Kanban Facilities

The Kanban project management methodology helps you to develop a dynamic, easy-to-view progress summary of the stages of development of a project, where the stages are represented as lanes and sub lanes of a diagram. In Enterprise Architect, you can apply a form of this methodology to your project administration diagrams to monitor and manage the flow of work in a particular area.

The stages of development can be defined by the value of a project management property, such as Phase, Version or Status, or a Tagged Value of type Enumeration or String. The elements that represent each task or object of a task are initially placed in the lanes for the earlier stages of the project, and work on the task is reflected by moving the corresponding element to a different lane on the diagram. Dragging an element from one lane to another automatically changes the value of the selected project management property of the element to the value that the lane represents.

In this illustration, the lanes identify what work is being performed in each stage of development of a computer game, whilst the sub lanes of the 'In Progress' lane identify work currently assigned to two specific developers.

Access Diagram | Swimlanes, Matrix and Kanban > Kanban

Define the Kanban diagram

Option/Button

Action

See also

Active

Click on this checkbox to set the diagram to use the Kanban definition, as opposed to any Swimlanes or Swimlane Matrix facilities that have also been defined.

Swimlanes Matrix Swimlanes

Line Color

Click on the drop-down arrow and select the color in which to display lane borders. This color does not apply to sub lane borders, which are automatically set to a pale or dark color to contrast with the lane fill color.

If the color you require is not shown, click on the Other button and either select from a wider range of standard colors or define a custom color.

The border style is automatically set to the 'chisled' effect to give the appearance of 3D blocks on a background, the color of the background being the line color. The effect is more obvious if you set the line to a pale color and not black.

Standard Colors Create Custom Colors

Font Color

Click on the drop-down arrow and select the color in which to display the text in the Kanban lane and sub lane headings.

If the color you require is not shown, click on the Other button and either select from a wider range of standard colors or define a custom color.

Create Custom Colors Standard Colors

A

Click on this button to display the 'Font' dialog, through which you define the font and style, size and effects of the text in the Kanban lane and sub lane headings.

If you also change the text color here, it overrides the setting of the 'Font Color' field.

Set Element Font

Title Color

Click on the drop-down arrow and select the color to use across the lane heading cells (separate from the fill colors you can apply individually to each of the lanes themselves).

If the color you require is not shown, click on the Other button and either select from a wider range of standard colors or define a custom color.

Standard Colors Create Custom Colors

Overfilled Color

Click on the drop-down arrow and select the color with which to fill a Kanban column if it contains more than the maximum number of elements. You set the maximum number of elements when you define the lanes to work with, in the Lanes panel.

If the color you require is not shown, click on the Other button and either select from a wider range of standard colors or define a custom color.

Create Custom Colors Standard Colors

Line Width

Click on the drop-down arrow and select the line width of the Kanban lane borders - either 1 (thinnest), 2 or 3 (thickest).

Locked

Select this checkbox to prevent the lanes in the diagram from being made narrower or wider. You cannot change the depth of the header cell even if this checkbox is clear.

Bold Font

Select this checkbox to display the lane headings in bold (if their font definition does not already set them to bold).

Hide Names

Select this checkbox to hide the lane heading cells containing the lane names. Sub lane names are not hidden.

Hand Drawn

Select this checkbox to display the Kanban lanes and the elements on the diagram in 'Hand-drawn' mode.

Configure Diagram Display

Show Names in Title Bar

Select this checkbox to display the Lane names (but not the sub lane names) in the diagram title bar, above the lanes.

Enable Overfill Highlight

Select this checkbox to apply the 'overfilled' color to the lane if it contains more elements than the defined maximum number (see New).

Value

Click on the button and select, firstly, the type of property to test for in assigning elements to lanes, either:

  • Element properties, or
  • Tagged Value (Enumeration or String types only), or
  • None (if you want to manually manage elements on the basis of some value that is not captured in the element properties or Tagged Values)

If you select 'Element', also select one of the properties: 'Phase', 'Version', 'Priority' (for Requirement-type elements) or 'Status'.

If you select 'Tagged Value', also choose to either 'Create' a new tag (and simply type in the name) or 'Select' an existing one.

In the latter case, the 'Kanban Tagged Value selection' dialog displays. On the dialog, click on the appropriate radio button to select either from a list of 'Global Tagged Values', or from a list of 'Tagged Values from a selected element'; click on the Select Element button to browse for the element anywhere in the model.

In the 'Tagged Value' field, click on the drop-down arrow and select the reference Tagged Value from those listed. Click on the OK button.

The 'Value' field now displays either the element property or the Tagged Value you have selected.

New

Click on this button to define a new lane on the Kanban diagram. The 'Kanban Lane Details' dialog displays:

  • In the 'Name' field, click on the drop-down arrow and select the property value that the lane represents and that the lane title will reflect; the drop-down list generally provides a list of appropriate values, but you can type in other values if necessary
  • In the 'Max Items' field, leave the value set to 0 if you do not want to limit the number of elements that can be placed in a lane, or type in the maximum number allowed; if this number is exceeded AND you have selected to highlight an overfill with a different lane color (see 'Enable Overfill Highlight') the lane will change to that overfill color
  • In the 'Back color' field, click on the drop-down arrow and select the fill color for the lane; if the color you require is not shown, click on the Other button and either select from a wider range of standard colors or define a custom color
  • Click on the OK button to add the lane definition to the 'Lanes' list and the lane to the diagram; the lane name displays in the title cell at the top of the lane with, if you have defined a 'Max Items' of more than 1, the number of elements in the column and the maximum number allowed

Modify

Click on an entry in the 'Lanes' list and click on this button to display either:

  • The 'Kanban Lane Details' dialog for the selected lane, to change the details as necessary (see New, above), or
  • The 'Edit sub lane name' dialog for the selected sub lane, to change the sub lane name

Delete

Click on an entry in the 'Lanes' list and click on this button to delete:

  • The lane and all its sub lanes, clearing them from the diagram; a prompt displays for you to confirm the deletion, or
  • The sub lane, clearing that from the diagram and resizing any sibling sub lanes to fill the width of the lane; no confirmatory prompt displays

Lanes

This panel lists the currently defined lanes and sub lanes, in the sequence (top to bottom) in which they are displayed on the diagram (left to right). You can operate on the items in this list using the dialog buttons or the context menu options.

Click on an entry in the Lanes list and click on this button to move the entry one line up in the list, and one lane to the left on the diagram.

Click on an entry in the Lanes list and click on this button to move the entry one line down in the list, and one lane to the right on the diagram.

OK

Click on this button to save and apply your changes, and close the dialog.

Cancel

Click on this button to abort your changes, and close the dialog.

Lane Panel Context Menu Options

Lane and sub lane items in the 'Lanes' panel have their own right-click context menu options.

Option

Action

See also

Edit lane properties

Select this option to display the 'Kanban Lane Details' dialog for the selected lane, to change the details as necessary (see New).

Edit name

For the selected sub lane, click on this option to display the 'Edit sub lane name' dialog and overtype the sub lane name with a new name.

Create sub lane

Select this option to add a sub lane to the selected lane. The 'Create sub lane' dialog displays, in which you simply type the name of the sub lane in the 'Enter value' field, then click on the OK button to add it to the lane. A sub lane:

  • Applies the type defined by the parent lane to any element placed within it
  • Has no maximum value of its own, but contributes to the maximum of the parent lane
  • Cannot be resized within the lane; its width is determined by the width of the lane and the number of sub lanes in the lane

Delete lane

Select this option to delete:

  • The selected lane and all its sub lanes, clearing them from the diagram; a prompt displays for you to confirm the deletion, or
  • The selected sub lane, clearing it from the diagram and resizing any sibling lanes to fill the width of the lane; no confirmatory prompt displays

Copy sub lanes

Select this option to copy all the sub lanes of the selected lane, to be pasted into another lane.

Copy lane

Select this option to copy the selected individual sub lane, to be pasted into another lane.

Paste lane(s)

Pastes the copied sub lanes from the clipboard into the selected lane.

Notes

  • Sub lanes are not backwards compatible with earlier releases of Enterprise Architect; if you open a Kanban diagram containing sub lanes in a release of the system earlier than 12.1, the sub lanes will be permanently deleted from the diagram
  • The elements in a Kanban diagram individually represent work in progress; you cannot create connectors between elements on the diagram
  • If you apply a Kanban definition to a current diagram, all connectors on the diagram are hidden; when you de-activate the definition, the connectors are shown again
  • When you first set up a Kanban diagram, any element on the diagram that does not have one of the defined property values is moved to the right-hand side of the diagram
  • Moving an element into a lane automatically sets the appropriate property of that element to the value represented by the lane; for a Tagged Value, if the element does not have that tag, adding the element to the lane adds the tag and sets it to the lane value
  • Elements on a Kanban diagram are automatically adjusted to match the width of the lane or sub lane they are in, both when the element is moved into a lane and when the lane width is changed
  • All elements added to a Kanban diagram initially have the same height and spacing, but the height can change as displayable information is added to an element