Visualizing Cycles in Kanban

At a training session in Kitchener Waterloo, Canada. I was asked how to visualize and handle cycles in a Kanban board. The images below show a way to do it as a physical board and on an electronic board such as Swift Kanban. Tickets within a cycle move from left to right, from one column to the next until and cycle back as many times as necessary and once done they move to the Done column at the the end of the cycle. Note that columns inside the cycle can contain their own Done columns.

Kanban Board With Cycle Time

For quantification purposes, it is better to do so for the entire cycle only and not for columns inside the cycle. This is because quantification inside the cycle becomes tricky an might not necessarily be of much use (if anything, some might need to quantify the number of cycles but even that may vary from one task to another). If you are using an electronic tool make sure to get your settings for quantification adjusted accordingly.

Kanban Board With Cycle Time

— Masa K Maeda


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