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10 popular Kanban tools for workflow management

10 popular Kanban tools for workflow management

Kanban is a workflow management system that simplifies development processes and lifecycles by increasing efficiency, communication and collaboration for agile teams.

Credit: Supplied

Kanban is a simplified workflow management system aimed at helping businesses achieve maximum efficiency in their projects and in product development. It’s most commonly used in software development, but it is also designed to help companies improve workflow processes inside and outside of IT. Typically, a Kanban board will include four columns for categorizing the status of individual tasks and priorities, including waiting, in-progress, completed and blocked. As tasks are completed or as they progress, they are moved across the board until each one has been taken care of.

Using a Kanban board and Kanban cards, businesses can create visual representations of the workflow process, assign tasks to specific team members and see the backlog of tasks to be completed. While a white board may work for smaller teams using Kanban, if you are planning to implement Kanban across the organization or on a larger scale, there are plenty of tools designed to make the process as seamless as possible. Kanban software and tools also offer a collaborative experience that can give everyone access to a digital Kanban board to track tasks and priorities as they move from waiting to completed.

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There are hundreds of workflow software and Kanban tools on the market, each with their own set of features and services, so finding the right fit for your organization will take some research. To help get you started, here are 10 of the most popular Kanban tools available today.

Trello

Trello is one of the most popular tools used for Kanban and workflow management — it’s the most reviewed Kanban tool on Software Advice, with more than 17,000 user reviews and a 4.5 star rating (out of 5). It’s commonly used by agile software development teams, but it’s also designed for use in marketing, sales, support and HR. Trello offers collaborative tools so users can share calendars, reminders, tasks and deadlines. Users can also leave comments on tasks, updating others on the progress of that item in the workflow. It’s a great option for large teams or for projects that are spread out across departments. All stakeholders can stay up to date on project and task progress, share new ideas or updates, and give real-time feedback throughout the development or project lifecycle.

Pricing: Trello offers a free account with basic features for individual users or teams that need only simple Kanban and workflow management features. Trello’s Business Class tier starts at $9.99 per user, per month; its Enterprise tier starts at $17.50 per user, per month. 

Jira

Jira touts itself as the software development tool most used by agile teams, with all the features you need to “plan, track and release great software.” The user interface is clean and simple, with a straight-forward Kanban board and collaborative features. You can choose from preconfigured workflows or create your own workflow designed around the way your team works. You can also build software roadmaps in Jira that help IT align the development process with organizational goals. Jira integrates with more than 3,000 other apps, enabling organizations to create a custom-tailored experience for their teams. Jira is also among the most reviewed Kanban tools on Software Advice, with nearly 9,400 reviews and a 4.4 star rating.

Pricing: Jira offers a free account for up to 10 users. Its Standard tier, for up to 100 users, starts at $7 per user, per month. Premium, which also maxes out at 100 users, offers additional functionality at $14 per user, per month. To support a larger team, contact the company about pricing for its Enterprise tier.

Asana

Asana offers a wide range of features for Kanban, agile project management, bug tracking, business process management, collaboration, product management, roadmapping, resource management and more. It’s a well-rounded development tool that also offers a rich set of workflow management features, and Asana regularly adds new features to help make it more customizable for users. The list of features is long, but the software includes timelines, calendars, custom templates, robust reporting features and the ability to connect work across teams and company objectives. Asana has just over 9,000 reviews and a 4.4 star rating on Software Advice. See CIO.com’s in-depth review of Asana.

Pricing: Asana offers a free Basic account for individuals or smaller teams that don’t need as many features. Asana’s Premium tier starts at a $10.99 per user, per month, with a free trial period. Larger companies will need to pay for a Business account, which starts at $24.99 per user, per month. Additional functionality is available through Asana’s Enterprise tier; contact the company for pricing.

Monday

Monday is a highly rated Kanban tool by users on Software Advice, earning 4.63 stars based on more than 2,100 user reviews. This workflow management tool offers a streamlined user interface that enables companies to manage entire workflows in one space. Features include automation, visualization, reporting and collaboration as well as 24-hour customer support. In addition to Monday’s Kanban functionality, you will also get access to a robust set of features for project management, HR, media and production, sales, IT, marketing, software development and remote work.

Pricing: Each Monday tier opens up additional functionality, starting with Basic at $8 per user, per month; Standard at $10 per user, per month; and Pro at $16 per user, per month. Monday also offers an Enterprise tier; contact a sales representative for pricing. Monday offers a free two-week trial if you want to test out the software before you commit.

Wrike

Wrike offers customizable workflow management features that will make it easy for your company to create, share and edit Kanban boards. With Wrike, your team can visualize tasks, pin important to-dos on your dashboard, and manage the flow of a project’s action items with Kanban cards. The software also includes robust reporting features that will help you analyze the team’s progress and performance in real-time. Wrike is tailored for midsize and large companies, with teams of 20 or more people. It’s a solid solution for IT, operations, marketing, creative, project and product teams that need to track project lifecycles in your organization. Wrike has more than 1,600 reviews on Software Advice and an average rating of 4.2 stars. See CIO.com’s in-depth review of Wrike.

Pricing: Wrike offers a free account for five users with a solid list of features for smaller organizations and individuals who are interested in Kanban tools. Wrike’s Professional tier starts at $9.80 per user, per month, for up to 15 users. Its Business tier starts at $24.80 per user, per month, for up to 200 users. For more than 200 users, contact Wrike about pricing for its Enterprise tier.

MeisterTask

MeisterTask is an agile project management tool that offers flexible, customizable Kanban and project boards. The user interface is minimalist but colorful, with several options to create and arrange your own Kanban categories, view project timelines, automate workflow steps, set recurring tasks and even limit the amount of “works in progress” (WIPs) that your team can take on at one time. The software also offers features such as collaboration, KPI monitoring, project planning, roadmapping and productivity tracking tools. MeisterTask has a 4.7 rating on Software Advice, averaged from more than 860 reviews.

Pricing: MeisterTask offers a free Basic account, which allows you to manage up to three projects at a time. Its Pro tier costs €8.25 per user, per month (about $9.75), and its Business tier for larger companies is priced at €20.75 per user, per month (about $24.50). Contact the company directly for Enterprise tier pricing.

WorkOtter

WorkOtter offers a highly customizable workflow experience with easy-to-use dashboards, a streamlined design and an intuitive user interface. The software is best for organizations that need to connect 10 users or more, with collaborative features that enable everyone to stay on top of a project, and the ability to customize your Kanban board. WorkOtter is designed for IT, engineering and professional service PMOs with a focus on delivering agile and scalable workflow resources for businesses. WorkOtter offers a 30-day implementation plan that enables organizations to test out the product, ask questions and get support as needed while integrating the software into the organization. WorkOtter has a 4.95 average rating from more than 140 reviews on Software Advice.

Pricing: WorkOtter offers tiers based on functionality, starting at $10 per user, per month for its Time/Status tier; $20 per user, per month for a Team account; and $35 per user, per month for a Manager account.

KanbanFlow

KanbanFlow is a simplified productivity tracking tool with a strong focus on Kanban boards to help your organization improve productivity and simplify communication. The user interface is minimalist, making it easy to see what needs to get done and who is assigned to each task. If your company uses the Pomodoro technique, you’ll be happy to know this software comes with a Pomodoro timer baked in and allows users to log their time spent working. Similar to other workflow management tools, KanbanFlow also integrates with other tools and software and offers several reporting features to analyze your workflow. KanbanFlow has a 4.5 star rating out of 49 reviews on Software Advice.

Pricing: KanbanFlow offers a limited-functionality free account with no user, board or time limits. Its Premium account starts at $5 per user, per month, and includes a robust set of features that will help implement Kanban in your organization.

Kanban Tool

Kanban Tool is a project management platform that focuses on helping companies implement Kanban into their workflow management and development processes. The software enables real-time collaboration and all the features you will need to enable Kanban in your organization, including task management, productivity tracking, process automation, deadline tracking, resource allocation and digital Kanban cards. Your team will have all the tools necessary to visualize tasks, limit WIPs and improve efficiency across the company. Kanban Tool has 60 reviews on Software Advice with a 4.75 rating.

Pricing: Kanban Tool offers a free account for up to two boards and two users. Its Team tier is $5 per user, per month, with unlimited boards and file attachments. Its Enterprise tier is $9 per user, per month, and adds features such as productivity tracking and process automation.

Workstreams

If your organization already uses Slack or Microsoft Teams, you can add an integration tool such as Workstreams to bring Kanban tools and workflow productivity tracking right into your Slack or Microsoft Team channels. With Workstreams, you can create flexible Kanban boards that use a bot to help you work alongside your team directly in Slack or Teams. You can create new tasks, turn messages into action items and pull performance reports directly from a Slack or Teams channel. It’s a great option for teams that don’t need additional workflow management features or a highly customizable tool and already rely on Slack or Teams for communication.

Pricing: Workstreams is free to add to Slack or Microsoft Teams, but for larger teams, its Pro tier is $9.99 per user, per month. Workstreams also offers an Enterprise tier; contact the company for pricing.


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