kanban with dependencies cardsmith template board example

Here’s what creating a Kanban Board can do for your team:  

  1. Clarify priorities for management so they may better support your team. 
  2. Improve project delivery speed and quality.
  3. Alignment of the team around the high priority work so more gets done faster.
  4. Improve team accountability and trust. 
  5. Improve team morale by reducing stress and uncertainty. 

Kanban is a visual tool from Lean. It is used by teams to improve the flow of work and keep the team focused on a limited number of tasks, features, or projects at a time.  

Ideally, each card in a Kanban board would be a valuable chunk of work. In other words it would be a stand alone item that when it is done, it is ready to be consumed by the end user.  However, with more complex projects where you may have multiple teams working on a project, there can be dependencies between chunks of work. The value is not realized until all of the work is completed.  Therefore, it is important to visualize how the work being done by one team is dependent on or is a blocker to another piece of work. You can easily achieve this in Cardsmith by using “Connectors”.  

This video demonstrates in 1 minute how to use connectors:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcklZ_9rdJQ

Pro Tips: 

  1. If you add fields to a card and want to always have those fields on new cards select Set Default Card from the card menu (see the lower right menu on this card) 
  2. If you find that your Kanban board has too many connectors and they are difficult to read, you  can click on any card menu and select “Highlight my Connectors”.  This will hide other connectors.  You can continue to Highlight connectors one card at a time should you wish to follow a chain of dependencies upstream.  
  3. If you want to track story points, estimated time, an effort swag, etc. you can add a field to your cards (use the Default Card), and then turn on Grid Totals to track this at the Column, Row, and/or Cell level.  

Follow this link to learn more about how to design a customized Kanban board that will best support your team:  


If you need to sell the idea of using Kanban to your management or team, this video on finding your WHY for implementing Kanban in this youtube video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHBPua6qLG4