There is a growing trend. I hear about it on a daily basis. Product teams implementing Kanban maintenance scheduling software style boards to speed up innovation and improve their development process. But many of them quickly realize they have made a mistake.
Product teams move to using Kanban out of good intent -- they want to get software shipped and keep product and engineering moving forward. They need a great tool to help them visualize who is doing what work and keep teams aligned on building what matters. That sounds like a great goal.
Can you blame them?
If you have adopted Kanban as your development software, you have probably also done so for nearly identical reasons. But there is something critical missing that will cause problems later if you do not stop and address it now.
All great products begin with answering the "why." Kanban only helps with the "how." If you do not know where your product is going, it will be difficult to achieve your goals.
To take your product to the next level, you must connect your daily work to your higher level strategic goals. Otherwise, you can easily build yourself to nowhere by working on the wrong initiatives.
When used as part of a more strategic framework, Kanban can be a great. The danger comes when Kanban is used in isolation.
That's why last month we launched new Kanban boards for teams that are tightly integrated with the rest of our product management software. It's a unified way to bring strategy, ideas, releases, and features to life. We wanted a better way to implement Kanban -- and help Agile and Scrum teams stay on track.
It allows you to link each Kanban project that you work on to the high level goals and initiatives that you are working towards. This process helps you think critically about what you are working on -- and give honest assessments.
If your team practices Kanban, you should not have to give it up. But know that there is a more effective way to use it.
When thinking of the best tools to bring products to life, you should always look for the most holistic approach -- one that uses frameworks to implement high level strategy.
Without a product vision and a roadmapping tool to guide your workflow, your team's productivity will suffer. But when you combine Kanban with strategy, you get work done and build what matters. For a product manager, there is no work order management better feeling.