My team does daily standup meetings in front of our Kanban Board.  Our standup meeting is different from the Scrum style, though – we work from right to left.  That is, we first ask, “What do we need to do to get those items accepted,” and then ask “What needs to happen to get those items out of test?”

For a long time, you’d see something like this in our “In Test” column:

Why are these two cards still "In Test"?

Why are these two cards still "In Test"?

Why is the top story blocked?  Well, for a long time it was tough to see when defects are filed against a story, so we adopted the convention of marking stories “blocked” to signal that they have defects on them.  This has the unfortunate side-effect of attracting attention and inevitably a coach would come around asking if we needed help with our blocking issue, wasting both their time and ours.

But now the Kanban board supports a new feature.  In the settings panel, you can configure the board to “Show defect status for cards with defects.”  Now it’s immediately obvious what’s going on with your card:

Screen shot 2011-11-29 at 4.25.03 PM

Clicking on the text will take you straight to the part of the detail page that lists the defects, making it easy to get all the details.  (This takes advantage of another quietly shipped enhancement – you can now share direct links to sub-pages of detail pages with your coworkers).

Once you close your defects, you’ll see a cheerful green icon allowing you to savor your success for a little while:

Screen shot 2011-11-29 at 4.29.17 PM

Some teams use tasks as lightweight “checklists” for their Kanban items. You can enable the same feature for task status if you like.

These two features are helping our team already, enabling us to more easily see the work that needs to be done and helping us ensure we handle all defects before accepting work. You don’t have to be a Kanban team to use the Kanban board.  Any team can install this from the app catalog and use it to visualize your work.

I hope you find these features helpful!

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