InVision + Kanban Boards: Making workflows more Agile

4 min read
Ellie Kulick
  •  Mar 15, 2022
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Picture this: you’ve got this lovely canvas full of great ideas, priorities, insights, and feedback after an awesome collaborative session with your team. Yes it’s beautiful, but you have a problem: how do you make sense of it all? Enter Boards and Cards in Freehand

Boards and Cards allow you to organize your canvas content into flexible columns, bringing structure and organization to all of your great ideas. It also unlocks all kinds of structured workflows in Freehand, but perhaps most notably, Kanban Boards in Agile workflows. 

Below, we take a step back and tell you a bit more about Kanban Boards and their connections to Agile workflows, and how you can take the magic of free-flowing ideas and uninhibited brainstorming and transform them into an actionable plan.

Kanban Boards: Embracing Agile project management

Kanban Boards are a popular Agile project management tool that leverage “cards” for individual tasks. Those cards can be moved across columns to represent the various stages in a process, allowing teams to visualize workflows and overall progress. 

In its most basic form, a Kanban Board has three columns: to-do, in-progress, and done. You can add more columns to further represent various stages in your project depending on team needs and workflows. Whether you are using a basic three-column board, or you have many, the primary benefit of Kanban Boards goes beyond visual communication — it keeps teams accountable and on track in an asynchronous way throughout the course of a project.

How is Kanban related to Agile project management? 

“Kanban” originated in the early 1940s in the form of Toyota’s lean manufacturing system — a simple planning process intended to increase efficiency and reduce waste. Using paper cards as signals in the manufacturing lines, the Kanban methodology helped shape the foundation and success of what we know today as Toyota’s Production System.

Fast forward to the 2000’s, Toyota’s Production System gained popularity amongst many project managers across various industries to incorporate its core principles to increase productivity and reduce waste. Born during this time was the Agile Manifesto for Software Development

The Agile methodology is all about a collaborative, iterative approach to project management that encourages continuous testing and improvements. It helps teams push meaningful work forward and increase efficiency rather than being held captive to rigid processes. While Kanban Boards were not specifically developed for the Agile methodology, they’re a perfect match, which explains why it has quickly become one of the most popular project management tools out there.

“When it comes to Agile, the first step is designers figuring out how to work smaller, rather than how to work holistically and broadly. If designers can work smaller now, they can work at the same pace and the same cadence as the developer counterparts and that makes for an even playing field,” Dan Mall, co-founder of SuperFriendly, previously told us.

While Kanban is not the only project management tool that is utilized in Agile, it’s ability to visually organize tasks and depict progress lends itself well to the agile framework of working in short sprints and deliverables.

Kanban Boards in InVision Freehand

With the introduction of Boards and Cards in Freehand, setting up a Kanban Board is easier than ever. You can easily create Boards and customize them to your team’s needs in any Freehand, or start with our pre-built template to give yourself a head start. 

From there, you can add, remove, and rename columns depending on your team and project needs, and start creating cards with individual project tasks. As each task progresses through your workflow stages, move the card into its respective column to visualize status. 

What else can you do with InVision Boards and Cards? 

There are infinite ways to set up your InVision Boards for effective project and task management. Here are some ways you can set up your boards with your team today: 

  • Tasks by AssigneeGroup tasks by assignee for accountability and transparency amongst the team. This also helps with load balancing and prioritization. 
  • RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed) models: For any given project or team process, outline how team members should collaborate and each individual member’s role and responsibilities.
  • Brainstorming: Organize ideas into categories to help prioritize which ideas to work on first. These categories can include effort, impact, or timing, for instance. 
  • Quarterly PlanningOrganize objectives, key results, and deliverables by quarter for a holistic view of your annual plan. 
  • Retrospective: Run effective retrospectives with your team by organizing team feedback for a particular project or event.

InVision Boards and Cards: Get started

Now it’s time to bring everything you didn’t think you needed to know about Kanban Boards and Agile project management to your team’s processes. Here’s a few more resources that may be helpful as you look to refine processes across your team:

Collaborate in real time on a digital whiteboard