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Kanban Board

A Kanban board is a popular and useful way to track project tasks. A simplified board in Google Sheets is used in this course.


Each team will create and maintain a Kanban board as a Google Sheet. The board will be used:

  • by the team, to track tasks that need to be done, that are in progress, and that have been completed; and
  • by the instructors and your TAs, to monitor your progress.

At the start of the semester

During the first week of your project (typically in Week 3 of the semester), you will create your Kanban board. Here's how to do that.

Get a copy of the Kanban template

One person from each team will download the Kanban board template.

Change the document name of the sheet

Immediately after downloading the template, change the name of your copy per the project deliverables section of your course's design project.

If you get the name of the Kanban board wrong, your instructors and TAs will not find it, and your team will lose marks as a result.

Update the Config tab

Go to the Config tab of your Kanban board.

Column A lists all the members of your team.

  • The first entry should always be All and denotes everyone on the team.
  • Replace the existing sample names with your team members surnames.
  • You can add subteams by adding an entry with multiple team names. (The example given in the template is Picard & Sisko.)

You should leave the rest of the Config tab alone.

Share the Kanban board

Once you've changed the Sheet's name, put it in your team's Google Shared Folder. This will share it with your team, your TA, and the instructors.

Using the Kanban board

You should check your Kanban board every few days at least.

You should never leave a team meeting without spending a few minutes verifying that the Kanban board is up to date and accurate.

Structure of the board

This is what the board template looks like.

Key points of interest:

  • There are three lanes of tasks in this Kanban: TO DO tasks have not yet been started; IN PROGRESS tasks are those that have been started but are not completed; and DONE tasks have been completed.
  • The blue header includes the current week of the semester, the start date of the project, the due date of the final report, and the number of days left from “today” to the due date.
  • Edit/change only the white cells.
  • The text colour for each task is automatic and will change depending on the current week and the week the task is due as defined in the Config tab, as follows:
    • if the task is due this week, the task will be shown in orange;
    • if the task is overdue, the task will be shown in red;
    • otherwise, the task will be shown in green.
  • If you mess up the sheet somehow, you'll have to get a fresh copy of the template and start over.
  • Many cells have pull-down menus. If you want to delete a value from a cell with a pull-down, just click on that cell and hit DELETE.
  • The OWNER column has a pull-down menu listing all the team members (and possible subteams) as defined in the Config tab. Every task must have an OWNER - some one or some group that are responsible for that particular task.
  • The STEP column has a pull-down menu listing every step from all the stages of the design roadmap. Each task you add to your board will be associated with one of those steps.

Managing the board

Adding tasks

Whenever you realize a task must be added, add it to the TO DO lane. You can use any empty row in the TO DO lane. When you run out of free rows, you can add one for your new task:

  1. click on a cell in a task in the TO DO lane; then
  2. use the menu Insert > Row below to generate a new task row.

Then you can use the pull-downs and add text to the other white cells to describe the task.

Moving tasks

When you want to move a task from one lane to another:

  1. click once in the side header for the whole row (i.e., the column outside the data that has the row numbers in it); then
  2. click-and-hold to grab the row; then
  3. slide it up/down into another lane; then
  4. release the mouse.

Remember, you can use UNDO (the ctrl-z shortcut) repeatedly to undo any changes you made in error.

Deleting tasks

You should never delete a task, unless having added it was a mistake. To delete a task:

  1. click once in the side header for the whole row (i.e., the column outside the data that has the row numbers in it); then
  2. right-click, and select Delete row from the popup menu.


See your course's weekly schedule for course-specific deadlines.

Each team will set up a Kanban board early in the semester, and share as described above.

Your TA and your instructors will review your boards regularly and raise any concerns with you any concerns that they notice.

A copy of the board will be archived securely by the instructor at the end of the semester.

You do NOT submit the board as part of your milestones and final report.

See Also

design/kanban_board.txt · Last modified: 2020.09.03 20:55 by Fil Salustri