Kanext – a theme for kanboard

A while back, I have started using kanboard as a personal task manager. It was a close call between it and other open source solutions and it won basically for being very-very easy to install. However, soon after I realised I wanted some customisations – mainly looks, but also some functionality.

And this is how I begun making changes, which I posted in a github repository, in case anyone else found them useful.

For now, it will stay as it is, but is far from being done. Some improvements, off the top of my head:

  • change the configuration options handling, so that they will be centrally managed within one file, maybe the config helper;
  • add e2e tests and some automatic screenshot generation;
  • improve the responsiveness;
  • add some graphs and stats.

Why kanboard

The biggest drawback there is with kanboard is the fact that it is not designed to be responsive. However, on the upside: it has nice features and it is very-very extensible with addons. And you can setup automatic actions – which is rather comfortably setup.

An example project

This is a simplistic way to setup a Todo board for a few members who work together as a team on various things – not necessarily IT, of course. 🙂

Also, should you find the following useful, you can try using them with other tools as well, not only Kanboard.

General rules

  • All new tasks are added to the first column;
  • Add as much information as possible about what needs to be done – if you work on the task much after adding it, details will be welcome;
  • Tasks travel only one column at a time, even if at some point two or more moves might be necessary – skipping columns when moving tasks might mean not triggering a predefined action;
  • WIP limit should be set at least for the “Ready” column – if there is no limit, you risk creating a second “Backlog” column;
  • Tasks are ordered by priority, from top to bottom;
  • Make use of swimlanes, even if not detailed in this example;

The board setup

The columns the board can have are:

  • Backlog
    Contains all the tasks which are waiting to be planned;
  • Ready
    Contains the tasks the team chooses to work on – what is put in this column needs to be clear;
  • In progress
    What everybody is working on;
  • For review
    Work that is done and needs to be checked by somebody else in the team.
    Actually, this column can be skipped, provided there is an agreement in the team that anything which moves to “Done” needs to be reviewed before being closed.
  • Done

Example actions

  • Assign the task to the user who moves the task to “In progress”;
  • Change the colors depending on the status;
  • Once closed, move the task to the “Done” column.