if it was actually meant to be there. You do not have to recreate a card if you created it on a wrong board or may be just a change of decision.
Hover on the card, click the Options icon, and then click the TransferTo option on the menu. After a few seconds, another menu of a different board is displayed. Click the 'destination' board and then the Lanes and its column where you want to move the card. A message is displayed after successful movement of the card. On the destination board, you can see that the card is placed in the selected column.
A card will not be moved if the destination board does not have the card type enabled for the board. To enable the card type, see Enable / Disable Card Type on the Board.
When a card is moved, the following details are inherited and shown for the card:
The Activity log of the moved card only shows from which board the card was moved and not the earlier card movements. The original card from the source board will be deleted.
Note that if the destination board has card attribute-enabled Lanes, the Move card menu will display the applicable lanes according to the card attribute. In this example, a user story card is being moved, hence only the lanes in the User Story lane are available for selection.
If the new board doesn't have the Card Type ( that of the original card) enabled, then an alert will be displayed to convert the card to the suitable card type and then move the card.
SwiftKanban enables you to flag a card, mark it for different purposes – so that you can highlight different aspects of the card or draw attention to it. Depending on the reason for highlighting, you can select one or more types of flags to highlight the card.
To flag a card, mouse-over the card. The various available flag types are highlighted on the bottom right of the card. Click the required flag. To remove the flag, simply click the flag again.
SwiftKanban offers you five different flags as listed below; you can use one or more as appropriate:
Using the Manual Flag:
1. On the Kanban board mouse-over the required card to display all the flags.
2. To activate the Manual flag ,click icon, enter a comment and then click Save.
This will highlight the flag, which indicates that the card needs to be discussed.
Note: Any team member can raise a flag, however, only the same team member is able to remove the flag.
3. Once the discussion is completed, the owner can unflag the card anytime. To unflag, simply click the flag again, a comment and then click Save.
Note: Any comment that was entered while activating or removing the manual flag is recorded in the Comments and Activity Log tab.
Mouse hovering the flag displays the name by whom it is flagged.
To Flag a card with an Issue:
1. On the Kanban board, mouse-over the required card to display all the flags.
2. Click to activate the Issue flag.
When you click the Issue flag, SwiftKanban allows you to capture Issue Code as well as Comments about that issue using the “Add Comment” pop-up.
3. From the Issue Code dropdown list, select the appropriate issue code.
Note:The Issue Code list can be defined as Master List under SwiftKanban Settings under Admin menu. For more information on defining master lists, refer to the Define Master Lists article.
4. Enter any comments for flagging this card to describe the Issue.
This is a mandatory field.
5. Click Save, to save you comments.
This will highlight the flag, which indicates there’s an issue associated with the card. Mouse hovering the flag display details such as User Name, Date and Time when it was flagged,Issue Type, and Issue Description.
To Flag a card with a Risk:
1. On the Kanban board mouse-over the required card to display all the flags.
2. Click to activate the Risk flag.
When you click the Risk flag, SwiftKanban allows you to capture Risk Code as well as Comments about that issue using the “Add Comment” pop-up.
3. From the Risk Code dropdown list select the appropriate risk code.
Note: The Risk Code list can be defined as Master List under SwiftKanban Settings under Administration. For more information on defining master lists, refer to the Define Master Lists article.
4. Enter any comments for flagging this card to describe the Risk.
This is a mandatory field.
5. Click Save, to save your comment.
This will highlight the flag, which indicates there’s a risk associated with the card. Mouse hovering the flag display details such as User Name, Date and Time when it was flagged,RiskType, and Risk Description.
To Flag a card as a Blocked Card
1. On the Kanban board mouse-over the required card to display all the flags.
2. Click to block a card.
When you click the Blocker flag, SwiftKanban allows you to capture Blocking Code as well as Comments about why you are blocking the card using the “Add Comment” pop-up.
3. From the Blocking Reason dropdown list select the appropriate reason code.
Note:The Blocking Reason Code list can be defined as Master List under SwiftKanban Settings under Administration. For more information on defining master lists, refer to the Define Master Lists article.
4. Enter any comments for why you are blocking this card to describe the problem you may be facing.
This is a mandatory field.
5. Click Save, to save your comment.
This will highlight the flag, which indicates that the card is being blocked. Mouse hovering the flag display details such as User Name, Date and Time when it was blocked, and Blocking reason.
To Unblock a Card
This is the only flag type where you also need to enter comments when you remove the flag (unlock the card). This is because Blocking is a significant event as it indicates that all work has stopped in the card. When a blocker is resolved, it is important to describe how it was resolved.
1. On the Kanban board mouse-hover the required card and then click
Add Un-Blocking Comment pop-up appears.
2. Enter any comments for why you are unblocking the card.
3. Click Save, to save your comment.
This will again grey-out the highlighted flag.
The card when added may or may not have an owner assigned to it. An unassigned card is indicated by no image in the avatar placeholder and on hovering shows 'Unassigned'.
To assign an owner or change the current owner:
To assign a card to multiple owners, in the Card Assignment window, select multiple owners to a card by clicking the required team members one by one. If you selected multiple owners, the profile picture displays picture of multiple owners and on hovering, displays the names of the owners. This feature enables team members in adding multiple Tasks/To-Dos to the card and assigning a To-Do for each of the owners selected. They can report progress (i.e. Pending/In-Progress/Completed and To-Do effort) against the assigned To-Do, which will finally roll-up to the card-level progress.
To unassign the current owner, select ‘Unassigned’ from the list. Note that if an owner has not uploaded his/her image, it is indicated by the user's initials.
You can add tasks i.e. To-Dos to a card to break down the work into smaller manageable units. Card Owners can add and manage their own set of To-Dos, estimate effort, and report progress against their To-Dos.
If your Product owner has created a predefined To-Do list, you need to just report progress on it. You may still add to the pre-defined To-Do list for a card.
To add To-Dos for a card on the board, click the Tasks icon on the card appearing on mouse-over.
If the lane in the Applicable column appears in red, it indicates that the lane is deleted from the workflow / process.
To report progress of your To-Do, double-click the Current State drop-down list and select, 'In-Progress' or 'Completed' from the list. The colors-gray (Pending) orange (In-Progress), and green (Completed) also indicates the To-Do status. Click here for more help on updating and tracking the To-Dos by status. If you have Time-Tracking Plug-in enabled for your enterprise, you will see the Actual and Remaining columns to update effort (in hours). For effort-based updating and tracking of To-Dos, see the Logging Effort for To-Dos help.
Updates to a card To-Do’s are logged in the Card Activity Log for tracking task activities such as new To-Do, Assignment of To-Do Owner, etc.
The card details can be viewed and modified on the board by clicking the card title. The Edit Card window displays the Card Details, Comments, To-Do, and Attachments tabs along with a quick count of these items in the header itself (To-Do tab will show both the completed and total count). Make your changes in the Details tab. To change the card owner, click the Picture Profile and select new owners or you can select 'Unassigned' to un-assign the card. See Change the Owner/AssignMultiple Owners section for help.
Note that you will not be able to enter an estimate for a card, if it is linked as a parent card to its child cards. The value is read-only and is rolled-up from its child cards.
After making changes in the Details tab, click Save in the pop-up.
You may also add and reply to comments, add and update the To-Do List, and add/download, or delete attachments in the card.
Your enterprise may want to capture any specific information while adding a card on the Board or Detail view. You need to first add and configure the custom fields in the Card Type through Card Field Editor and then the team members can enter values in the cards. To add and configure fields, see Define Card Types.
While adding the values in the Add Card or Edit Card pop-up on the board, the custom attributes are placed in rows below the Enter Keywords text box in the order they are added in the card type layout in theCard Field Editor.
By default, the custom attributes are displayed partially. To view and enter values for the full set of custom attributes, click the slider icon, as shown in the image below. It then resizes the description and keywords accordingly and shows the all the attributes in rows.
If you have Release plug-in enabled, the Release attribute will appear automatically, so that you can tag a card quickly to a release. However, you will not be able to view and edit the Sprint to which it is associated. (The Add/Edit Card pop-up does not display Read-only attributes.) Similarly, in the Detail view, you can edit the Release and you can view the associated sprint, but not edit it. In the Detail view, the custom attributes are listed below Current owner.
The Hierarchy icon appears on the cards that belong to a hierarchy or that are linked to other cards. Click on it to directly go to the Linked Card Hierarchy View. See detailed help on Creating links between cards and parent-child hierarchy.
Sometimes, you may have your Kanban board on your desktop but may not be performing any activity. However, your team mates may have made some updates such as pulled a card, or added a comment, or even blocked a card. The SwiftKanban Board is refreshed by default and shows the changes immediately after they are made.
However, you can choose to see the final updates when you want or your enterprise may have already set the related preference, 'Show Live Updates on Board Refresh only' . Accordingly, the Board will refresh only when you click the Refresh Board icon on the Board toolbar, showing the final updates together on the board. The cards modified on the board are highlighted, if there are any changes made to the card attributes in the Add Card pop-up. The Refresh Board icon increments the count of updates on the Notification icon on the top, which lists the cards in the Notification widget for specific board events. It also refreshes the Inbox count on the Inbox widget. This is a very important visual indicator for a distributed team to be in sync so that they don't miss out on critical events.
The card sizing view set, Lane Width adjusted, Fit to Screen, and cards resequenced persists on Board Refresh and across login sessions.
Track the board activities such as cards added and moved, owner changed, WIP limit violated, card blocked, etc. by clicking on the Activity Log icon on the Auto-hide toolbar.
For every action on a card, the log displays, Card ID, Card Type (User Story, Defect, or Issue), Name of the Card, Card Action (Movement, Blocked, Unblocked, etc.), and other details of the action.
For offline analysis of the board activities, export the Activity Log by clicking the Export icon in the Activity Log view. The entire log file is exported by default, which is in CSV format. Enter the file name and click Submit.
You may want to view and export specific activities, for example, updates made by a particular person to User Stories. Click the Filter icon on the Auto-hide toolbar, and filter the log selecting/entering the values in the Filter boxes. When exporting, select ‘Export only filtered Items’ in the Export Options list and export.
Teams Filter: Using the filter, you can view only those cards that are assigned to the team members associated with the team you select in the Filter. The Team is defined at the enterprise level where users are selected to be part of a team and the Team list displays these in the filter, provided any of the members from the team are assigned on your board. For example, if there are 15 teams at the enterprise level and members from only 4-5 teams have been invited on this board, only those teams will be displayed in the Filter list.
If the team members are removed or added to the team and these members are/were assigned on your board, the cards will be displayed with effect to the new team. Read more on Defining Teams.
Filter Board by Tags: Filter Board on tags to enable focusing on cards related by way of a common theme, task, feature, etc. Ensure that you have added related tags to focus on specific cards.
To filter cards as per tags, click board menu on the toolbar and navigate to Cards >> All Cards. Enter the tag in the filter of the Tags column.
For Release & sprint attribute, you can select the whole release or specific sprint under a release, and drag them to the Filter By pane to retrieve the matching cards.
To remove the filter, in the Board Filter window, click Reset and Apply.
You can decide to sort the cards in ascending or descending order by selecting the appropriate Sort Type radio option. To save the sort preferences for the next login, select the Save Sort option.
A card can be identified from the many fields, and tags is one such field that can be used to sort the cards. Tagging can be a great way to associate cards with a release, sub-tasks to a story, feature, or board, etc. You can ‘tag’ a card with any value/label you want, or as many as you want to retrieve the card specifically during search or board filtering on tags.
We have an incredibly diverse set of customers, so we have added it as a preference so you can enable tagging only if your enterprise needs it. If you have not enabled the preference, you will unable to see the Tag icon.
To add a tag, while adding a card, type text in the free-flowing text box next to the Tag icon and press ENTER or SPACEBAR. The tag appears along with a cross mark. It is much easier to select the required tag from the Auto-complete list. The tags already created for cards on the board are listed as you type.
To delete the tag, click the cross mark, when the cursor turns into a hand pointer. You cannot edit a tag, it’s quick to delete and add a new tag instead.
If you type a duplicate tag in the same card and try to press ENTER, it will not be accepted and will highlight (in yellow color) the existing tag in the text box.
Save the card after you add your tags. On hovering over the Tag icon, the tags are displayed so you know quickly what tags are added for a card. You will see the Tag icon on a hovering over a card only if you have added tags to it.
Note: Ensure you have enabled the tag feature by navigating to Admin >> Settings >> Admin Policy page and selecting the enable Card Tags option.
You can resize the lanes on your Kanban board and make any lane wider/narrower using the drag-drop slider that shows when you hover on lane borders. This should be very useful feature to adjust the board layout based on the volume of cards in various lanes.
When you have two cards in a lane and you increase the width, there will be two stacks. If you have four cards and you increase the width, there will be two stacks with two cards horizontally placed next to each other. If you decrease the width, there will be four stacks. and the cards will move below each other.
The Lane width set persists on Board Refresh and across login sessions.
The below screenshot shows how a lane with two stacks can be expanded, which will then have three vertical stacks with cards distributed in these lanes.
With multiple Lanes, it may be cumbersome to scroll up and down to configure and view lanes. You may expand the lane later by clicking the Expand Lane icon i.e. the right pointing arrow on the left of the Lane header to view the entire workflow. You can click the Collapse Lane icon i.e. the downward pointing arrow on the left of the Lane header to collapse other Lanes while you work on the required Lane.
Expand/Collapse state of the Lanes that you have you set persists across sessions.
You can collapse and expand parent column and even child if these are vertically split within a lane. This allows you to hide unnecessary sections on your board and lets you focus your view on a specific section. The capability has immense value for very large boards reducing scrolling.
To collapse a column, hover towards the right of the lane header and click the Collapse Column icon. The column will be docked vertically on the left of the next column, as seen for the Ready column in the below image. On collapsing, the Expand column icon is seen which can be clicked to expand the column back.
If a Column is vertically split, each of the child column can be collapsed. However, you cannot collapse the horizontally-split child lanes. As seen in the above image, you can see that the Collapse Column icons are available for both, ‘In-Progress’ and ‘Done’ columns in the ‘Develop’ parent column.
A Kanban board can be projected as an information radiator on large screens that is commonly accessible to the whole team. Stakeholders who do not contribute to the board but want to track the Board can be assigned the 'Reader' role on the board.
The team members who are assigned the Reader role on the board, can log in and view the board but cannot add cards or modify the process. The board gets refreshed automatically after every 10 minutes when it is in the read-only mode. In this way, you can continue to be logged in and view updates real-time.
Other features such as Board Filter, Legend, etc. are available for tracking the work progress.
Some times, you may want to adjust the size of the card when adding or updating the details, for example, the entering the description or viewing an entire thread in the Comments tab. To resize, you can expand Card pop-up for full viewing by dragging the right corner of the card outward. You can reduce the card size up to its original size by dragging the corner inward.
SwiftKanban provides five zoom levels to choose for viewing more or less of cards that is, to the required level of card details. Click the Card Size Slider on the toolbar to view Very Small, Small, Medium, Large, or Detailed sized cards.
SwiftKanban provides five card size views to choose for viewing more/less of cards i.e. to the required level of card details. It reduces scrolling and gives you a bird’s eye view for small card views.
Slide the Card Size slider on the toolbar up or down to select the Very Small, Small, Medium, Large,or Detailed Card size views.
You can make the best use of the different card size views, which persists across sessions.
When you have set the Small and Very Small card size views, double-click the Card Size slider to fit the board to the screen i.e. edge-to-edge. This is applicable when there is empty space on the right of the board.
When discussing a card in the first three card size views, you can still view the card details. Hover over the card to view a larger view with all details of the card in focus.
Collaborate with your team related to work on a card right on the board. To add comments to a card, click the Comments icon appearing on mouse-over on the card. Click the Add Comments button, enter your comments as long as 12000 characters. As you type, the remaining characters are shown below the text box. Click Save.
To reply to a particular comment, click the Reply button for the comment. The Comments window displays the date, time, etc. so you can view and track the comments. Click the link for example, 'has 2 replies' to view the replies to a particular comment. Whether you add your comments from the Kanban Board or the Detail view of a card, you can track the comments for the card.
The latest comments added to the card will be shown when you hover on the card, displaying the member who commented and the date and time when commented.
Get into a general discussion with your team-mates within SwiftKanban using the Board Chat feature. Board Chat helps to have a quick conversation in context with the Kanban board.
Click the Board Chat icon on the toolbar. You can check who is online, which is indicated by the profile images of members appearing in the Chat box. Type your message in the chat box and hit ENTER. The chat messages are displayed up in the conversation window-Blue indicates messages you sent and yellow for messages you received.
Click the Close icon to close the chat box and open any time you want to chat.