How to understand issue types on a Kanban board

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Agile framework which relies on close communication to facilitate short working cycles is popular not only in the software development world today. Many other industries adopt it and successfully use for their projects. Agile is not just a simple method, it's a so-called umbrella which covers several methods such as Scrum and Kanban.

  • Kanban is a visual system for managing and organizing work. In a Kanban system, work is represented by cards on a board, and the board is divided into columns that represent the different stages of work. The cards are moved from one column to the next as the work progresses, and this allows team members to see the status of each task and to identify bottlenecks or areas that require attention.
  • Scrum is a framework for managing and completing complex projects. In Scrum, work is organized into short cycles called sprints, and the team holds daily stand-up meetings to discuss progress and identify any issues.

Not only software development companies use these methodologies in their workflow. Today many project managements systems spring like mushrooms after the rain and offer their environment to organize sprints and boards. However, for employees who are not familiar with such types of software it may be difficult to understand the basics and start using it efficiently.

Modern business communication and collaboration messengers such as Virola integrate task boards and offer them as one of available features which help to facilitate the workflow. However, for people who are not familiar with Agile methodology it may be difficult to understand what issue types mean and how the task boards are organized.

What issue types are available on Virola task board

Virola also offers a Kandan board which is called Task board in the application. This Task board can be used for representing and tracking different types of issues which can be created either from messages sent in chat or from scratch. Tasks on Virola board are organized as cards which can be moved from one column to another when their status changes. Let's see what kind of issue types are available on a Kanban board taking Virola Task board as an example:

  • Epic represents a larger body of work. Epics are often represented as a collection of multiple issues.
  • Story is a requirement expressed from the perspective of a user.
  • Task represents a task that needs to be done. Tasks are used as 'catch-alls' and when the work cannot be accurately represented by the other issue types.
  • Bug is a problem which impairs or prevents the functions of the product.
  • Subtask is a more granular decomposition of the work required to complete a standard issue. A sub-task can be created for all issue types.
  • Feature Request is a type of task for new feature development.
  • Merge Request is a type of task for merging new updates with the current project.
The hierarchy of Virola issue types

On the above picture we demonstrated the hierarchy of Virola issue types. Epic is normally used to group related issues which can be divided into stories, tasks and bugs. Stories describe new features or functionality your users care about. Bugs are issues which are created to fix functionality that does not work properly. Tasks represent the work that needs to be done. Subtasks can be created for stories, bugs and tasks to divide them into smaller parts and assign to different employees who can work on one issue together.

Example of the Virola task board

Issues capture a lot of information about a piece of work such as assignee, priority and status. On Kanban boards issues are distributed among different columns depending on their status. Columns reflect a stage of the workflow:

  • Backlog is a home of all your potential tasks which your team has not started working on yet.
  • ToDo means that this task should be done by an assignee.
  • InProgress shows that the assignee is already working on the task.
  • ToVerify status is assigned if a task requires additional verification or approval.
  • Done means the task has been completed by the assignee.
  • Declined status is assigned if a team decided not to do the task.

It is very convenient to use Kanban boards like in Virola even if your company does not operate in the software development field. By using Kanban boards, you will easily see what your team members are doing and what kind of tasks have been or have not been completed yet. Such awareness drives better planning and helps to make the right decisions.