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Very often you may want to breakdown a project into big User Story and from there you create small tasks. Depending on how your company/team works, you may have many-level hierarchy of tasks. Looking at the hierarchy is quite helpful because you know which tasks belong to which parts.

However, hierarchical view does not go together with Kanban board. For example, Trello does not support card hierarchy.

Some company uses real, physical Kanban board. That case will be similar to trello - cards are cards and cannot be represented physically as "children" of other tasks.

Without hierarchical view, you will not be able to see "big picture" of project. How do you overcome it?

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Disclaimer: I am currently managing projects using Redmine which supports both hierarchical view and Kanban-view (although Kanban-view is rather too simple and works not as smooth as Trello)

  • Kanban is used for evaluating and managing pieces of work moving through a system or process. The purpose is to focus on those individual work items, not the hierarchy. The desirement of the "big picture" view is unclear. What value do you want it to provide? Being able to answer that question may help you (and others) find the right tool for the job. Is it information that might be more digestible in a report format? More information would be helpful. – Alan Larimer Aug 17 '16 at 13:27
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My organization uses hierarchical Kanban boards. We use what is known as SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework for Enterprises).

LeanKit is one product that supports this, but there are others too. Basically you have three different steps in the hierarchy.

Top level: These are enterprise epics and we time box them by quarter. They are organization level goals, very general and broad.

Mid level: These are domain level epics or features. They all roll up to an enterprise epic, and on the top level board you can see all of the features under each epic. At this level, one or more specific teams are given projects or features from here. In my experience these are project level tasks although they can also span multiple related projects which share a long term goal.

Bottom level: This is an individual team board as you are probably already familiar with. Tasks at this level roll up under their respective epics at the domain (mid) level. So if you were looking at a domain epic, you might see something like 5/7 features complete. Those 5 features might all be assigned to different teams. Either way, you could click on one and zoom down to the bottom-level team board containing that card.

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