Using Kanban Boards to Improve Your Marketing
Kanban boards are generally used for product management and they do their job aptly. Kanban's allow for an easier understanding of the progress made on tasks within your work flow as well as help with prioritizing your workload.
Beyond that, they help improve efficiency by providing a visual representation of all aspects related to the product or project that you are working on.
However, most people don't realize that Kanban boards are a great way to organize your marketing efforts as well.
Although the Kanban method was originally designed as an approach to lean manufacturing, it is a multi-faceted and powerful tool.
Overall, Kanban is about visualizing and limiting work in progress (WIP), managing flow, and creating quality products by minimizing waste.
This article will discuss how Kanban boards can help you improve your marketing strategy through limited WIP management, visualization of workflow, and maximizing customer value-add activities.
The Power Of WIP Limits
Kanban boards are a great way to manage your work by limiting WIP. Kanban limits the number of tasks you have in progress at any given time which reduces stress and increases focus.
Limiting WIP also helps with quality control because it forces team members to prioritize their efforts on important tasks without being distracted by less pressing ones. This can be understood as "pulling," but for marketing, teams can use Kanban's limit feature to keep themselves from getting overwhelmed and juggling multiple projects at once.
Many marketers find that Kanban has helped them increase customer value-add activities as well like creating content or doing research.
Visualization of Workflow
Kanban boards are a great way to visualize workflow. They break up tasks into stages, typically 'In Progress,' 'Doing,' and 'Done.'
Kanban can be used across different marketing activities like content production or customer research to help teams better prioritize their work. Kanban's limit feature also helps marketers from getting overwhelmed with multiple projects at once by keeping them focused on important tasks without being distracted by less pressing ones.
When creating your initial Kanban, think of any significant gates or gatekeepers in your work flow and use those to define the columns.
Another approach is to think of parts of your workflow and break them up by how many tasks can be done in the same stage at the same time before you and your team become significantly less effective.
For marketing, a Kanban can be divided into Ready, Research, Creating, Editing, Review, and Pub Ready.
Creating Your First Kanban
To create a Kanban board, you will need to go to a site like Chisel.
It's free and easy to use as it runs on your desktop or laptop computer without having any software installed locally.
Once downloaded, you can open the Chisel app in either Chrome (recommended) or Firefox browsers by navigating to app.chisellabs.com/register and registering for an account.
Some people like to sketch the flow before starting, but the beauty of Kanban board software is that you can edit as you go.
The first few weeks are likely going to lead to many changes in your board layout, but eventually, you'll hit a sweet spot that everyone agrees on.
Keep in mind not to set your WIP limits too low otherwise you will be plagued by variability, waste, and bottlenecks early on; instead keep this limit high enough so that there's always plenty of work flowing through Kanban at all times without creating delays due to waiting periods between tasks.
Make sure to hold daily meetings
The daily stand up is integral to Kanban as it is to Scrum in order to check in on the Kanban boards and make adjustments as necessary.
Having someone lead the meetings to go through the flow of the Kanban and make sure it is working as needed is vital for the long term success of the method.
The focus will be on cards that are blocked (something is preventing them from moving forward with the activity) or on cards that haven't moved in several days.
Some Kanban teams have after meetings for groups working on their own, independent projects within the boards.
Feed the Kanban Continuously
Pretend the Kanban is a living being and feed the Kanban continuously. This means that new work should be added at a regular, controlled pace, but can't be removed until it completes (depending on circumstance).
The idea is that there are always enough cards in progress and this helps maintain focus on current tasks as well as future projects without feeling overwhelmed or pressured by deadlines
It also ensures that items with long lead times are still not forgotten while waiting for completion of other things before they start their next step.
Kanban boards help teams use their time more wisely because everyone knows what's coming up soon and how much capacity they have versus guessing where people will be needed most when the team has many different projects happening simultaneously.
So, what are you waiting for? Try a Kanban board today and see how much it can help your digital marketing efforts.