Introducing the Intervals Kanban Board

| October 27th, 2014 | , , , ,

Intervals Online Kanban Board for Agile Task Management

A new online task management tool using the Agile practice of Kanban.

The Intervals team has completed the beta release of our Kanban board. And it’s open to anyone with an Intervals account (Don’t have one? Create one here). Our Kanban board is designed to help you visualize task workflow and interact with tasks using a simple online variation of the card sorting methodology introduced by Toyota over 60 years ago.

What is Kanban?

Kanban was created by Toyota in the 1950s to help control the logistical chain in a production system. In other words, it helped Toyota become more efficient at manufacturing automobiles. The Kanban process involves using cards, signifying messages, to move materials throughout the production facility.

Today, the Kanban concept has been re-invented and  implemented in several online tools specifically targeted at Agile software development. These tools provide a high level overview of your current workflow. Online Kanban boards work by sorting cards into columns on a board, each column representing the card’s current position in the workflow. As the item moves from one phase to the next, the card is dragged to the next column.

Intervals Kanban Board

The Task View on the Intervals Kanban Board

We developed the Kanban board online to make Intervals even more compatible with Agile. It works by plugging in to your existing account and providing an entirely new interface for managing your tasks. It’s surprisingly straightforward.

The Kanban board is rendered using the selected project and/or milestone. The columns are based on your current list of  task statuses. Each “card” is a box representing a different task that can be dragged and dropped from one status to another, to signify the task making its way through your workflow.

Using Kanban in conjunction with Intervals allows for task workflow visualization. Working alongside your fellow team members, you can quickly see where a project is at. More specifically, Kanban can be used to:

  • Identify which tasks are holding the project back
  • Identify which tasks are close to completion
  • Present a high level view of project progress to management
  • Provide a springboard for your standups
  • Quickly and easily update status for several tasks at once

Take a moment and try it out at kanban.myintervals.com. Let us know if you find any bugs or have any feedback. We’d love to hear from you.

16 Responses to “Introducing the Intervals Kanban Board”

  1. David Morgan says:

    Hi. The Kanban is an interesting tool. I’m excited to use it.
    Unfortunately, we have a few projects with the same name but under different clients. For instance, we have “web maintenance – retainer” under at least 4 clients. I can always re-label the project to show the client in some fashion, but wanted to bring this to your attention to see if anyone else would like the client filter upfront…
    thanks. keep up the good work.
    -d

  2. John Reeve says:

    @David, that is great feedback. We’ve always made the client more visible in the application for this very reason, so it seems fitting to do the same in the Kanban board. We’ll be adding this in the next Kanban update.

  3. Joe Blauer says:

    Kanban is interesting here as well. We are currently using Jira to accomplish this, but still relying on Intervals for the project financials. Having Kanban in Intervals could simplify our lives particularly for ongoing maintenance contracts, but we could not even consider it unless the board could (as it does in Jira) span multiple projects.

  4. John Reeve says:

    @Joe, thanks for the feedback. That is an interesting concept. We’ve heard from others that a multi-project view would be helpful. We’ll take this feedback into consideration for the next iteration of the Kanban board.

  5. Ethan Thompson says:

    I like the idea. My biggest issue with it is I can’t set the granularity of the view. I can only see one milestone at a time. I can’t set a specific date, filter by person, filter by task type, etc. It’s too broad. I want the filter settings I get in the intervals calendar, but for this type of interface.

    Thanks for informing us of the new features. :)

  6. John Reeve says:

    @Ethan, thank you for the feedback. We wanted it to be broad and basic when we first put it out there. We’ll be collecting feedback from our customers and iterating on the Kanban board with each update. Meanwhile, we’ll make note of these features.

  7. Jacob Bang says:

    I like this, but as others have mentioned this is not very useful (for us) unless we can make it span more projects.
    Also to make this work for us we need to be able to define a sprint (milestone?) spanning multiple projects and work with that on the Kanban board.

  8. John Reeve says:

    @Jacob, Thanks for the feedback. We will be looking into the multiple project feature for our next round of updates.

    Intervals does handle sprints with milestones, but they are not able to span multiple projects. This is mainly due to project permissions and allowing team members to access one project, but not another. But, we’ll certainly consider the idea.

    Thanks!

  9. Eddie says:

    Good to see the Kanban board in Intervals – I noticed that we have to provide the token every time we login to Kanban site – is there a plan to integrate it into the main site? Two questions – one, is there a way to customize the bins by project? Like for example, maintenance project may have separate bins as opposed to development projects. Two, we would like to see ‘sub-bins’ like, ‘In progress’, ‘Done’ under each bin (ex: Under ‘Code’ bin, there could be ‘In progress’, ‘Done’). Thanks!

  10. John Reeve says:

    @Eddie, Thanks for commenting. The token is required at this time, but we’re considering changing it to integrate more with the main site.

    The bins are based on task statuses, which are global to all projects. So there is not a way to customize them. As for sub-bins, we’ll take that idea under consideration. Thanks!

  11. Jennifer Morrow says:

    I agree with Joe. I was actively looking for such a solution today. My company has happily used Intervals for quite sometime but have been struggling with the high level view of what projects are the focus in a given week/month. This seems to be a great solution if and only if there is the ability to look at more than a single project in a view. If you guys would address this quickly, it would be very much appreciated! :)

  12. John Reeve says:

    @Jennifer, Thank you for the feedback. This is the most common request we are hearing in regards to the Kanban board. Please keep the ideas coming :) Meanwhile, we are going to keep tinkering with the Kanban board and see if we can incorporate some of these ideas.

  13. Malik says:

    Hi Guys,

    The Kanban idea is great, but one person maybe working on several clients, and be given 2 or 3 tasks per day, from different clients. Any chance we can show tasks per User rather than client? Thanks

  14. John Reeve says:

    @Malik, Thanks for the feedback. That is a feature we are planning on adding. We’ll be sure to write it up once we get it done.

  15. Jennifer Morrow says:

    Do you have a date for the next Kanban release scheduled?

  16. John Reeve says:

    @Jennifer, we are hoping to release the next update in the next few weeks. We’ll be sure to announce it once we do.

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Intervals is online time, task and project management software built by and for web designers, developers and creatives.
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John Reeve

John is a co-founder, web designer and developer at Pelago. His blog posts are inspired by everyday encounters with designers, developers, creatives and small businesses in general. John is an avid reader and road cyclist.
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Michael Payne

Michael is a co-founder and product architect at Pelago. His contributions stem from experiences managing the development process behind web sites and web-based applications such as Intervals. Michael drives a 1990 Volkswagen Carat with a rebuilt 2.4 liter engine from GoWesty.
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