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Kanban Diagram Options

Enterprise Architect provides a number of options for generating a new Kanban diagram or for opening an existing Kanban diagram. Having opened the diagram, you can define its structure, content and appearance. It is also possible to configure a diagram of any other type to be a Kanban diagram, by simply adding Kanban properties to it. This powerful design feature means that a diagram containing, for example, a set of User Stories could simply be changed to a Kanban diagram and the team could immediately begin using this flexible, lean, project management method.

Access

Ribbon

Construct > Task Management > Kanban > (options to generate and/or open a Kanban diagram)    or

Start > Today > My Kanban (displays personal default Kanban diagram)

     Then

Design > Diagram > Manage > Kanban (on an open Kanban diagram)

Context Menu

On a Kanban diagram, double-click on a lane

On any other type of diagram, right-click on background | Kanban

Define the Kanban Diagram

To define the structure, content and appearance of a Kanban diagram, you use the 'Kanban' dialog.

Kanban Options - Configuration

You use the 'Configuration' page of the 'Kanban' dialog to set up some basic Kanban properties, such as whether Kanban is enabled on the diagram, if the names are shown in the title bar of the diagram and if the width of each swimlane is locked.

Additionally, on this page you can set up the automatic filling of a Kanban diagram based on Packages or SQL searches.

To fill a diagram based on a Package, simply click on the Add button and on the 'Add Package' option, select the required Package from the 'Select a Package' browser, and then click on the Run Search button. This will automatically add any missing elements based on the search. The search is additive and will only add elements not currently on the diagram; it will not remove elements that no longer match the search. The Package search can be filtered using a search created on the 'Filters' page (see the Kanban Options - Filters section).

Alternatively, you can write a custom SQL search to fill the diagram, by clicking on the 'Custom SQL' tab and adding the appropriate SQL. In order for the diagram to be filled, you must include in the SQL Select statement:

     Object_ID as Element_ID

It is not possible to use both a Package search and a custom SQL search at the same time.

Option

Action

See also

Enabled

Select the checkbox to apply any of the Kanban functionality to the diagram. If the checkbox is not selected, the diagram will behave as a non-Kanban diagram.

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. These will be visible once the lanes are defined.

Swimlane width locked

Select this checkbox to prevent the lanes in the diagram from being made narrower or wider.

Run Search

If you want to fill a Kanban diagram automatically, you can set up either a Package search or a custom SQL search. When the search is set up, you click on the Run Search button to fill the diagram.

Add

On the 'Package' tab, if you are using a search or filter (from the 'Filters' page of the dialog) you must define a Package or Packages for the search or filter to work on. You do this by clicking the Add button and choosing either 'Add Package' to browse to a selected Package, or 'Search Model' to search or filter from all elements in the current model.

Remove

If you want to clear a Package from the list (or the whole-model selection) click on the item line and click on this button.

Include Child Packages

If you have selected a Package with a child structure, select this checkbox to also include the elements from the structure in the Kanban diagram, or clear the checkbox to include elements from the selected Package only.

Kanban Options - Filters

The 'Filters' page can be used in conjunction with the Package search defined on the 'Configuration' page, should you want to apply additional filtering.

It is possible to import a model search that has already been created, or to create new filters here exactly as you would for any other model search.

When adding any of these searches or filters, you must also select at least one Package for the search or filter to work in; you do this on the 'Configuration' page of this 'Kanban' dialog.

Option

Action

See also

Import Search

Click on this button to import a search from either an external XML file ('From File') or from the current model ('From EA').

Element Filters

Add Filter

Click on this button to define the properties of elements that you want to be added automatically to your Kanban diagram.

  • Note that not all element types will be added to Kanban diagrams; the list of excluded types includes Constraint, Note, Port, ProvidedInterface, RequiredInterface, Boundary, Hyperlink, StateNode, Text, GUIElement, Package, UMLDiagram, InterruptibleActivityRegion and ExpansionRegion
Add Filters

Edit Filter

Click on this button to edit the currently selected filter in the list.

Optional / Required

Choose 'Optional' if the filters will be applied with a logical OR relationship. Choose 'Required' if the filters will be applied with a logical AND relationship.

Remove Filter

Click on this button to delete the currently selected filter from the list.

Kanban Options - Lanes

The 'Lanes' page helps you to create, modify and delete the primary lanes on a Kanban diagram. You can create the lanes manually, or you can define a property that the lanes bind to, so that the lanes are generated automatically from that property when you click on the Fill from binding button. You can also add lanes that are not bound to the property. For each lane you can define the maximum number of elements that can be placed in the lane before triggering the 'Overfilled' indicator, and the fill color of the lane. You can also define the default lane that new elements are added to.

Option

Action

See also

Bind Kanban to

Click on the button and select the property to bind lanes to. This will be one of:

  • Element, or
  • Tagged Value (enumeration or string types only), or
  • None (makes all lanes unbound).

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

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 which you 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.

The Global Tagged Values or those from the element are provided to the 'Tagged Value' field. Click on the drop-down arrow on the right of the field and select the reference Tagged Value from those listed. Click on the OK button.

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

Fill from binding

If you have chosen an element property to bind the Kanban lanes to, click on the Fill from binding button to fill the lane list with existing values of that property. This will delete all old lanes before creating a new lane for each of the new values. Once the lanes have been created in this way, they can be renamed, reordered and added to.

Name

The name of each lane can be filled automatically using the Fill from binding button. You can overtype the names; these do not have to be unique but they cannot be blank.

Max Items

You can set the maximum number of elements that can be placed in each lane. If someone tries to move an element into a lane that has reached or exceeded its maximum number, the heading of the lane will be displayed in the 'Overfilled' color you define and enable on the 'Appearance' page. This gives an visual indication that action might have to be taken to clear what appears to be a bottleneck in the workflow process.

Color

Several or all of the lanes can have the same fill color, or you can set a different color for each lane independent of the other lanes. Either:

  • Leave the 'Color' value set to 'Default' (set on the 'Preferences' dialog, 'Gradients and Background' page), or
  • Overtype 'Default' with the hex code number for the required color, or
  • Click on the drop-down arrow and select a color from the displayed palette

The actual color is shown in the box at the left of the field.

Diagram Gradients and Backgrounds

Default

You can nominate one of your lanes as the default; that is, the lane to which new elements are added if they don't match the binding property. For example, if a Kanban diagram is bound to 'Priority' and has the lanes 'Low', 'Medium' and 'High', with 'Low' as the default, when an element with a Priority of 'Undetermined' is added, it will be placed into the default 'Low' lane. You can only select one 'Default' checkbox; clicking on a checkbox clears any previously-selected checkbox.

Unbound

The Unbound property essentially makes a primary lane the same as a sub-lane. Moving an element into an unbound lane will set the element's bound property to the left most bound lane. Consider a 'Phase' Kanban diagram with these lanes, in order:

  • To Do (Default, Unbound)
  • Implement (Bound)
  • To Do (Unbound)
  • Review (Bound)
  • To Do (Unbound)
  • Deploy (Bound)

Newly added elements will be added to the left-most 'To Do' lane with whatever priority value they previously had. Moving them to the 'Implement' lane will then set the phase to 'Implement'. When the implementation is complete, the element can be moved to the 'To Do' lane before 'Review' without updating the element's phase until it is moved into the 'Review' lane.

New

Click on this button to define a new lane on the Kanban diagram.

Delete

Click on a line in the 'Lanes' list and click on this button to delete the lane.

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.

Kanban Options - Sub-lanes

Sub-lanes are a useful device for defining another level in the workflow; for example, you might want to divide the 'In-Progress' lane into a number of sub-lanes representing the individual developers, or any lane into 'In-Progress' and 'Complete'. The 'Sub-lanes' page helps you to quickly and easily create any number of new sub-lanes for a Kanban diagram.

You add sub-lanes simply by clicking on the New button and, in the 'Name' column, typing the sub-lane name. Alternatively, you can leave the default string '<anonymous>' to create an un-named sub-lane, which can be useful for organizing lanes that have lots of elements.

Once you have created sub-lanes, they must be applied to one or more parent lanes by selecting the checkbox under the column heading for each parent lane that is to contain the sub-lane. To assign every sub-lane to every lane, you can click on the Check all button, and to clear this total assignment click on the Uncheck all button. You can also change the order of the sub-lanes across all their parent lanes in the Kanban diagram, by clicking on the sub-lane names and using the up-hand and down-hand buttons.

Within a specific parent lane column you can apply custom sorting to the sub-lanes, so that the sub-lanes in that lane are in a different sequence to the same sub-lanes in a different lane. For a column that has assigned sub-lanes (contains selected checkboxes) right-click on the header and select the 'Set lane order' option. A small dialog displays, in which you click on the sub-lane names and use the up-hand and down-hand buttons to put them in the required sequence. Click on the OK button to clear the dialog and apply the sub-lane. If a sub-lane order has been customized, you can return it to the 'across-the-board' order by right-clicking the header again and selecting the 'Reset lane order' option.

Option

Action

See also

Kanban Options - Appearance

Using the 'Appearance' page, you can set the Kanban diagram appearance options such as the line and font colors and use of the Hand Drawn mode.

Objects on a Kanban diagram are, by default, drawn using the Info View style. You can select from the checkbox list at the bottom of the 'Appearance' page to set the properties to display on the elements.

Option

Action

See also

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

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 'chiseled' 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

A

Click on this button to display the 'Font' dialog, through which you define the font and the 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 lane heading cell if the lane 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' page.

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

Underfill Color

Click on the drop-down arrow and select the color with which to fill a lane heading cell if the column contains fewer than the maximum number of elements, in other words there is available capacity. You set the maximum number of elements when you define the lanes to work with, in the 'Lanes' page.

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.

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).

Vertical Spacing

Set this to 'Small', 'Medium' or 'Large' to define the degree of vertical separation between elements in a Kanban lane.

Hide Names

Select this checkbox to hide the lane names and the column heading cells.

Bold Font

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

Hand Drawn

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

Configure Diagram Display

Enable Overfill Highlight

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

Enable Underfill Highlight

Select this checkbox to apply the 'underfilled' color to the lane header cell if the lane contains fewer elements than the defined maximum number; that is, if it has any spare capacity.

Use Kanban drawing style

Select this option if you want to apply the Kanban style to the elements on this Kanban diagram. Also, select the checkbox against each element property or characteristic to be shown in the elements:

  • Type
  • Status
  • Version
  • Priority
  • Bold name
  • Stereotype
  • Phase
  • Author
  • Truncate name
  • Icon

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 Release 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