Kanban tips for a UX team?


My UX team (made of researchers and designers) is considering adopting Kanban to help manage our tasks. Many of our team are assigned to multiple projects and we often find non-UX work getting thrown into the mix. We essentially need a way to manage our workload so that it is reasonable and to prioritize tasks in a way that has corporate buy-in (and hopefully eliminate the tasks we shouldn’t be doing). However, there are some things that we aren’t sure how to address.

  1. How do we account for the fact that several people will work on the same task when it comes to establishing WIPs? Involving multiple people takes time away from other tasks they could be doing, but it’s critical given how collaborative UX is.

  2. Should we instate deadlines or have periodic demonstrations of work completed? Currently we work with deadlines, many of which are arbitrary and, in the case of researchers, don’t take into account the fact that we’re often dependent on user’s schedules for when they can meet with us. I could see having a “Soft” deadline… but in my experience, many companies treat soft deadlines as hard ones, and this kind of defeates the point of kanban.

So any UXers who use Kanban out there… do you have any suggestions? Or tips for what else we should try? Or warnings on what to avoid?


In terms of question 1, would 10 minute morning stand up suffice as a WIP? It seems as though it would be beneficial for everyone to have an idea of what the others are working on but the whole team does not need to be at the longer in depth WIPS? That way those working on other projects are still kept in the loop but don’t need to be fully involved unless they note something in the standup that will need more of their time that day.