Kanbanize, agile process management software tested

With a lot of JIRA and Trello usage hours on my resume, I was invited to test Kanbanize. Kanbanize is an Agile process management software built around the lean values and the idea of Kanban boards. Unique selling points are the industry business automation engine, Actionable Agile integration, and highly customizable user interface.

Kanbanize propels you miles beyond the electronic Kanban board with a couple of swimlanes, WIP indicator, and drag-and-drop functionality of stories. A free 30-day trial account in Kanbanize provides access to all features in the system with almost no restrictions.

Main features

  • Kanban boards
    • Visualize your progress as you move cards across the board at the project, team or organization level.
    • WIP limits per column, swimlane or user.
    • Role-based access. The Kanban board allows you to define custom roles and assign unique permissions to users by projects and boards. To grant access selectively, a member with elevated privileges in one area of the project may be simultaneously restricted in another.
    • Flexible card views & filters. As you populate your Kanban board, you will have to navigate different types of cards. To make sure you are seeing only what you need to, adjust which card attributes are hidden from view or use our board filter to show a selection of the cards on your board by priority, color, assignee or by searching a keyword.
    • Card templates, handy when you need to create complex cards with predefined attributes and subtasks quickly. All types and templates function on a per project basis and you can manage them easily through your online board settings.
    • Custom fields. Every team is different and each will have specific needs based on what they want to achieve. You can choose types for the fields (text, number, date, multi-choice, etc.) appearing in the structure of a card and make some fields mandatory for one digital board or optional for another. Custom fields are even supported in the analytics module so you can slice the data of the chart to show each one separately.
    • Reminders and follow-ups. When you have a lot of things on your list, forgetting something seems inevitable. The subscription-based notifications system in Kanbanize lets you rest easy while we keep track of your deadlines for you. If you want to be pinged about an approaching deadline, we will send you an email with a link to the task to be followed-up.
  • Links between cards. Complex projects involve a lot of work items and, with no special care, visibility is quickly lost. Link Kanban cards in different boards and get the ultimate visibility you need to execute successfully.
    • Parent-child hierarchy.
    • Mirror cards.
  • Run time policies, comparable with IFTTT recipes. If triggers occur, then perform a certain action e.g. move parent card, remind your team by email of reached WIP limit or queues than the need to be replenished. Triggers and actions can be used in a bi-directional way.
  • Email integration. Kanbanize not only sends out emails on certain triggers but also can update cards from email messages. Adding comments or triggering movements of cards are good examples.
  • Time tracking. Hours spent can be logged on cards, and user for aggregation and reporting.

The product is updated monthly. While the video below highlights 5.1 features, March 2017 version already is at 5.7, including SSO, archive and new integrations. May 2017 5.9 release showed an acceleration of the Kanban boards performance, legacy applications connectors, etc.

Price plans

Flexible pricing scheme based on usage and not just number of users. Check the online information.

Kanbanize vs Trello

  • Kanbanize is the true implementation of Kanban.
  • Customizable swimlanes.
  • WIP limits for individual users, columns or even specific cells.
  • Automation with Runtime Policies – from smart notification to automated card movements, updates, changes, invoking external services, blocking other cards or manipulating linked cards.
  • Powerful search + custom reporting. Search filters can be saved and shared like external pages or widgets on the main Dashboard. A custom search can be used for metric-specific reporting that is relevant to your specific needs.
  • 2-way external integrations, including email (card creation, updates, and movement over email + ability to respond to an email from within the board), Slack, most cloud storage services, GitHub, and more.
  • Links, relationships and hierarchical dependencies between cards (predecessor cards must be completed before successor cards could be moved to In Progress.
  • Time tracking (both automatic and manual input).
  • Productivity Analytics – clean visualization of bottlenecks, Cycle Time trends, cards distribution, efficiency widget.
  • Premium Analytics for statistical predictions and deeper data analysis.

Kanbanize vs Jira

  • Kanbanize is built for Kanban, its user interface and the system itself is designed to facilitate Kanban application and let teams make the most of it
  • Kanbanize is much easier to set up, but it still allows an incredible degree of customization
  • User-Friendly drag-and-drop interface.
  • While tasks can only be assigned to one person, subtasks could be owned by other users + there can be a custom Contributor field to show someone else pushing the card.

Kanbanize vs other Kanban tools

On Wikipedia, a comparison of Kanbanize with other Kanban tools is available, although not necessarily up-to-date.