Physical vs. Online Kanban Board

After you, your team or even ir company decide on using Kanban to manage your tasks, the next big choice you’ll face is what type of Kanban Board is ideal for your environment: a Physical or an Online Kanban Board.

Although physical Kanban boards, the stereotypical boards with color coded sticky notes, have been proven to be extremely effective at getting the job done and giving people the help they need in putting the task management in place, they don’t quite provide the versatility you may have expected when used offline or physically – not, at least, when compared to the online Kanban board.

An online Kanban board has on its side the fact that it provides much easier access to your Kanban planning in general, for everyone you want to give access to it, ensuring that your entire business can grow and develop with the changes.

There are many benefits in understanding the main differences between these two types of Kanban Boards, so that you can make an informed decision and implement the best suited model for your own business.

However biased it may seem, since Pipefy is in fact an online kanban board tool, we do have to recommend the online Kanban board, for all the reasons you will find below:

Online Kanban Board:

  • Easy access to everyone, anytime, everywhere: An online Kanban board provides you with an easy way to visualize the work processes that can be easily available to everyone, wherever they are;
  • The online kanban board card structure is normally very self-explanatory, taking away the difficulties of explaining the point and requirements of the current process in the overall task. This makes it easier for your staff to understand what is going on, as well as making it easier to explain to those who are involved in the process outside of your team what part of the process you are currently at;
  • Online Kanban boards allow you to easily limit the amount of work in progress within your processes (specially the ones that are being held up), as it can be hard to list this information clearly and openly on a physical board. With online boards, though, it can all be categorized easily and understood far more clearly than with the physical board;
  • Online Kanban Boards, such as Pipefy, provide you with alerts (sent via e-mail) to always keep people aware when a task is getting late or overdue. This is very helpful, specially with time sensitive tasks;
  • More importantly, though, the task is improved massively by making it easy to focus on the workflow as everything is viewable online. No more having to be in the office to get a project update!

Physical Kanban Board:

  • A physical Kanban Board can be very effective for it provides a central place where everyone in your team can gather for information and brainstorming;
  • However, it pales in comparison to the online Kanban board in making sure that everyone can stay updated at all times – people have to physically go to the board to get the information they need, instead of getting alerted online of their due dates;
  • It also needs to be updated physically, whereas making online changes is so much quicker and easier;
  • A physical board is limited to your working place’s opening hours as to when it can be checked, and is no longer the easy reference point it once was members of staff who are being asked about the project by investors etc. away from the office.

Taking the time needed to secure the right choice for your business is very important, but if you have the budget availability and technology alternatives are open to you, then an online Kanban board will definitely work best.

Try Pipefy and start using an Online Kanban Board right now!

Try Pipefy’s Task Management Template! It was specially developed to help you manage yours and your team’s tasks without breaking a sweat.

This template shows you in an organised and simplified manner what everyone is currently doing, what they have to do, and what is already done. It also highlights what are the priorities, what’s on time, what’s late and what’s potentially creating bottlenecks.

Written by Isabelle Salemme, Product content manager at Pipefy. She uses her extensive Pipefy knowledge to write informative pieces teaching users to make the best of Pipefy. Besides being responsible for all product-related content, she's an avid reader, a coffee lover and a professional photographer.