Why your kanban board requires a “done” list


Jack Wallen describes what a done list is and why your kanban boards must include one.

kanban done list board Image: realstockvector/Adobe Stock Kanban boards make your task management life easier. With an at-a-glance method, it takes seconds to see where every task associated with a project stands in the workflow. As a job finishes from step to step, all you need to do is drag its associated card from column to column until it’s finished. It actually does not get easier than that.

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Despite the fact that many kanban boards aren’t produced equal, they all provide the ability to personalize your boards to completely match your project’s requirements. If not, you must be searching for a various service. Thanks to the ability to change your boards as needed, it implies you can add whatever columns or lists as you need them. There is, however, one list that lots of people ignore– the “done” list.

What are done lists?

This column in fact serves a very crucial function by providing all completed tasks a home. This home functions as a place where anyone associated with the task can see the work that has been completed, which can act as a great motivational tool to either spur people on to work or remind them that their work is settling.

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But it’s a lot more than that. With a done list, anyone can return to a task and see exactly what was done and who did what. Ought to you require to duplicate that job, or utilize it as a structure for another task, it’s right there for the taking. Think about it as a repository for everything your team has actually finished that can be repurposed or just serve as an archive of data, and we all know how important data is to services.

The done list is the reverse of the to-do list. Consider how you feel when you see a prolonged to-do list. When it gets enough time, panic can set it. Will you get the task ended up in time or will it be late? Is the order of business so frustrating you’re not particular if the job will ever pertain to fulfillment?

Compare that to a prolonged done list. All those completed cards indicate a job is ended up and the job is that much closer to completion. If your done list is longer than your to-do list, it implies the project is progressing, instead of backward or not at all. That’s some peace of mind we could all use.

What’s incorrect with a typical done list?

The most significant problem with done lists is that they can become frustrating. It may sound strange, but when a done list gets very long, you might have problems finding the cards you may need to recommendation.

That is why I tend to use card separators– or, if a kanban board does not support separators, special cards with a background color– to break those long lists up. You can break them into weeks, months or tasks. Just make sure as soon as you have actually separated the cards that you keep them arranged. That might seem like a painfully arduous task, however it’s one that will settle. By keeping your done list arranged, the data is more available and easier to use.

Another concept you might think about to dramatically improve your done lists is to use automation. If your kanban board includes automation, you can employ it to do things like instantly color a job when it is transferred to the done list, send out a notification to you or include the date of completion. There’s no limitation to what you can do with automation in your kanban board, so you might as well make the most of the function.

Rather of thinking of the done list as absolutely nothing more than a cast-off pile of finished jobs, consider the done list as an organic and efficient piece of the kanban puzzle that can provide you even more insight into how a project is moving along.

When you begin seeing this list as a crucial part of your workflow, your kanban boards will become more reliable and you’ll discover you are better efficient in keeping that project on target for its delivery date. Even if it only uses you a small win, there may be minutes when those little wins are the important things keeping you and your group afloat. As long as you can see that done list continue to grow, the confidence you’ll have in your group will grow significantly.

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