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Kanban has reached the film industry
With the Kanban boards in ARRI Webgate, we provide you and your team with a new collaborative project management tool. Record the phases of your work, track and optimize your workflow and keep a constant and fast overview of the progress being made in every single project. See who is working on what at a glance, and how far advanced the individual parts of your project are. Immediately recognize where there is need for action, where there are problems, where help is needed or what stage of processing your file, playlist, etc. is.
What is Kanban?
Kanban (Japanese for sign or card) is a work-management method that originally came from Toyota in the automotive industry. It helps teams optimize their workflows and processes.
Kanban – an easy start for your film project.
Kanban gives you an overview over your tasks and shows whether work on a given task has already begun or been completed.
Let’s say you want to complete part of a film project: for instance the preparation of a shoot. With this goal in mind, you can create a board and call it, for example, «Shoot Prep». You write down all the tasks related to this goal on this board in the form of cards. Each card has one task on it, and each task can then be allocated to a team member. You can also allocate cards to yourself if you want to do that particular job.
Kanban works with lists, or columns, that represent the phases in a process. The simplest form of Kanban comprises three columns:
This first column contains task cards, which show the entire team what jobs have to be done.
An example: If the filming locations are not yet finalized and Production has to decide on the location «Farmhouse» from a shortlist, this card would bear the title «Select Farmhouse Location External» in the To Do column, and the options would be shown on the card either in a checklist or an attached document. This means you have all the information about the various location options available to you at a glance.
When a team member begins work on a task, they allocate themself the card and pull it over into the next column entitled In Progress. The list in this column shows which tasks are currently being worked on.
In our example, the director would enter his/her name on the «Select Farmhouse Location External» card and where applicable also allocate that card to the producers. They can then together discuss the filmsets listed on the card.
When a task is completed it is moved to the Done column, where additional information and results can be documented on the card.
In our example, the card is moved to Done as soon as the director reaches an agreement with the producer. Which farmhouse they have chosen is noted in the comments field on the card. Now the whole team knows that the locations have been finalized and can see what they are on the card.
With this agile form of project management, everybody can always see who is working on what task and how far advanced the work is on that task. The method ensures that the tasks are spread efficiently between the team members, that transparency is high and project iterations go faster. It prevents redundant and parallel work.
How does that work in ARRI Webgate exactly?
In our example we have talked about allocations, checklists and attachments, and we will approach these things in more detail below. One of the good things about the virtual card is that there is an unlimited amount of space on it for information, unlike its analog version – the Post-It.
Allocating people to a card
A film team comprises specialists from various different departments, so it makes sense for it to be known when creating the task, who will be responsible for each task. In order to distribute responsibilities, the people responsible are noted on the card. In this way, everyone in the team knows what they are responsible for. Tasks can also be created without a person responsible for them initially, and the person who then takes that task on can put their name on the card. Also, if you don’t feel responsible for a task you have been allocated, you can take your name off the card and allocate the task to someone else.
Checklists are lists of items that can be crossed-off. They are like a To Do list within a card. They make it possible to determine various sub-tasks or requirements.
For example, you can distribute tasks among several checklists and thus create your own checklists for different people. In a progress bar on the card you can see at any time how many tasks have been completed.
Labels enable cards to be highlighted or categorized beyond the individual columns. For instance, cards can be labeled «Legal Department» if legal clearance is required for the task. A popular label, for example, is «Blocked», implying that more information is required before someone can begin work on the task.
Feedback and comments
Exchange comments on cards with your teammates. Discuss specific topics and collect feedback at a central location.
Mark people in comments (@name) to have them automatically notified and avoid email chaos. Subscribe to maps and boards to be informed about all activities.Further comment functions
A file, playlist, gallery, zip file or document can be attached to a card, in order to underline the contents of the card or provide important information. All contents from the ARRI Webgate Browser can be linked to a card.
Swipe over playlists or galleries to see a preview of the content they contain. Only users who have the necessary rights get access to your content.
Archive completed tasks
When a task is completed, you can move it to your archive. The task will disappear from your Kanban board and is stored in the archive. Important information and data are not lost, they can be viewed and browsed in the archive anytime.
The archive function will also come in handy during the «Daily Stand Up» - your daily team briefing. The team usually meets in front of the Kanban board and catches up on all tasks and their current status. If, for example, the «Done» column is filled with many cards, they can be archived all at once using the context menu of the column.
Why Kanban boards and why in ARRI Webgate?
A Kanban board helps you and your team visualize and keep track of your work. In the following, we show you how the Kanban technique can help you and optimize your work, using various workflows from the film industry.
Board members and their rights
Working together on the ARRI Webgate Board is similar to collaborating using the ARRI Webgate Browser. An ARRI Webgate user with the «Project Admin» role can create boards. All further Project Admins and Customer Admins are then taken on board automatically. All other members can then be invited to the board, whether they are internal or external.
Every board member can create and delete cards and allocate cards to team colleagues. All board members can see the comments on the cards. Board members can subscribe to individual cards and entire boards, in order to be informed of any related news. Content that is linked in cards from the Browser (e.g. playlists, images, …) is only shown to the users who have access to that content. They then gain access to the content by clicking on the file in question in the ARRI Webgate Browser. Unauthorized users see a message telling them that this content is not available to them. All users have access to the comments, the card descriptions and checklists, so that they can remain informed as to the news and sub-tasks.
Communication and feedback loops
All team members can access the board anytime and anywhere, so they always stay up to date and informed. This is particularly essential for teams that are spread around the globe.
HINT: Each team member can view the progress of the board on their own, but we recommend holding regular, brief (online) meetings, in which people concisely describe what card they are currently working on. A short team meeting that doesn’t have to take more than 10-15 minutes.
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It's your turn
You and your team know best of all what is going on in your workflow. So set up your Kanban board the way you think is best. The Kanban board in ARRI Webgate enables you and your team to maintain an overall view of the progress in individual tasks, to make tasks visible and to show what still has to be done, who is working on what and what is already finished.
We would love to hear your Feedback! Let us know how you use the new boards and how else they can still be improved so that you can integrated them better into your workflow.