Is anyone aware of freely available KANBAN materials that can help students (and myself!) reinforce the key concepts? I understand that the main concepts are not actually that complicated. Ideally, I'm looking for worksheets or activities that can be done to bolster understanding before my students begin year-long group projects that will utilize the method.

It would be a wonderful extra bonus if the materials helped point the way around traps that beginners to the process might fall into.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ For emacsers : See org-kanban which has this demo Inspired by this blog post. Disclaimer: I've used emacs for over 25 years. And org mode for 10-15. But kanban and above links I've no idea about. Youtube etc will give you a bunch of stuff if you search org mode and GTD (David Allen's book "Getting things done") $\endgroup$
    – Rushi
    Commented Aug 29, 2020 at 3:29

2 Answers 2


I have found trello quite a good tool to communicate the ideas of Kanban in class. You can do an example in class of "To do" "In progress" and "Complete" for a very simple version of the board... decide how to assign tasks to people/ allow people pull tasks, color code for a category or priority, add weightings (effort/time) and deadlines/targets... all very easy to use.

enter image description here

There are also plugins that can enhance the use of trello such as

  • Kanban WIP for Trello
  • Trello Folds (Kanban for Trello)

There is a full tutorial here that you will find useful as a resource and as a guide. Play with it, try it out and see what you think.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I may well accept this answer, and I almost never believe in doing that. Wonderful!! $\endgroup$
    – Ben I.
    Commented Aug 30, 2020 at 2:56
  • $\begingroup$ It's worth pointing out Scrum as well, sometimes referred to as ScrumBan- I use a plugin for Chrome for this myself. Trello also has some nice ideas on a teaching structure: trello.com/b/twkQ9PiL/brainstation-product-resources $\endgroup$
    – srattigan
    Commented Aug 30, 2020 at 23:34

Note: Agile and Lean are pretty much the same thing. Scrumban is a very subtly modified scrum, to replace time boxes with kanban technique of minimising work in progress.

I have seen lots of writing and talks that discuss the observation that too heavy a focus on tools distracts from the core principles. Therefore others and I suggest that you don't use specialist tools. If possible use paper or white boards, or use a shared document (e.g. google docs). Having the class invent the tool will help them understand what it is doing for them, and what it is not.

e.g. is it needed (not value added): putting stuff on the board early, it then becomes obsolete, before it is used. Or putting too much effort into a board item, but its value does not match the effort.

  • $\begingroup$ We were planning on having physical, paper boards in the room along with post-it notes, but then we were shifted over to full virtual again. Right now, at least for just that part, Trello seems less cumbersome than a google doc - creating and moving cards around is super streamlined. Most of the reason I'm asking this question is because I'm looking out for beginner mistakes that I am unaware of, and I want my students to hit the ground running once their projects begin in October or November. (continued below) $\endgroup$
    – Ben I.
    Commented Aug 31, 2020 at 17:15
  • $\begingroup$ (continued) If it turns out to really be as simple as it seems, then there's little cause to do any in-depth teaching. I just don't want my students to suffer if I've missed something significant :) $\endgroup$
    – Ben I.
    Commented Aug 31, 2020 at 17:16
  • $\begingroup$ I have used a google doc as a virtual shared white board. But if the tool you are looking at simulates cards, that can be moved and written on. Then I would expect it to be easier. The essential bit is keep it simple: avoid not value added. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 1, 2020 at 6:42

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.