Portfolio Kanban

To effectively align your organization, you must have clear goals, that connect to well-defined deliverables. By leveraging Portfolio Kanban samples, you can visualize those goals on a Kanban board and make sure that they flow to completion. The key is to connect these goals to specific high-level deliverables, that can be broken down into smaller work items to be completed in short cycles by dedicated teams of experts.

The portfolio Kanban board provides full traceability to ensure that everyone keeps their focus on what the organization deems the most valuable based on set goals. By visualizing and flowing goals (WHY) on a Strategic Kanban board and doing the same for connected deliverables (WHAT) on a Discovery Kanban board,  the teams responsible for delivering the final work items (HOW), can easily report their progress through their Team Kanban board. This is all possible by creating Kanban boards that reflect the ideal way to flow your work and linking cards between connected boards. Physical Kanban boards will hardly help you build a Portfolio Kanban. To get all the benefits of the method, you’ll need a Kanban software solution.

Are you ready to achieve your goals by using the most efficient way to flow your work across your organization?

Kanban Zone was designed to accomplish exactly that and our team of experienced coaches can help you set up the solution that meets your precise needs. Our success is your success, so let’s work together to unleash the full potential of your organization.

portfolio kanban

Design & Connect

Flow work efficiently by visualizing all layers across your organization from ideation to completion. There are different models to leverage a Portfolio Kanban system for your organization, but Kanban Zone can create the model that works best for your needs. When you purchase a plan from Kanban Zone, we include coaching services to help you set up a single board, or connected boards within your ideal Portfolio Kanban template/model.

  • For product management, you can use these levels: Initiative > Feature > Team
  • For project management, you can use these levels: Program > Project > Deliverable
  • For marketing or sales, you can use these levels: Campaign > Activity > Task
  • Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) promotes these four levels: Portfolio > Solution > Program > Team
  • To map your enterprise using a traditional project-based approach, you could use these levels: Strategy > Program > Project > Team

Portfolio Kanban Board Example

The most common model we use when transforming large organizations to benefit from Agile and Kanban is the one below that leverages Strategy, Discovery, Teams and Communities of Practices. The full organization also includes boards to complement these four levels like a Release board to manage the way to release/communicate the work; and other functional boards to manage areas like Sales, Marketing, Finance, Human Resources, etc…


Roles are typically:
Executives, Enterprise Architect,  Security Officer, Stakeholders.

Cards can be represented as:
Goals, Initiatives, Metrics.

Portfolio Kanban - Strategy Template

The cards on the Strategy board are associated to investment categories illustrated on the board above as colored card labels. These cards are linked using a parent/child relationship to cards on the Discovery board. Because our coaching focuses on building the most efficient way to flow work across your organization, we often re-structure organizations around products, which can be actual products or groups of capabilities (services or processes) that are categorized as products. Each product has a team of experts that uses a Discovery board to define, evaluate and prioritize the work for that product.


Roles are typically:
Product Owner, Architect, UX Designer, Subject Matter Experts.

Cards can be represented as:
Features, Themes, Modules, Epics.

Portfolio Kanban - Discovery Template

The cards on the Discovery board are large amounts of work that can be categorized as feature work focused on delighting customers, and operational work to support the product as well as manage the technical debt of that product. Each product has a team of experts that uses a Discovery board to define, evaluate and prioritize the work for that product. Once the cards are clear on the Discovery board, they can be broken into smaller cards on the Team boards using again a parent/child relationship.

Delivery Teams

Roles are typically:
Engineers, Testers, Analysts.

Cards can be represented as:
Stories, Defects, Spikes, Enhancements.

Portfolio Kanban - Delivery Template for Software Team

Each team can have their own Kanban board with their specific way of flowing their work. The cards from the Team boards are children of the parent cards on the Discovery board, but just like all cards in Kanban Zone, you can also identify your dependencies between cards by using the predecessor/successor relationship. These dependencies can be associated to cards on the same board, or other boards to create more connected boards.

Communities of Practice

Roles are typically:
Sponsor, Practitioners, Experts.

Cards can be represented as:
Improvements, Problems.

Portfolio Kanban - Community of Practice

Because Team boards use focused on specific work, we also incorporate Community of Practice boards to create improvements across the products, functions and ultimately the entire organization. These boards can leverage the Learning Dojo approach to learn, share and improve as a team. Each Community of Practice must have a clear charter with a sponsor to guide and implement all the great improvement opportunities that will be generated by these Kaizen teams.

Focus on your business by leveraging our Kanban expertise...

Our Kanban coaching services are included, so that we can interact with your team to build the ideal solution that meets your needs and exceed your expectations. Once you are setup with Kanban Zone, you can schedule your coaching session, so that we can infuse continuous improvement in all your processes.

Start flowing your work on Kanban Zone and visualize results fast.

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

Unleash the power of visual management!

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

No credit card | No contract | No risk