Kanban for Custom WordPress Development

Kanban for Custom WordPress Development

Custom WordPress development can be a complex and demanding process. It requires efficient project management to ensure that tasks are organized, tracked, and completed on time. One highly effective project management approach that can significantly improve the development process is Kanban.

In this article, we’ll explore what Kanban is, its principles and practices, and how it can be applied to streamline custom WordPress development. We’ll also delve into best practices for Kanban development and discuss the unique challenges of custom development in the WordPress ecosystem.

1. What is Kanban?

Kanban, which means “visual card” or “billboard” in Japanese, is a project management methodology that originated at Toyota in the 1940s. It was initially developed to improve manufacturing processes, specifically in Kanban, and can be a game-changer in the automotive industry. However, Kanban has evolved and developed over the years, including software development and, more specifically, custom WordPress development.

1.1 Kanban Principles

Kanban is built upon several fundamental principles:

1.1.1 Visualizing Work

Kanban revolves around the concept of visualizing Work. Instead of relying on abstract task lists or complex project management software, Kanban uses physical or digital boards with cards representing individual tasks. Each card provides essential information about the job, including its title, description, assignee, and status. These boards serve as a real-time snapshot of the project’s progress, allowing team members to see the Work at a glance.

1.1.2 Limiting Work-in-Progress (WIP)

One of the core tenets of Kanban is limiting work-in-progress. This means that at any stage of the workflow, a predefined maximum number of tasks can be in progress simultaneously. For custom WordPress development teams, this restriction ensures that team members do not overcommit and complete tasks before taking on new ones. By limiting WIP, Kanban helps prevent bottlenecks and promotes a smooth and efficient workflow.

1.1.3 Managing Flow

Kanban places a strong emphasis on managing the flow of Work. It seeks to eliminate interruptions and obstacles that can slow down the project. By visualizing and actively managing the workflow, teams can identify and address issues that impede progress, leading to faster task completion and better overall project efficiency.

1.1.4 Making Process Policies Explicit

Kanban makes process policies explicit. This means the rules, guidelines, and standards for handling tasks are transparent and standardized. Team members know precisely how to move jobs from one stage to another, and this clarity reduces misunderstandings and errors in the development process.

1.2 Kanban Practices

Kanban is not just about principles; it also involves specific practices that teams follow to implement them effectively. Some critical Kanban practices include:

1.2.1 Creating a Board

To implement Kanban, you start by creating a Kanban board. Using specialized software, this board can be physical, like a whiteboard with sticky notes, or digital. A digital Kanban tool such as Trello, Jira, or Asana can be highly effective in custom WordPress development. The board is divided into columns representing different stages of the workflow.

1.2.2 Setting Work-in-Progress Limits

As mentioned earlier, setting work-in-progress (WIP) limits is a crucial practice in Kanban. Each column on the Kanban board has a defined WIP limit, indicating the maximum number of tasks in that column at once. For instance, you might set a WIP limit of three tasks for the “In Progress” column. This constraint ensures that team members focus on completing tasks before starting new ones, reducing multitasking and improving efficiency.


With its principles and practices, Kanban offers a highly adaptable and efficient approach to project management that can be tailored to suit the specific needs of custom WordPress development projects. It provides teams with the tools and methodologies to streamline workflows, enhance collaboration, and deliver high-quality WordPress solutions on time and within budget.

2. Kanban for WordPress Development

Now, let’s apply Kanban principles and practices to custom WordPress development.

2.1 Creating a Board

Begin by creating a Kanban board specifically tailored to your WordPress development project. The board should have columns representing different stages of development, such as:

  • Backlog: This is where you list all the tasks that need to be done, such as feature requests, bug fixes, and enhancements.
  • To-Do: Tasks ready to be worked on but haven’t been started yet.
  • In Progress: Tasks that team members are actively working on.
  • Testing: Once a task is completed, it moves to the testing phase to ensure it functions correctly.
  • Done: Tasks that have been completed and are ready for deployment.

2.2 Setting Work-in-Progress Limits

Implement work-in-progress (WIP) limits for each column on your Kanban board. For example, you might simultaneously modify the “In Progress” column to two tasks. This prevents team members from taking on too much work simultaneously and ensures that Work moves smoothly through the pipeline.

3. Kanban Development Best Practices

When using Kanban for WordPress development, consider these best practices:

  • Regular Stand-Up Meetings: Conduct daily stand-up meetings to discuss progress, roadblocks, and task assignments. This keeps the team aligned and informed.
  • Prioritize and Refine: Continuously prioritize tasks in the backlog based on their importance and potential impact. Refine user stories and requirements as needed.
  • Collect Metrics: Use metrics like lead time and cycle time to measure the efficiency of your development process. This data can help identify areas for improvement.
  • Continuous Improvement: Encourage your team to suggest improvements to the Kanban process. Kaizen, the philosophy of constant improvement, is a fundamental aspect of Kanban.

4. Custom Development

Custom WordPress development often involves building unique features, themes, or plugins tailored to clients’ needs. Kanban can be particularly beneficial in this context, allowing flexibility and adaptability to changing requirements.

5. Wrapping Up

In conclusion, using Kanban for custom WordPress development can significantly enhance your project management processes. By visualizing Work, setting WIP limits, and following Kanban principles and practices, you can streamline your development workflow, improve team collaboration, and deliver high-quality WordPress solutions more efficiently.

For more guidance on WordPress-related topics, be sure to check out our other articles:

Implement Kanban in your WordPress development projects, and watch as your team’s productivity and project success soar.