Close up shot of two businessmen pointing at a Kanban Board

Kanban boards are extremely useful visual aids to understanding workload, progress, and completion of tasks. When you understand the way that they work, you will see your tasks speed up. Business owners, project managers, and supervisors are all reading this rubbing their hands together, thinking about the speed and efficiency improvements. They may even be thinking that projects can’t go too fast. The good thing is they can. You can lose sight of the bigger picture. The end goals can become fuzzy memories when trying to piece all of the individual steps together. This article is going to look over the best portfolio Kanban benefits you can expect.

Don’t let that put you off the idea of Kanban, though. There is a way that you can help keep track of your projects, no matter how big they are. The Portfolio Kanban is designed to integrate many fast-moving parts of a project into one larger outcome. All while still having the control and visibility that the Kanban system provides. This article will discuss how that works and how it will help you after you implement it.

What is A Portfolio Kanban System?

The easiest way to explain what a Portfolio Kanban system is is to think of it as a flow chart of ideas, concepts, and deliverables. A personal Kanban system is a comprehensive, accurate, and visual to-do list. However, a portfolio Kanban can incorporate as many of those as you want—all with a hierarchy that keeps everything aligned to end goals. You can look at a Portfolio Kanban as a Parent and Child arrangement, where the Parent Kanban boards will update automatically based on the Child boards’ status.

The great thing about Portfolio Kanban is their customization ability. Whether you are using them for website building, construction, or larger projects, you can break a portfolio down into as many sections as you need. With the automatic Parent updates, you will have various visibility angles to work with, too.

Does A Portfolio Kanban Board Have Benefits?

A board in the physical sense, such as with the personal Kanban methods, have no benefits, is pretty unrealistic. If that is really the approach you want to take, you could try. However, it won’t be long until you get confused, disorientated, and have to regroup to start again. There is no easy way to utilize a physical board for Portfolio Kanban, and they have very few benefits. Therefore, you are limited to software.

We could run over the options of spreadsheets again. However, we have already covered the downsides to that in the personal Kanban link above. So, we have narrowed down the choices to dedicated software. Now we will take a look through that software’s capabilities and tell you how it can help your business.

Portfolio Kanban Software Benefits

The primary benefits of Portfolio Kanban software are:

  • Separation. When you run larger operations, you need to separate projects into a few different groups. First of all, you can assign different tasks to individual teams responsible for them. Furthermore, you can segregate sub-tasks into larger assignments. Essentially, you get:
    • Overall Operation
    • Projects
    • Assignments
    • Tasks
  • Visualization. With the correct software, you can see exactly how far through any of those steps any team is at any time. For example, you have one large overall operation, two projects, with five assignments each. Furthermore, you could have ten tasks per assignment. Of course, you can have as many as you require, but those numbers are easy to see. If 50% of the tasks are complete, the Portfolio Kanban will show 50% of the assignments, projects, and overall operation complete. If you add a further ten tasks to each assignment, the overall operation will reduce to 25%. That is a huge benefit of portfolio Kanban systems.
  • Communication. Communication between teams, management, and supervisors is critical to getting things right. However, some people find that meetings to discuss what stage people are at a waste of their time. Moreover, slowing down productivity – and we agree. With the visibility that a Portfolio Kanban system provides, you see how far each team is through their tasks and assignments, thus stopping the need for meetings.
  • Control. Divide et impera as Phillip II of Macedon (Macedonia), and more famously, Julius Caesar and Napoleon said, translates into divide and rule. Divide and conquer is the more common phrase. Although used for war, it is a very apt phrase for Portfolio Kanban systems. The more you can divide the work you have into manageable pieces, the better you can control the process.

Who Is Responsible For Managing the Portfolio Kanban?

The epic owner is responsible for managing the portfolio Kanban. However, that is only on a high level. They decide what work needs to be where and given to whom. If this is your first time reading about Kanban, you will likely wonder what an epic is. An epic is a large collection of work that is performance-related. They are broken down into smaller tasks that would be a project.


In conclusion, a portfolio Kanban’s overall benefit is that it gives you complete, accurate, and up-to-date information for multiple projects. They all interlink, giving you a visual representation of overall progress. Furthermore, your team can pull jobs at the speed which is optimal for them.

There are many other individual benefits to using Portfolio Kanban software. However, each of those benefits will depend on your own business requirements. Furthermore, while we have given four examples of stages, you can add as many or as few as you like.

If you would like to find out more about how a portfolio Kanban system can help your business, sign up for a free trial.

This was a guest blog. Please review our guest blog disclaimer.

Learn to Work Smarter, Not Harder!

Get our top articles weekly.

About the Author: Steve Gecko

Steve has a great interest in business management and making use of the best tools for the job. He is a passionate blogger and entrepreneur.

Table Of Contents

Discover many more posts…

Unleash the Power of Lean Visual Management!

Boost traceability, and collaboration across all organizational levels with Kanban Zone!

No credit card | No contract | No risk