Many departments struggle to manage processes using spreadsheets. They manage change requests, marketing collateral, request from regulators and even help desk requests. These processes are often critical to the department and the enterprise.
What is the problem with using spreadsheets?
- Spreadsheets are needy and time consuming to maintain. For example, you need to manually update spreadsheets each time the status of an item changes, or even worse you need to manually consolidate several spreadsheets
- Spreadsheets don’t provide notifications or activity feeds that they have been updated, so someone needs to actively make sure the spread sheet is updated and tasks keep moving along
- Sharing a spreadsheet on a network drive or email is difficult and even harder with external vendors, partners and customers. Even worse users don’t know if they have the latest version.
- Spreadsheets doesn’t give a visual presentation of the status of the overall project or the items assigned to me
- Stakeholders don’t have visibility into the process.
- Spreadsheets don’t provide you the tools to measure and improve your effectiveness
Kanbans give you a better way to get your work done. You can setup a board in 1 minute.
Take for example this spreadsheet for a project to move a Order Management application to the cloud.
The status column represents the workflow in the spreadsheet. In this case, the flow is Backlog> ToDo > In Process> Done. The Backlog columns is added to allow additional prioritization. The priority column is somewhat redundant. Lower priority items go into the left most column (Backlogs) and higher priority are moved into the ToDo column when ready. You can further prioritize tasks by placing higher priority items at the top of the column.
That same spreadsheet in Kanbans would look like this. Cards or tasks on the board flow from left to right. Keep tasks in the Backlog column until you are ready for board members to work on them. Once you are ready, move them to the ToDo column and assign them to board members.
After a few days, you will notice your team is much more productive using Kanbans.