Kanban for creative agency projects

Kanban Board in the creative agency

Your firm may use software solutions to track project tasks and schedules, but there is also a physical, tangible asset in you work flow: the job bag. Instead of reinventing the wheel to create a perfect system to track their location in your agency, let’s “borrow” from the established technique of Kanban. A Kanban Board may be the perfect tool for the creative agency Traffic Manager to track physical assets through your agency.

What is Kanban?
Invented by Taiichi Ohno, Kanban is a Japanese system in the Lean manufacturing realm. The word translates to “Visual Card” or “Sign Board”. This can be a physical or digital system that visually expresses the Work In Progress (WIP) of your agency.
It boils down to:

  • A set of visual signals
  • Used as instruction to “pull” components of an order
  • “Downstream” from one part of the process to another
  • To fulfill that order

If you think about it, the creative agency Traffic Manager uses visual cue systems to do just that.

  • The job ticket lists out the activities in a system of visual cues
  • Elements of your order need to be fulfilled before moving to the next step

Representing this process in a centralized location in your agency via a Kanban Board will not only help keep track of physical assets, it will also help identify delays and keep an orderly flow to your process.

How does it work?
Typically, there are 3 components to a Kanban Board:

  1. To do
  2. In Progress
  3. Done

If you are using a trafficking software solution you should have this information at hand for all tasks across your entire project portfolio. As the job bag moves through the gateways of your process, the Traffic Manager posts a colored ticket in each of the three swim lanes described above. A reciprocal card is placed in the ticket and trafficked to the appropriate portion of your process. Upon completion, the customer of this output will have the ticket routed to them and the same ticketing system is applied.

The contents of the card should list:

  • A Title
  • Description
  • Priority
  • Due date
  • Assigned user (physical location)
  • Have a color coded system that makes sense for your work flow

This system could prove to be a valuable tool for the creative agency Traffic Manager. The creative industry is comprised of visual communicators. Having a system that helps express process in an orderly, colored coded, and logical manner could be a shot in the arm to your agency’s work flow.

As always, I’d love to hear what folks have to say on the matter. Please leave me some comments and let me know what you think. Hit the share button and blow me up some!

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