Learn Project Management for Creative Professionals with Kanban | Martin Lehmann | Skillshare

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Learn Project Management for Creative Professionals with Kanban

teacher avatar Martin Lehmann, Product Owner in Media Production

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (56m)
    • 1. About this Course

      2:02
    • 2. About Kanban

      8:56
    • 3. Creating the First Board

      7:09
    • 4. Limiting the Work in Progress

      5:03
    • 5. Advanced Kanban Boards

      9:27
    • 6. Project Specific Boards

      3:11
    • 7. Apps for Kanban

      13:07
    • 8. What is the best Task Size?

      3:25
    • 9. Using Checklists and Subtasks

      4:01
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About This Class

Learn how to use the tool loved by teams and individuals all over the world.

One of the things every creative professional has to manage is tasks and projects. Regardless if we work on our own or as part of a team. The number of software apps that promise to make this part of our job easier is growing every year. Yet at the core of many of them is a methodology called Kanban.

Kanban is easy to learn. And doing that allows us to design our task and project management in the way that serves us best. Whether we use software for that or just a whiteboard and sticky notes.

In the course you will learn

  • What Kanban is and where it comes from
  • How to create a board
  • How to create tasks (a.k.a. cards) and how to prioritise them
  • How to work with a WIP Limit and increase focus
  • How to enhance our board and make it more flexible
  • How to design a Kanban workflow that specifically meets the needs of a specific project

I am a certified Scrum Product Owner and Scrum Master. Working with agile teams has taught me a lot about project management in creative environments. No project is like the other. Teams change, customers change, requirements change. For that reason it is important to have a system that can change with you. And that is easily understood by coworkers and customers alike. 

What's great about Kanban is that it is flexible enough to grow from one-person daily task management to a tool that is used by entire teams and complex workflows. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Martin Lehmann

Product Owner in Media Production

Teacher

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Transcripts

1. About this Course: Hello and welcome. This course is about Kanban and method for organizing tasks and projects. Now before I tell you more about the course and myself, I want to ask you three questions which will tell you if this course was useful for you. Number 1, do you have to keep track of traduce, particularly in a project or a couple of projects. And I assume the answer to that is yes because almost everybody does. So then question number 2, do you plan and keep track of these to-dos in a systematic way? And if you do have a system, maybe you use a software for that. Find that it is easy to use and also flexible in that adapts to your needs when they change over time. If the answer to these questions is no, then this course can show you how Kanban will help you with that. Now, I'm a certified agile product owner and scrum master, and I work in media and software production. In my job, I worked with a number of project management tools, but when I get to make the choice, I always come back to convert because it is so straightforward and flexible. So what can you do after you have taken the course? First of all, you will have learned what kanban is a little bit about where it comes from. Then you will know how to set up a Kanban board. Great tasks and how to prioritize them. You will know what a WIP limit is and how it helps you to stay focused. And you will be able to take it to the next level and design a cumbersome process for your very own workflows. And as a bonus, you will know how to do all of that, either with pen, paper and sticky notes or with a popular software tool called Trello. And we will compare that to two other apps, notion and JIRA, so that you can decide which one suits you best. But the most important thing you should get from this course is how to organize things in a straightforward way. And then hopefully you will like it as much as the many people who are ready to use it. 2. About Kanban: Now the fact that you're watching this course probably means one of two things. Either you're interested in what Kanban is and how it works. Maybe you've heard or read about it and you're curious, or you're interested in ways how to better organize your projects, you work, or even as the things you have to do in your entire life. Now in this course, of course, we will talk about both of these things because they belong together. You may know that come on as a system has been around for many years. And while it can be very simple, it is also known to be very effective for organizing tasks and workflows. In fact, so much so that many of today's task management and project management software are based on Kanban to some extent. Yet for us as users of these tools, if we understand the Kanban systems underneath of them and the principles of Kanban in themselves, we can make much better use of a lot of the software out there. We may even find we don't want to use the software, do it all on paper or sticky notes. And we'll talk about the differences between physical and digital boards in this course so that you can decide what suits your needs best. Now the goal of this course is to get you to the point where you understand how Kanban works and how you can design your own Kanban workflows to best fit your needs. Whether you're interested in just keeping track of simple to-dos, or whether you want to organize complex projects in this day and age, many of us organize the things that we need to do in a variety of way. So we use the Task Manager app on our smartphone for some of those things. And then we use a checklist on paper or on a computer for other things. And then for this project that we're working on, we use a sophisticated software. And then some things we don't even write down at all. We just keep them in the backup or head thinking that we were probably remember them just fine. Now this course is not telling you that you can't do it that way and that it doesn't work for you because maybe it does. But what scientists have found is that this causes us stress. What our brain remembers is that we have all these important things that we should not forget, but they're spread out all over the place. Maybe is that there's this one Post-it Note that we put on some wall and we forgot about the next day. So Kanban is supposed to be an antidote to all of this, an antidote to stress. It's like Feng shui for a mind of you. Well, it's supposed to give us more clarity. And it does that by being based on just two principles. Number 1, visualize our work, and number 2, limit the work in progress. So all in all this course shows you how to use carmen to simplify your life, reduce potential for stress, shows you how you can take it from very simple to very complex depending on what it is that you need. Now before we dive right into that, I know there's always some people who are curious about what that word kanban actually means and where it comes from. So here's a very short run-down on the meaning and the history of Kanban. The word kanban is Japanese. And depending upon which translation you prefer, it means signal card or sign board. As you will see in this course, both translations make perfect sense because in Kanban we're dealing with both cards and boards. Now, come on was first introduced in the 1940s by the Toyota Motor Company. Still one of the largest car makers in the world, which at the time was having problems with their manufacturing processes. And because those problems can occur not only in manufacturing, it is interesting to have a look at what those actually work. Now this is a very simplified version of a car factory. In order to make a new car, a number of steps have to be followed. For example, one team is responsible for making the engines. At another stab, a team makes the chassis and add yet another step. There's a team that puts the engines into the chassis. And then a few steps later in the course is finished. Now, Toyota was facing a couple of problems with this process. What I'm going to show you here is just an example. It doesn't mean that they were having these exact issues. But for the sake of argument, let's say that at step number 3, the team is receiving a lot more engines chassis, which there could be multiple reasons for. For example, maybe the team that makes the chassis ID was waiting for an external supplier who couldn't deliver on time. Maybe some of the team members were absent. Maybe a machine broke down whatever it was while the engines at step 3, we're piling up, the team have stopped working because they didn't have an AS chassis. On top of that, they might also have had problems with the quality are the chances that they were receiving. So that sometimes an engine wouldn't fit in the chassis because it didn't have the exact dimensions that were needed to make it fit. So Toyota found that an underlying cause for all of the problems was that they were working with what's called a push system. In a push system, each team tries to produce as many parts as they could and then push those to the team that follow after them. So they were wondering how they could change that system so that each team would always have all the parts are needed and at the right quality so that it could keep working successfully. And they found that other industries had already solved their problem. In those days in the forties, supermarkets, particularly in the Western world, had introduced systems that would allow customers to get exactly what they want it. As a customer, we're used to getting the products we want at the quantity that we want them. When we need them at a quality, we want them just a question of price. So a supermarket is a perfect example of a pull system in which customers don't have to buy what is pushed into their shopping carts, but in which they pull the product into the card that they desire. Going back to the factory, they start, why don't we also change the system from push to Paul. Then every team would pull the parts they need at any given time from the team before them. And they will only accept them at the quality that they needed. If a team in the production process produced too many parts or of an insufficient quality, they would now have to take care of storing or improving them themselves. In order to organize this new poll based system. They used boards that to this day are known as Kanban boards. What you see here is a very early version of that. Now, the Toyota Production System has since been improved a lot and the knowledge was adopted by other manufacturers around the world, even by industries outside of the automotive industry. And one such industry many years later was software development. Which is interesting because there are no assembly lines whatsoever in software creation. And the projects usually cannot be standardized in the same way that making cars can. So a Kanban board used by a team of software developers could look something like this. The yellow cards on the left are features that the team is supposed to implement. And going back to the idea of a pull system instead of a push system, the developers themselves pull the cards once they find they are sufficiently explained and they have time to work on them. In the columns that the cards move through over time, describe different steps along the software creation process, such as writing code, testing it, editing the new Unfinished features to nab, to a website and so forth. Now, today, probably most software teams around the world use of project management method called Scrum. Scrum has a few more rules than Kanban, but Scrum teams also use boards with cards on them that are much different from kanban boards. But what's more interesting for this course is that some clever people found that the Kanban approach is useful not only for industries such as manufacturing cars or software development, but for basically everything that requires the organization of tasks. And so they created a version of Kanban that they called Personal Kanban, where personal means it can be used by individuals, but it can also be used by small teams. And it can be used for both personal meaning non job-related things, but also for job-related ones. Since then, Kahneman has become increasingly popular for all kinds of projects and task management in general. For example, with a very basic form of a common board that you see here, which we will begin the course with in the next lesson. 3. Creating the First Board: So now that we've seen where carbon comes from, let's see it in action and start using it for ourselves. The best thing you can do is to come along and start creating your own Kanban board. Even if you don't end up using it because you prefer to work with a computer-based board. Or you, even if you have another task manager you're already working with, you will probably benefit the most from the Kanban principles if you really try them out. What I will show you as an example from my life. Since combine is so flexible, I could have picked basically any area. I could even have chosen my entire life and organize it in one board. Some people do that. They have everything in that one board. But I decided to go with something much smaller because the focus of the course is not my life. But to show you how come on works, I picked something that you can relate to Because you're currently watching it this course. So I'm going to collect and organize all the tasks that go along with creating an online course, such as this one. Now, what do we need to get started in the first place? Basically just the pen, a Sharpie or something else that is a bit thicker than a normal pen. Well, wherever you have available will do for now. Then sticky notes and a surface that we can attach the notes to, like Whiteboard, a wall, a glass walls always looks nice, or a large sheet of paper on the desk in front of you. When we start working with a new come on board, the first thing we do is to write down all the tasks that we can think of almost like a brain dump. And then we put each of these task on their own sticky note, you could be thinking that he can save yourself some paper if you put multiple tasks and one sticky note. But in reality, let me tell you that this makes it unnecessarily hard to work with them in the future. And here are the things that I need to do to create a course like this. First research, the course topic. Make sure I'm only giving my viewers up-to-date information. Then second, create a course outline. Third, create all the lessons. Now the assumption here is that I can work on each one of those lessons at a time from start to finish. As I will show you later, I can also break them up into their individual components if you will, like reading a script, recording the video, adding background music and so forth. But for now I will go with one card per lesson. And then I need a title image for the course and a bunch of texts for the title or description, the keywords, et cetera. So for now those are all the tasks that I can come up with. Of course, if there's anything that I forgot, I can always add that to the board later. Now, let's start with the most basic Kanban board there is, which you see being used all over the place and it has three columns, to-dos or to do, doing and done. And all of the tasks we've created go into the to-do column. Some of you may be wondering what is the difference between this very simple board and your typical checklist. Obviously with three columns, we already have one more option than a checklist which only has to not check or check, which stands for not done or done or to do and done. And the Doing column is actually really helpful. Let's say that you start working on a new card on a Friday afternoon and you can't finish it on that day. So you go into your weekend and when you return on Monday, you can immediately see that this was the last thing that you had worked on, but you had not yet finished it with a simple task manager. You may not remember if you had already started working on any of the items in the list. I know this has certainly happened to me. Now this one is probably obvious. Every new task goes into the to-do column. Soon as you begin working on something, move it to the Doing column. Once you're done with it, move it to the done column. And actually doing that on a physical board field, especially nice. It's like this constant reminder that you are capable of getting so much done. Now to wrap up this chapter, I'd like to show you one other thing you can do with a simple Kanban board like this that may make your life a lot easier. And that's prioritization. As you've noticed, I've created my to-do items for the cores in somewhat of a random order. So whenever I'm ready to take something from here and start working on it, I have to go through all of these items and then decide on the spot which ones I want to work on. Next. What we can do instead is to take some time at the beginning and then later in regular intervals and go through this list and prioritize it such that the more important or urgent task is, the higher it goes in the column and vice versa. Now sometimes this prioritization is very easy to do. You just know what has to be done first, what comes second and so forth. But at other times it's not so obvious what the best order for your cards is. Fortunately, there is a few tools that can help you with finding priorities. In the next chapter, we will take a look at one of them. Now, what we're looking at here is not really part of Kanban. It's just a technique that's useful for whenever we want to order to-do items. It's quite popular and straightforward. And it's called the Eisenhower matrix because apparently it was used by American President Eisenhower. And here is how it works. We make ourselves a nice diagram that is divided into four quadrants. And on the left we have urgent and not urgent. And on the bottom we have important and not important. So now we can categorize our tasks according to these quadrants. So if something is both urgent and important, then we know we want to do that first. If something is important but not urgent, we will do it later. If something is urgent but not important, then maybe we can delegate it so that we can focus on the stuff that is important to us. Or maybe we can give it to someone on the internet, you know, some of those typical services. And if something is neither important nor urgent, we may just throw it away all together. 4. Limiting the Work in Progress: In the last video, we've seen how to visualize our work with Kanban. Now obviously, most task management systems do that in one way or another, and many are influenced by kanban. In this video, we're going to take a look at the second way to get more clarity. And this one is pretty unique to come on, and that is to limit the work in progress, also known as the WIP limit or the work-in-progress limit. I'm going to explain it in two steps. First, we'll see how to work with a WIP limit, and then we'll take a look at the reasoning behind that. Because it might seem like a strange thing in the beginning. So here's how we do it. We limit the number of cards we're working on at the same time. That means we cannot pull more cards from the to-do column to the Doing column, then what our WIP limit allows. So the WIP limit is basically just a number we commit to. Let's say I have a WIP limit of two, which I indicate by writing it on top of the column, then this means that I will never have more than two cards in the doing column at the same time. So before I can pull a third card, if I have to finish at least one of the existing too. Similarly, if I have a WIP limit of three instead of two, I can only ever have three cards in that column. Makes sense. And one question with a WIP limit obviously is what is the right number for that? The answer is, it depends. But two to four is a good starting point. Or what the best number is for you. You will figure out over time once you've seen it in action and once it's beginning to make sense to you and you understand what it is for. Now. By the way, if you are sharing your come on board with more people than you will generally have higher word limits because more people can get more work done. And so you can have more cards at the same time. So this is how the WIP limit works, technically, pretty straightforward. But now the question is, why is that useful? Imagine a person who's juggling balls for a moment. Do you know how to juggle? In my experience, it's actually not that hard to learn as long as there are more than three or four balls. But even if you know how to do it, you will find that with every new ball that becomes disproportionately more difficult and your stress level rises accordingly. What studies have found is that a similar effect occurs when we do multiple things at the same time. It's commonly known as multitasking. If you are multitasking while doing something significant like a work project, you will be slower to complete it and you might be less successful. The more tasks we juggle with, the less productive we become in total. And the way that Kanban reminds us of not taking on too many things at the same time is that the WIP limit? But there is one more explanation for it. For that, let's look at the difference between capacity and flow. Now let's say this is a part of a highway. What is the capacity of that part of the highway in terms of the number of cars that can drive on it at the same time. As you see there is space for these cars. Now, of course, it doesn't work that way. This is what a traffic jam looks like. There's so many cars the movement will slow down to 0. So we're not really interested in capacity. What we want instead is flow. In order to get that we must reduce the number of cars to a reasonable level. The same effect seems to be true for us as human beings. You may have noticed that the topic of flow in human behavior has become quite popular in recent years. And it goes back to book called Flow that was published in the nineties by a man with a complicated name of Mihai Czikszentmihalyi. Professor Czikszentmihalyi said that people can get into a desirable state of flow. And oftentimes they realized that they have been in that state when they have lost a sense of time while they were fully focusing on whatever they were doing. Now in order to get into that state of flow, we can't go back and forth between multiple things all the time. We want to focus on just that one thing that we are doing at this very moment. It doesn't really matter whether the things we do are job-related or personal. What professor she sent me hi, I found were examples from different areas of our lives. So to wrap up this chapter, the WIP limit is something you set for yourself. Between 24 is a good number to begin with. And then you look for how productive you are when you limit your open tasks to that number. 5. Advanced Kanban Boards: Welcome back to this chapter on advanced features. Four. Come on board. To begin with, we will add a few more columns to the board. The first one is labeled ready. Now the purpose of that column is to plan our work for the next period of time, which could be a week or two. For that, we go through the cards in the to-do column and calculate which ones we will likely work on in this next period of time. And then we move those cards to ready. This way we can see at one glance what's on our plate and we can do our planning for the next two weeks much better. Also, we don't have to look at the to-do column every time we pull a new card. We only do that when we do our planning for the upcoming one or two weeks. The second additional column is called today, and it serves a similar purpose as the Ready column. In fact, some people only have one or the other ready. Or today. As the name implies, we use this one to plan our day in the morning or at the end of the previous day. And this one also helps us to structure our work and see you at one glance what we have planned for that particular day. But this one comes with one additional benefit and that has to do with estimation. Now some teams that use Kanban regularly estimate all of their work. That means all of the cards in toDo or ready so that they know how long it will take them to finish them. Now when we use the today column, we automatically learn how we can become better at estimating our own tasks. Let's say you're a freelancer then you know how important it is to estimate how long something will take you so that you can make an offer to your clients that covers your real cause. And is not just some wild guess. When you plan your day with it today column, you learn if you were able to get all the tasks done that you had planned for that particular day or not. So with time, you will know whether you tend to over or underestimate wood you can actually achieve in a day. And for that, you don't have to do any extra calculations. You don't have to use spreadsheets. You don't even have to use time tracking software, So ready and today, and those two columns are for planning. The third additional column we have to talk about serves another purpose. Let me explain with an example. Let's say in my course project, I gave the task of creating the images to a graphic designer. So I call her and explained to her what the course is about and the type of images that I need. Now, obviously, when I do that, I move the card for that task to doing because I started working on it and I want to see that. But now I'm waiting for the graphics designer to get back to me, either with questions or with a finished images. In the meantime, I'm not working on that task. The card though is still sitting in the doing column. And since I have a work in progress limit the Carters blocking the slot for something else I could be working on. So in order to solve that issue, we can add an additional column. Some people call it blocker, blockers or the colored pen for pending or waiting for feedback. I usually just call it the track column, which is short for things. I'm keeping track of, which by the way, I do on a regular basis, so they don't forget what's in there. And then once we receive what we were waiting for, we move the card back to doing if there's more work to do on our part or we move it to done if it has finished. Many teams that do Kanban regularly due to special meetings. And what happens in these meetings is very useful for us as well, even if we work on our own and don't have a team, The first meeting is called the daily stand-up. Know daily because it happens every day and standard because people usually stand up in front of their board while the meeting is happening. Which is just a trick to make sure everybody's attention is on the board and the discussion and not on their computer or their smart phones. You know the story. Although teams that work remotely obviously do the meeting while sitting at their computers. Now the important thing is that during that meeting, everybody takes a look at the current state of the board. They may move cards from one column to the next. They talk about tasks that turn out to be more difficult than expected, and how team members can help each other with them. I also found it's a great habit to do my daily planning with the board. First of all, I can keep track of what's in my Track column. So often I'm waiting for someone to get back to me with something that is urgent and I may want to contact them and ask what the status is. The second of all, I found that whenever I stop looking at the ball for a number of days in a row, it makes it such an inconvenient experience to go back to it later. For example, I find out that I had already started working on something which a day later I completely forgot about. And that negative experience can quickly stop me from using the board altogether. It's just psychology. It's not really helpful. So the recommendation is to make it a habit to look at the board first thing in the morning and get that comfortable feeling of having more clarity in our alive. So that's the daily standup. The other meeting is called retrospective. Now in my experience as an Agile coach, this can be the most powerful meeting or the most powerful thing if you just do it by yourself. In the entire world of project management. In that meeting, the team looks back at what happened in the past period of time, for example, in the last two or four weeks. And they do that in order to learn from it. So you have a look at what worked well, so you can remind yourself to do more of that in the future. And what didn't work well, so you can improve it if that's important to you. And traditional kanban, This concept is known as Kaizen or continuous improvement. But regardless of what you call it, I find it quite striking that some people don't ever do this. They only look to the future, but they never looked back to learn from their experience. Or at least they don't do it intentionally. Now when you have a come on board, this makes that process even easier because you can go through all the tasks in the done column and then ask if there are things you would do differently now that you worked on that and you know what happened or is something worked particularly well, maybe unexpectedly well, and is worth repeating. Soon order to get you started with doing a retrospective by yourself. Here's a typical template that Kanban teams or Scrum teams would use when they do a retrospective, It's called glad, sad, mad, and smileys probably make their self-explanatory which one is which? So you come up with everything that you think was good about the last period of time and you write it in the first box and then you ask yourself, do we want to repeat it? And if so, how? And then in the sandbox you write everything that wasn't so good and you ask yourself, can you improve it? And is it worth improving it? Is it worth spending time and energy on that? And then the third one, you write everything that made you mad, that you absolutely have to stop. And if nothing else, then it's at least worth thinking about the things in the third box. With that, we looked at three new columns ready today and track in two meetings you can have with yourself as well. Planning with a board in the retrospective that you do from time to time. Before we end this chapter on advanced Kanban, there is one more thing you have to know though, and it's called swim lanes. The word swim lanes come from how lanes are used in a swimming pool. In a Kanban board, we use them to organize cards. For example, let's say that I'm working on the course project. But I also want to keep track of my non-course related task on the same board. In this case, I can put all the course tasks in one lane and all of the other ones in another lane. So I can see it one glands which cards belong to which topic? And while we're at it, this is also a good way to visually separate your task from those of another person that is using the same board together with you, Let's say you and your partner use the same board, then you cards could go to one lane and the ones of your partner go to the other one. Very useful. But let's say you don't have swimlanes or you already use them for something else, then you could also just write your name or your initials on the cart, which is what many people do. Now in the next video, we finish this chapter by looking at how we can adapt a comma board to a project specific workflow. 6. Project Specific Boards: So far in this course, we worked with the general star come on board that can be used for just about anything regardless of what it is you put your task in Doo-doo-doo-doo, move them to doing once you start working on them, and then move them to done when you are finished, simple as that. But what you can also do is adapt to come on board so it meets the needs of a specific project workflow in the wall of industrial manufacturing. This is very common. If you think about the car factory. Every car goes through specific steps in a predefined order until it is done. For example, making the engine, making the chassis than putting the engine into the chassis and so forth, uh, come on board for that. Workflow has columns that describe the workflow. Of course not as simple as this one. For your own project, for example, creative projects. On the other hand, the steps may not be so easy to identify. But let me show you this course as an example for such a board. For each lesson in the course, there's a specific number of steps that I do repeatedly. I usually begin by reading a script. Then I record myself or someone else talking to the camera. Then after I create graphics and animation and complimentary videos, also referred to as B-roll. Then I import all of this material into a video editing software. And finally, I took care of everything that's Audio related, like adding compression, sound effects, background music, and so forth. And then I repeat the exact same process with another lesson. Now in the board, I take the card for a specific lesson and then move it from column to column slow. It's clear what the previous step was and what the next one will be. So I always know where I am within the project. This gives me even more clarity than with a general style come on board. Now, as practical as this is, what do we do with the task in the course that do not fit this workflow. For example, the course image and the description text. They are course-related, not less than related. Well, it turns out we've already talked about the solution to that. We can always create a new swimlane and then define a different workflow for that one. There can be more than one workflow on one board. So we can easily move the lesson related cards through the new workflow and everything else through the basic workflow. Okay. 7. Apps for Kanban: So first of all, let's briefly talk about the question, what is better a physical board or a digital board? Now, both have their pros and both had their cons. Let's look at them very briefly. So with a physical board might sound strange, but it's and actually more fun in my experience, if you're standing in front of that board and you holding those posted cards in your hand and you move them around and you move them to the done column. It's just another experience. And that's not only what I think over the years, pretty much all of the teams that I worked with, we've always preferred to have a physical board that we could get around in the morning where we'd have the daily stand up and then also physical boards are actually more flexible. You're not restricted by what the developers of the app has given you. You can create boards that are very small. You can create boards that are extremely large. You have no limitation as far as women and is concerned as far as different workflows on one board is concerned, you completely free, and that definitely is an advantage. Now, the digits board has some obvious advantages over a physical board. First of all, it can hold more information, as we'll see in a second. You can enter lots and lots of information on a card and a digital board, like text, you can add attachments like images, PDF files, Excel sheets, anything you want. Then of course, digital board are location independent. You can carry them on your computer, you can carry them on your smartphone. Think of doing that with a whiteboard. I know there's some people who actually have a physical bore with post-it notes in a folder that they carry around that might work for you. I couldn't really picture myself doing that. And then of course, it's the only option for teams that work mode once tried to position a camera in front of the physical board, but it didn't really work. So you're running into problems with lighting and with video quality and what not, it just didn't work. So a digital board is much better option for that. So the web address for Trello, trello.com. Now also when you scroll down here, you see there's links to the Apple App Store for your iOS device, into the Google Play store for Android devices. And then once you've created your account and you're logged in, you will see something similar to this. Now I already have two boards here. Since you'll start off fresh, you will have done so let's create a new one by clicking on that button and then we give it a title. My demo Kanban board. And if you like, you can click on this button here and you get a selection of background images. This is unique to Trello are the other two apps and we're going to have a look at in a moment. Don't have that. So if you'd like background images, you can come here. Actually those images crumb from a website called Unsplash.com. Definitely worth a look because you find all of these images and they're all entirely free for you to use for whatever purpose. So let's say we want this tree in the background and then we have ourselves a fresh new board. Now yours might look different. I think when you start out with the first board, you already have three columns in there to do, doing and done, or basic Kanban board. But whatever it is, it's very easy to create new columns. Now first thing you'll notice that columns in Trello call lists. That's why it says add list here. So let's create a new column by giving it a name. And of course we'll make it a to-do list. And I hit Enter and then I create a second column. I'm going to call doing and done. And while we're at it, let's also create a today column. Now that I've created, I can move it around by simply dragging it to the position that I wanted to be in. So that's how you create new columns. How did you create new cards? You've probably already seen this. Your users click on, Add a cart. And let's give this a title called his research. And then less than one. Listen to listen three. And once I've created the card, I can move them around by simply dragging and dropping them. Very easy. What's noteworthy is that the cards have lot more options. And you see those when you click on a card. And in this dialog, you can enter a description. You can upload images and I'm going to show you that briefly. So here's an image. I simply drag over the card and let go and it will automatically be uploaded. And as you can see there in the background, Trello was also used that as a preview image in the board view. If you don't like that, you can remove it. But going down here and clicking on Remove cover, which will not remove the image as an attachment, but it will remove it as a cover for that car. But actually I like that. So I'm going to click Make cover again. Pdf files as well. And I don't even have to go inside of the card. I can simply drop it over a card in the board view and it will then also be uploaded. Now one question is, can Trello do swim lanes? And the answer is not really, Trello in and of itself doesn't have a swimlane functionality, which is too bad to be honest, but there is a plug-in for the Chrome web browser. You can install on your computer, either Mac or PC. The downside is you can only use it on the computer where you have installed the Chrome plugin. So if you open the same board on your smart phone in the Trello app, those swimlanes will not show up. But there is another functionality that we can use instead of swim lanes in order to organize or carts. And I really like that one. So if I click on the car and go to Labels, I see you can now easily assign a different color as a label. I can take it one step further and say I want to create a new label and give that a title. Let's say this is Course 1 and the color is orange. Create dad. Now this is assigned to this card. And now let's say I'm currently working on two courses, and I want to separate them visually by the label. So let's say these lessons belong to course number two. So I would come inside here, click on Labels, create a new label, and call that courts to. And let's give that Lu. And I'm going to repeat that with the other cards as well. And as you can see, I now have a visual separation between my two project. And I actually liked the way that Trello does it. The other apps have some similar functionality, but it's particularly well done here in Trello. And you can also do one more thing with that. If you go to show menu and then search cards, you can filter your board by the labels that you've given to your cards. So let's say I only want to see the cards for course number two, which is the blue label. Then I can click on Course 2 in that list, and all of the other cards will be hidden. If I click it again, they will come back. Similar thing if I only want to see the cards of course number 1, I click on that. So that's really nice and straightforward filtering options. And last but not least, let's quickly talk about how you can share you bore with other people. So there's a couple of ways you can do that. The first one is to click on the Invite button up here. Can't really see it very well because of the background image. What I can do here is either enter an email address of person that I want to share the board with, and then Trello will send that person an email and ask him or her to come join you on the board. Or I create a link for the ordered copy that to the clipboard and then paste that into my email software and send out an email. And that way I can write a few more things below, bit more personal and say, Well, you're invited to this board. Now that's one thing. Once the people you've sent those invitations to receive them, they have to either create an account for Trello or if they already have an account, they simply have to log in and then they will also have access to your board. Just keep in mind that because this is a digital board, you get some additional functionality for free that is very useful. For example, if someone else adds a node to a card that you have put here, you will automatically be informed by an email that fellow sense to you. And then you will find a link that you can click on. It will bring you right to the cart. Another very useful option is to change the visibility setting for that board. Up here is a button where you can change the visibility from private to workspace to public. If I change that to public, I am being informed that public boards are visible to anyone on the internet. If I say yes, make that public, and then I copy that link, you're up in the browser. And then I send that link to somebody else. What that person will see is this. Now, this person is not locked in. He or she may not have a Trello account, but they don't need it. They can see my board like they could see any site on the web. What they cannot do is change anything on that side. So while they could click on the cards and see all of the information in here and see the attachments. They cannot add their own cards that cannot move cards around, so forth. So this is notion and the web address is notion dot o. Notion is not just an app that does boards notion is, as they like to call it an all in one workspace or the personal information manager. You have board functionality, but you also have a lot more. You can create your own table of contents because notion is based on the idea of pages. So it's similar to creating web pages actually, but it's really simple to you. So you create a page and on that page you can add different types of content. So it could be a board, but it could also be a table, it could be a calendar, it could be a roadmap, it could be an image. It could be a toggle list, a checklist, a numbered list, and so forth. No notion has become pretty popular over the past couple of years because it is so flexible in the free version is also very powerful. As of mid 2021, you can only use it for free if you use it by yourself. If you want to use it with a team, you have to upgrade to the paid version. And here's the third app that I'd like to show you, this called JIRA. It's made by a company called methylation. By the way, iteration is also the mother company of the first app that we've looked at, Trello euros, probably the industry standard for software teams, teams that follow a Kanban methodology or a scrum methodology. I've used it with many teams in my career. The reason I'm showing you this is that Jira has a free version. And second of all, it is extremely powerful when it comes to configuration. Now if you're just starting out with your first Kanban board, then JIRA is probably not the right tool for you. If on the other hand, you, the type of person who likes to dabble with your software, who likes to have lots and lots of configuration options, then JIRA is the tool of choice. As you have seen, hopefully there's pros and cons for each one of them. Let's say you're starting out with your first digital kanban board, then there's no reason not to go with Trello. Trello is easy to use for the most part. It can easily be shared with others. It is free. You can share it with as many people as you like for free, there is a business version that you can upgrade to if you need additional functionality like a calendar view or a timeline view. But probably you don't need that for Trello is always good for, for example, if you are planning a trip with friends or family and you want everybody to be involved in the planning process, then trellis, great option. Send everyone the link to your Trello board. Maybe they have to create an account, but that's easy. Then they can all add information on that board. Then you can have a discussion on this information right on the border and everybody is going to be updated by e-mail as soon as there is new content on that board, notion is a great option if you want more than just a Kanban board. If you want that personal information manager, if you want to organize the knowledge that you work with on a daily basis, if you want to have all these different list format, the notion is great because you don't have to go back and forth between different apps. And then of course, jira is a good option if you want to go professional with your boards, if you need these extra configuration options. So with that, I hope I could give you an overview of three very popular app for Kanban to before you try out dozens and dozens of different app, maybe you just want to stick with Trello because it's really good for Kanban boards, except for the swimlane functionality, which needs the Chrome plugin, like we've talked about. 8. What is the best Task Size?: When you begin to use Kanban at some point you will ask yourself the question, what is the best task size? Let's look at some examples. If we take the online course project that we worked with so far, we could have created a task that includes the whole project. Why not just create a card that says Kanban course. What we actually did was create a card that had each lesson on them. But we could also have created smaller tasks. For example, record the video, which is one step of creating a lesson. Then we could have taken it one step further by reading a task just for setting up the video equipment, which is a part of recording the video, which in turn is a part of creating a lesson. So we compare the sizes of those for granting the entire corps might take something like four weeks. Creating one lesson might take three days. Recording the video might take two hours or three hours and setting up the video equipment and you can probably do in 30 minutes. So the question is, which of these is the correct size? In the answer is, you decide. It depends on whether working with small tasks is unnecessary work or whether it is helpful. Let's look at a very simple example that I hope will make this very clear. What we'll compare here is the act of preparing breakfast and preparing a large family dinner, for example, a Thanksgiving dinner. And the idea is that you invite all of your relatives and they will come visit you at your house. And so you have a lot of preparation to do. So for the breakfast. If you were to rate cards for this and put them on a come on board, you could write something like, well, first I need a kitchen chair so I can sit down. And then I'm going to pour some milk in the bowl and I'm going to add some cereals and also at strawberries. Compare that to the Thanksgiving dinner. You would read a card that remains you to order the turkey, and then you would ask your neighbor for some additional shares because you don't have enough. And then you would raid a task for picking up the fresh turkey just on time. And then you would write one for baking the deserts and so forth. You get the idea. Now, the question is, if we begin with a breadth-first working with all these small step-by-step task, is that unnecessary work or is it helpful for you in I think you would agree that this is unnecessary work. Why would you do that? The reason why it feels like unnecessary work is that you know exactly how to make breakfast. You've done it so many times, you don't need to write it down. The answer in this scenario is no, I don't need to write small task for those. You probably don't need to write a task for this at all. But if we compare that to the large family dinner, is it unnecessary work to write down these tasks? In my opinion, no. It's actually really, really helpful and probably couldn't get it done without writing the task regardless of whether I'm using a Kanban board or not. But if I don't write down all the things that I need to take care of, I'll probably forget something. So in this case it feels like it's very helpful for me. So I hope you get the idea. Ask yourself, is creating task of a small size helpful, or is it an unnecessary burden? 9. Using Checklists and Subtasks: Now what we're talking about here is how you can create mall tasks. In an earlier chapter, we've compared a checklist to a simple board, but that was just one way to look at it. What do you could also do is create a come on board such as this one here. Take a task like less than one, for example, which you want to break down into smaller parts in right, though, smaller parts in a checklist format, he could attach sheet of paper with all the things on it that you want to remember. Now on a physical board that's probably not the most comfortable way of doing this. Hello. Now instead of putting these individual small items on the checklist, we could also write sub-tasks. In. In order to do that, I could add one column to the board, which is called breakdown. And in that column, I would write all the individual tasks that make up one of the tasks on the left. To show you that I'm going to clean up some of the cards here because we need a little more space. And then let's have a look at the lesson one card. In order to create an entire lesson for the core is I need to write a script, a need to record video and so forth. So I will create these five sub-tasks to separate them visually from the other tasks, I will create two swimlanes enough for lesson 1. I moved the subtasks through the board and for the other tasks that do not have subtasks, I use the original tasks and move those through the board. And then once I'm done with all the sub-tests, I can also move the original task itself from to-do to done to indicate that the whole task has been finished. Okay.