Kanban or Task List – Which Method You Should Choose For Your Project Management?

choosing a method for your project management

For most any business, it is vital to set clear expectations about goals and keep the team members accountable, especially when you are working on a big project. This helps you improve communication and boost productivity.

When a project kicks off, you should be able to manage it in a simple overview panel, check the progress in real-time, and adjust and create further tasks accordingly. There are various project management software tools to help you in this regard.

Over the past few years, many project management tools were launched with unique features. However, as the world evolved and priorities changed at organizations, the demand for new features increased. As a result, many project management tool companies tweaked the task management features within their systems, such as task lists (to-do lists) and Kanban boards, to provide a better workflow and experience. 

But many businesses are still unable to pick the right task management style for project management.

This article could help you choose the best style for your project.

As mentioned above, project management companies offer different features and tools to provide an enhanced experience. Task List is one of the commonly used styles used by businesses.

Task List

As the name indicates, it is a list of tasks. Listing out your tasks helps you work more efficiently because you have an outline of what you need to do. Simply, a task list is where all the work needed to complete a project is collected, be it a personal or team task.

A task list can be more than just a simple list of tasks. In this list, for instance, you can add priority to show what tasks need to be completed first. It also allows you to set and note deadlines, add work descriptions, and create sub-tasks.

Nested Task List

The nested task list is an upgraded version of a task list. What it means is that when tackling a complex project, the nested task list would be ideal as it gives the ability to break ideas down tasks into smaller, bite-sized pieces. The result is that the task list is well-ordered and tactical.

Kanban Board

A Kanban board is different from a task list or a nested task list.

Kanban, which means signboard or billboard in the Japanese language, was originally developed by Taiichi Ohno. He was an industrial engineer at Toyota who used Kanban to improve manufacturing efficiency. The Kanban board is now a widely used task management tool.

Unlike a task list or nested task list, the Kanban board is a visualization tool that enables you to optimize the flow of your work. It can be used to manage work across your team or organization which means increased productivity and task visibility.

An advantage of the Kanban tool is that it displays all the visual details in a single place, which minimizes the time spent tracking down progress reports.

A primary goal of the Kanban board is to limit the amount of work in a process. The advanced version of the tool may also include information to help you actively manage the way the workflows through the board.

Although the Kanban board and task list are distinct from each other, both are vital task management features that allow you to break projects down into specific deliverables and assign them accordingly. They come with features to help you communicate with your team members and project stakeholders right inside the tool itself without you having to switch to email or phone. These features are ideal for brainstorming and conversations.

Different Styles for Different Needs

While task lists are beneficial for planning a project, the Kanban board is a visualization tool that allows for better collaboration and execution. This is why some project management tools have adopted both functionalities to their system.

However, a problem is that most project management tools that have adopted a dual approach treat planning and execution as two separate worlds. This makes managing and tracking tasks a bit hard.

Project management tool companies have found a solution to this problem by synergizing both approaches.  This allows team members to access a single project in both Kanban board and nested task list views.

Before settling on a project management tool for your organization, you have to take into account various factors such as the sector, team size, the purpose, and the nature of the project. So try to get a better understanding of how project management software task lists and Kanban board work before purchasing a software tool.

Image: Depositphotos

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JT Ripton JT Ripton is a freelance business and technology writer out of Tampa. He loves to write to inform, educate and provoke minds and has written for publications like Business Insider, Entrepreneur, The Guardian and several more.

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