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Create a custom board in the Kanban zone

Jack Wallen shows you how easy it is to create a custom Kanban board with Kanban Zone.

IT worker tracking his tasks on the kanban board.  Using task control of agile development methodology.  Man pinning sticky note to scrum task board in office.
Image: comzeal/Adobe Stock

Kanban Zone has quickly become one of my favorite Kanban options on the market. Not only does it offer a beautiful, easy-to-use interface, but it’s also highly customizable, so you can make it work for just about any type of project.

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One of the best features of Kanban Zone is that you can easily create new boards from templates and then customize them to perfectly fit the needs of your project. I’m going to show you exactly how to do that.

What do you need to create a custom Kanban Zone board

All you need to do in addition to this tutorial is a valid Kanban Zone account. You can start with the 30-day free trial to make sure this product fits your project needs, as the trial includes all the features on the platform.

Create a new board with Kanban Zone

The first thing we’re going to do is create a new board. Once it’s made, we’ll adjust it.

To create a new board, click the dropdown in the top left corner, then click Add board (Image A).

Image A

Create a new board in Kanban Zone.
Create a new board in Kanban Zone.

On the resulting page (Figure B), give the new board a name.

Figure B

Naming of our new board.
Naming of our new board.

After you name your board, click Next in the top right corner.

In the next window (Figure C), you want to select a template on which the new board will be based. You can choose from popular templates, methodologies, portfolios, personal and solution-oriented templates.

Figure C

Selecting a template for our new board.
Selecting a template for our new board.

After you’ve selected your template, click Next.

Finally, you can create custom card labels for the board (Figure D).

Figure D

Rename the labels and create new labels for your board.
Rename the labels and create new labels for your board.

Click Finish and your board is ready.

How to customize your new board

It took me a bit of poking around to figure this out, but you can easily customize the board by renaming the columns to better suit your project. To do this, click the gear icon and then click Board Designer from the drop-down list. In the resulting window (Figure E), the board designer allows you to take care of a few important aspects.

Figure E

The Kanban Zone board designer.
The Kanban Zone board designer.

The first thing you want to do is expand each column and rename each column (Figure F).

Figure F

Customize a column in Kanban Zone.
Customize a column in Kanban Zone.

Give the column its new name, then adjust the WIP limits, the column width, and type everything you need into the explicit matches. Some columns with WIP limits, such as Backlog only, have a minimum, while others have a minimum and a maximum. Some columns also contain subcolumns.

You can add as many sub-columns as you need, but if a column section doesn’t already have a sub-column, you can’t add your own. For example, the Backlog column does not allow sub-columns. You can add new columns by clicking +.

Once you have completed the customization, click Done Editing and your custom Kanban board is ready to use.

And that’s all. With Kanban Zone you can create some pretty spectacular boards that are suitable for just about any project. Enjoy that incredible flexibility.

Subscribe to TechRepublic’s How to make technology work on YouTube for all the latest technical advice for business professionals from Jack Wallen.

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