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juni 12, 2014

Get your work organised Kanban style!

I've been really looking forward to working with Kudos Boards, a visual, personalised and intuitive display of IBM Connections Activities. The past months I've tested the pre-releases, and on June 11th there was the announcement that Kudos Boards is now ready to go!

Kudos Boards offers Activities users a better way of getting your work organised.

Kanban style

I like the Kanban board style presentation of IBM Connections Activities. A Kanban board is used quite frequently in projects, but can be usefull for other purposes as well. The Kanban board shows steps in a process or list visually as cards.

There are some key principles for a Kanban Board:
  • Visualize workflow
    Cards make the workflow clearer.
  • Limit work-in-progress
    Visualisation and workflow immediately shows what still needs to be done, thus gets done !
  • Pull work from column to column
    Easily drag and drop cards to move tasks through the workflow process.


Kudos Boards 'fixes' some issues with Activities

  • Long lists of Activities
    When employees are using a lot of Activities, it gets hard to track which ones are most important. The only options you have to view your list, is by date or by priority. No personal views or ways to sort.
  • Content in Activities can become very long lists|
    Often all the content in an Activity doesn't fit on the page, and it is hard to see all the content at a glance.
  • Adding or editing content requires a lot of clicking
    To add an entry or todo, or to edit one, takes a few clicks, and content requires a lot of room.
  • Moving sections, entries or Todo's can be hard
    When using drag-and-drop employees need to have a very steady hand, and even then, moving can go terribly wrong!
  • Real-time views not possible
    Content edited/added by multiple employees working in an Activity at the same time isn't  displayed instantly. Employees need to refresh the page first before changes made by others are visible to all.
  • No way of drilling down to specific content in an Activity
    Sometimes you don't want to see all the content in an Activity, but just some that is relevant to you, or to you at a certain time or in a specific context. Activity content can not be filtered in any way.


What do Kanban Boards offer?

When you use the Kanban Boards view in IBM Conenctions Activities you get a much more visual way of working. Visualization is more than just another look&feel. It actually helps you recognizing things, allowing you to get to what you need faster, and easier.
It's not just another way of displaying Activities. On top of the visual display come some new features: Board categories and color coding, which in turn allow you to filter your Activities list or content in an Activity. Using Board categories and filters makes it possible to view the Activity much more to your personal preferences.

Some great advantages of Kudos Boards

Activities overview
When viewing you Boards, instead of Activities list:
  • Visual display of your Activities as tiles.
  • Tile colors to visually display different types of Activities.
  • Board categories to categorize Activities. Allowing you to filter your Activities by a category.
  • Pin Boards, and easily view your pinned boards (like favourites).
Within a specific Activity
  • Simply drag-and-drop cards, which moves them through sections, or within a section.
  • One-click editing of the Board settings. No more searching through Activity menus.
  • One-click editing of entries or todos, in a visual info card that easliy fits the screen.
  • One-click to add a new entry or todo.
  • Card colors to  categorize entries and todos , allowing you to filter on specific colors.
  • Filter Lists. A list is the same as a section, and with Kudos Boards you can filter to display specific sections (lists) only.
  • Real-time work in progress! Boards are synced automatically. Showing other people's work instantly!

I've worked with Kudos Boards for a while now, and I really love them!
I've also created some Activities / Kudos Boards templates that will help organisations get going fast:
  • Meeting
  • Sales pipeline
  • Product development
  • Organising an event
  • Creating a newsletter
  • Personal Getting Things Done system
  • Pomodori technique

All templates work on IBM Connections Activities, but really come to live with Kudos Boards, using the visual tiles and cards display, the color categories and Board categories, and filtering options.

View the extensive demo by Adam Brown on Youtube: