Top 5 Kanban Software for Project Management

Kanban software for project management is vital to help teams continuously improve cycle time and enhance efficiency. So, in this article, we’ll discuss the top 5 Kanban software for project management.

Best Kanban Software for Project Management

Kanban boards are one of the oldest, most effective and simplest methods to visually display project tasks or work items as cards within shorted columns. As project tasks make their way through designated milestones in the project life cycle, the Kanban board shows each task’s position in the pipeline visually.

Read more: Benefits of Kanban for project management

Kanban is an agile-based project management tool that can be used from the simplest to most complex projects. This tool makes viewing progress and workload easy and intuitive for any team member. So, let’s discuss the top 05 Kanban board software solutions for project management.

Trello

Trello is one of the most simple and flexible Kanban board-based project management software for organizing project tasks, automating, collaborating with team members, and storing files. So, the Trello boards help project managers keep tasks organized and work moving forward. Then, project managers and team members can understand who’s doing what and what needs to be done. 

Trello’s primary aim is to provide users with an enhanced Kanban experience, taking traditional board-style views further with multiple workspaces, filters, automation, labels and stars,  collaboration, attachments, custom fields, and more. In Trello software, three key components are used for Kanban: boards, lists, and cards.

  • Boards – This represents an entire project
  • Lists – This represents phases of a project
  • Cards – This represents single project tasks

Kanban in Trello provides an instant overview of overall project tasks and their progress. Therefore, any stalled work can be addressed quickly and easily.

Read more: Why do project managers use Trello project management software

How to Use Trello Software for Kanban?

Trello software is an ideal platform for Kanban teams. As a project manager, you can quickly configure the board to match your process. Furthermore, it is visible everywhere, even when your team works fully or remotely. Here are the steps on how to use Trello software for Kanban.

  1. First, sign up for Trello software.
  2. Create a new board. Then, choose a name for your board and customize the board background if needed.
Source: Trello, accessed July 2024.
  1. Create lists for your workflow. Make a list for each step of your project process, such as To Do, Doing, and Done. However, the possibilities are endless – click add another list if needed.
Kanban in Trello
Source: Trello, accessed July 2024.
  1. Add task cards to your lists because each card should only represent a single task. 
  2. Divide tasks into smaller components using checklists. This is useful for large tasks or for tasks that require multiple roles.
Kanban in Trello
Source: Trello, accessed July 2024.
  1. Add color-coded labels to your cards to make tasks easier to categorize by adding labels.
  2. Invite the appropriate team members to collaborate. To do that, search for team members by name or email, or generate a Trello link for them to join.
  3. Assign project tasks to each team member by opening a card and clicking Add > Members. However, self-managed teams assign project tasks to themselves.
  4. Move cards via the workflow steps and now you can start Trello for Kanban. 

Trello is a great way to get your team to start reaping productivity and efficiency.

Standout Features
  • Drag and drop usability – Users can rearrange project tasks and boards quickly and easily with this card functionality
  • Automation features – This automation function helps you to automate tasks and establish rules for workflows
  • Task management – Advanced checklist options within tasks help users break down and assign micro-tasks
Pros and Cons
  • Popular with Kanban users and allows them an optimized agile experience 👍
  • Easier to set up 👍
  • Mobile friendly 👍
  • Affordable pricing 👍
  • Task limitation 👎
  • Daunting to track multiple projects at once due to limited task overview option 👎
  • Limited view functions 👎
Trello Pricing

Trello offers free plans including unlimited boards and storage, advanced checklists, custom fields, custom backgrounds and stickers, unlimited activity logs, assignee and due dates, and more. However, Trello offers three straightforward pricing models to select for their users.

Trello pricing
Why Did We Choose Trello?

Trello software stands out from the competition for its beginner-friendly design, affordable price point, and task customization options. 

Try Trello for free

ClickUp

ClickUp software is the best integrated Kanban solution that provides a centralized platform where the project manager can create and assign tasks, track progress, set deadlines, and communicate with teammates. Furthermore, the customizable feature allows project managers to create personalized views and organize their project tasks to suit their workflow.

Compared to ClickUp competitors, there are many ways to view project and task lists. So, this makes it viable to use for a diverse range of projects. Furthermore, ClickUp offers integration features with tools such as Trello, Slack, Google Drive, GitHub, and more, making it easy for project managers to sync their data and collaborate seamlessly.

How to use ClickUp for Kanban

Kanban is a great way to visualize your work and maximize team flow. Using Kanban will help you quickly and easily see the big picture of the project you’re working on by customizing swimlane columns. The following steps will help you set up a Kanban board on ClickUp.

  1. Decide and create columns for each of the phases of your project, such as To Do, In Progress, and Done. To do that, click the board view in ClickUp to create custom columns and organize tasks.
Source: ClickUp, accessed July 2024.
  1. Add project tasks, once you have created your column. Add each project task to the To Do column, and assign tasks to appropriate team members because it will help them understand what they need to work on.
  2. Establish workflow rules that govern when tasks can be moved from one column to the next. To do that, use automation in ClickUp to create rules for project task movement and ensure a smooth workflow.
  3. Monitor the progress of tasks on your Kanban board to keep the project on track. Furthermore, review the board regularly to check the status of tasks and adjust the workflow rules if needed. To do that, use the dashboard in ClickUp to easily check the status of tasks and monitor progress.
  4. Set milestones in ClickUp to celebrate the completion of project tasks and keep team members motivated.
Standout Features
  • Provides project tracking visualization options such as Gantt charts, boards (Kanban), lists, mind maps, and views
  • Offers 100+ automation to streamline workflows and slash commands
  • Offers native and embedded docs with collaboration detection
Pros and Cons
  • ClickUp offers many features with fewer paywalls compared to its competitors 👍
  • ClickUp AI which provides support for project management and more 👍
  • ClickUp offers several custom field options that help manage different types of project information seamlessly on the platform 👍
  • ClickUp provides agile management functions for sprint planning and reporting 👍
  • ClickUp offers several functions such as task management, time tracking, resource management, and more 👍
  • Slow loading and sync time 👎
  • Mobile apps can be confusing to use  👎
  • Overwhelming interface 👎
  • ClickUp offers many features which can take time for teams to maximize 👎
ClickUp Pricing

ClickUp offers free plans including unlimited tasks, unlimited free plan members, collaborative docs, whiteboards, Kanban boards, real-time chats, calendar view, and more. However, ClickUp offers three straightforward pricing models to select for their users.

ClickUp Pricing
Why Did We Choose ClickUp?

ClickUp offers many features at an affordable price compared to its competitors. Furthermore, this tool can access other tools, such as Trello, Asana, Notion, Wrike, and more. Moreover, ClickUp allows users to customize their workflows and visualize their tasks to suit their preferences.

Try ClickUp for free

Asana

Asana provides work management features, such as assigning tasks, subtasks, developing custom fields, and more. This tool allows users to organize and manage projects at a micro and macro level. 

Asana allows users to select various views, including timeline, calendar, list, and Kanban board. Kanban board view helps attach files and images to task cards while collaborating and tagging with teammates directly. This can make an efficient option for Kanban-focused users.

How to Use Asana for Kanban

Creating a Kanban board in Asana is a straightforward process and makes it an efficient option for Kanban-focused users. The following are steps for creating a Kanban board in Asana.

  1. First, sign up for Asana software
  2. Create a new project
  3. Select how you would like to start your project
  4. Click ‘use template’ and select ‘board’
  5. In a Kanban, selections represent different phases of your workflow
  6. Create your first selection by clicking ‘add selection’ and continue adding selections until you have all the phases of the workflow represented
  7. Add tasks to the Kanban board and you can easily and quickly move tasks between selections by dragging and dropping them into the appropriate section
  8. Assign tasks to the appropriate team members
  9. Set due dates for each task to help keep team members on track
  10. Add details, attachments, and subtasks

These steps will help project managers and team members visualize and manage their workflow effectively.

Standout Features
  • Workload provides a high-level view of individual work capabilities
  • Templates provide replicate work processes easy 
  • Portfolios allow synchronize updates across numerous projects in one place
Pros and Cons
  • Manage projects using versatile and customizable features 👍
  • Administrative control options and extensive privacy 👍
  • Templates provide easy setup 👍
  • Asana intelligence 👍
  • Pricing can be expensive 👎
  • Assignee limitations 👎
  • Lack of time tracking 👎
  • Limited export functionality 👎
Asana Pricing

ClickUp offers free plans including unlimited tasks, projects, messages, activity logs, file storage, assignee and due dates, list view projects, board view projects, calendar view, status updates, basic search filters, and more. However, Asana offers three straightforward pricing models to select for their users.

Asana Pricing
Why Did We Choose Asana?

Asana is a project management software that provides board (Kanban) features to the users and its capabilities are extensive. Asana pricing can be expensive, but Asana offers users the opportunity to text-run its features with a free plan. Asana provides great functionality for project and team management, group collaboration, and workflow optimization making Asana a powerful tool for teams if they are ready to level up their project management strategy.

Try Asana for free

Jira

Jira is the best software development tool and technical issues that allows project teams to track issues, manage projects, and automate workflow flexibly. Furthermore, this software provides a Kanban board feature that helps project managers organize task cards in various ways, including setting work-in-progress (WIP) limitations to avoid workloads.

How to Use Jira for Kanban

The Kanban template in Jira helps your team manage a continuous flow of work. The following are steps for creating a Kanban board in Jira.

  1. Select the appropriate Kanban template in Jira and create a Kanban board for each task
  2. Add dependencies between tasks view that allows seeing those details on their own boards, providing visibility and enhancing coordination across teams
  3. Organize the Kanban board. This helps you to monitor progress and identify when items are complete. Using WIP limits reduces work in progress and helps your team maintain focus
  4. The Kanban board in Jira allows you to monitor and improve progress. To do that, use agile reports, such as control charts and cumulative flow diagrams to get valuable insights 
Standout Features

DevOps visibility feature allows you to measure and track project progress

Road mapping capabilities feature helps you to map tasks, work items, dependencies, and release dates on a timeline

Pros and Cons
  • Various reporting and dashboard features enhance insights on tasks and projects 👍
  • Easy automation options 👍
  • Best for issue management 👍
  • Build for scrum and agile management 👍
  • Limited collaboration options 👎
  • Not the best choice for non-technical users 👎
  • Lack of milestones visualization 👎
  • Difficult for less experienced users 👎
Jira Pricing

Jira offers free plans including unlimited goals, projects, tasks, forms, reports and dashboards, backlogs, lists, boards, timelines, calendars, summary views, and more. However, Jira offers three straightforward pricing models to select for their users.

Jira Pricing
Why Did We Choose Jira?

Jira is a flexible and feature-packed tool for teams who require extended support and functionality for higher technical projects. Furthermore, this software supports agile methodologies Kanban and Scrum. Moreover, Jira is best for bug tracking and analytics. The Kanban board in Jira gives users a great deal of flexibility, including the ability to attach tasks, bugs, and user stories directly to task cards. Therefore, Jira is a great choice for agile teams.

Try Jira for free

Monday.com

Monday.com is the best tool for project flexibility, collaboration, and work operating systems because that helps teams manage their projects and work function at scale. monday.com or Monday work management software has a colorful and highly customizable user interface that empowers users to take project management into their own hands using modular building block, low-code. As such, users can design their own Kanban board layout, with various functionality to support boards with embedded images. Furthermore, that can be rearranged easily by dragging and dropping.

How to Use Monday.com for Kanban

The following are the steps for creating a Kanban board in Monday.com.

  1. Create a Monday work management board by clicking on the ‘+’ button on the left pane on your screen and then select ‘new board.’. Furthermore, you can choose to import a new board from Google sheet, Trello, Excel, and more, or choose from a pre-prepared template
  2. Add the Kanban view to your board and select ‘Kanban’ from the view center
  3. Set up your Kanban view by following these steps
  • Select the status column to showcase in your Kanban view 
  • Select one or more file columns to be displayed as a cover on your Kanban board
  • Select the column information from your board that is displayed directly on your Kanban cards
  • Click the ‘divide by groups’ to view your Kanban cards 
Source: Monday.com, accessed July 2024.

Once your Kanban board is set up, you can add new cards, edits cards, and more cards

  1.  After creating the Kanban board, the focus shifts to task completion 
  2. Track the average length a card takes to move via the workflow and see how many tasks were finished in a specific time frame
Standout Features
  • Colorful customization options
  • Visualization and data insights
  • Wide range of task views
Pros and Cons
  • Designed for customization 👍
  • Diverse template options 👍
  • Easy and fun to use 👍
  • Provide customer support and educational options 👍
  • Time tracking limitations 👎
  • Activity log tracking limitations 👎
  • Pricing and options can be confusing 👎
  • Limited views for non-pro tier plans 👎
Monday.com Pricing

Monday.com offers free plans including unlimited docs, up to 3 boards, 8 column types, and more. However, Monday.com offers four straightforward pricing models to select for their users.

Monday.com Pricing
Why Did We Choose Monday Work Management?

Monday work management software is customizable and highly flexible and can be used for teams of all shapes and sizes. Kanban board has specific features, including the ability to embed cover photos and insert custom fields into each task card. Monday.com offers many capabilities, including dashboard reporting, workflow automation, and multiple project views. These options are useful for fast-moving teams.

Try Monday.com for free

Conclusion

Kanban software for project management is essential because it helps project managers and team members manage tasks effectively and efficiently. Trello, ClickUp, Asana, Jira, and Monday Work Management are the best tools for creating a Kanban board. However, when you select this software, it must depend on the nature of your project.

Author

Kaushalya Rajarathna is a Higher National Diploma in Project Management who completed a Bachelor of Humanities and Social Science Degree and a Google Project Management Professional Certificate. Kaushalya is a Senior Content Writer at cloudkeypm.com. She mainly focuses on project management knowledge areas, project management tools and software, and general areas when writing articles.

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