The Kanban view

The Pivotal Tracker view is a great tool for managing projects, especially the new version that was just released. It gives you a clear overview of what's being worked on and how much work there is left to do on a given iteration.

We've decided to take it one step further by giving you a view that, at a quick glance, would answer the following questions:

  • Who is working on what?
  • How much work is in progress?
  • What is ready to be reviewed?
  • What is there left to do?

This view can be easily customized to cover a single iteration, multiple projects, a range of dates, or an upcoming release.

Who's working on what?

who is working on what

The Kanban column is designed to hold cards that represent Pivotal Tracker stories. We've made it so that you can add pictures of the story owners on the corresponding cards.

We basically use the pictures uploaded in Gravatar, so if you don't have a picture yet and want to see your face on the board, go ahead and build yourself a free Gravatar. What's nice about Gravatar is that your picture will be associated with your email address, eliminating the need to upload your profile picture all over the Web.

Don't want to see picture up there? No problem. We build you a card with your initials on it so that everyone's able to identify you at a glance.

The state of your work

pivotal tracker kanban board

In the example above, I've built 3 columns: one for what's left to do, one for what's being worked on, and one for what's ready to be reviewed. This is very simple to do and provides a quick and clear overview of your workflow.

At Insight, we also have two projects: one for business stories and one for product stories. We like to mix both projects up in our columns so that we know what the team's working on across all projects.

states selection

You can mix whichever states you want, but here's how I built the to-do column. I mixed all the stories in the current iteration that were in the "planned" or "scheduled" states.
For the "in progress" column, I included all stories that were in the "started," "finished" or "delivered" states.

You're probably already seeing how this can become a powerful tool for quickly understanding the state of your work.

To make the process as simple as possible, we built a Kanban template that will add those columns—and even a few additional Kanban widgets to complement them.

Customize it

Sometimes, one of your columns will consistently contain more stories than the others. In those cases, it just makes sense to enlarge it. Enlarging a column, as you might expect, distributes the stories in an orderly fashion within that column.

Don't forget that you can name a column anything you want by going into the interface. At Insight, we've even given each column a different color, which can also be customized by going into the interface.

Share it with the stakeholders

Since a Kanban board is a great way to summarize the state of your project, it makes sense to share it with stakeholders such as your client or your boss. You don't need to invite them to join your Pivotal Tracker project in order for them to see it. Just share a link to your board or invite them directly onto your team and grant them read-only access.

read-only public link

Find out more here if you want to get a read-only link to any of your boards.

To conclude

The Kanban column is a great way to find out what everybody's working on and what the general state of your project is. Customize it to align with your specific process to make sure your team can read it at a glance. Once you're satisfied with your board, consider sharing it with your stakeholders (read-only access).