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We are currently in my team in the process of applying Kanban to our project. It's currently a very iterative process which is not (yet) meeting the expected success.

However, we noted that the big whiteboard we set in the office has drawn a lot of attention from all the project members, not for the different cards displayed but regarding the peripheral information we display, such as: - Next build date. - General Project goals - Short-Term project planning (next releases, next events ...).

We would like to build on this and see if we could dedicate a part of our whiteboard to be more or less a project dashboard, with two intentions in mind: - Getting attraction from the developers on what's going on on the Kanban board. - Improving our communication about project status/important information (which are currently usually sent by email to all the project team).

What are the therefore in your team the peripheral information you are displaying on your Kanban boards? How much space do you dedicate to those informations? How did you determine which information was critical to be displayed to the team?

  • You can do anything you want with your board, but that doesn't really sound like Kanban to me. Maybe another framework would be a better fit. – Todd A. Jacobs Apr 11 '14 at 2:00
  • Another framework such as? (It's not impossible that KanBan is not the correct answer to our problem ... so I would be curious to hear about other things as well). – valeuf Apr 11 '14 at 2:34
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It looks like you are trying to make the KanBan all things to all people and combine it with a project Dash. What you are looking for is an "Information Radiator" (http://alistair.cockburn.us/Information+radiator)

  • Is large and easily visible to the casual, interested observer
  • Is understood at a glance Changes periodically, so that it is worth visiting
  • Is easily kept up to date

You want an area where someone can walk up and at a glance see where you are.

However I think you need to consider your audience. If its developers they probably know where they are from a developer KanBan (or similar) so for the developers to communicate their position and build dates, post a KanBan, updated daily along side a burn chart (if you use them) will give the rest of the project team an Idea of where your build is and see at a glance if it's going to plan or you're having issues.

From your post you also want to keep the whole of the project team updated with the general heath of the project so how about a general RAG status, and top 5 risks / issues and latest successes, along side a headline with the next milestone or something similar?

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Most likely, like a lot of other teams, you have not only the team that is working on the board, but also a set of management folks, who want to understand status - as also other project/ functional teams who might be wondering what this Kanban is all about :-)

The team itself can have many information requirements besides tha Kanban board - such as the metrics (DFD, Thruput, Lead/ Cycle Time analysis, etc.), a calendar, reminders, etc. You might have someone compute the metrics once or twice a week in a spreadsheet and stick them up. The calendar maybe useful if you have task due dates and you want to get a 'due date view' of which cards are due when. If you have Releases/ Sprints, you could have a list of planned releases - and the burn/ velocity charts like Richard suggested.

The management folks will love the board and the metrics - and the overall visualization of status.

Ultimately Kanban says - start with what you do now. So your peripheral information will depend on what you track now - and how you want to improve from there.

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