TopLeft Kanban Board Ideas for MSPs

Need inspiration for your TopLeft Kanban boards? Here are a few examples of Kanban boards that can be used to show tickets and opportunities from ConnectWise Manage.

Service Boards

Triage

Objective: Let the triage member clearly see tickets that have not yet been triaged.

Configuration:

  • Filters: If your tickets start in a triage or monitoring ConnectWise board and are moved to a different ConnectWise board after triage, set the Service Boards filter to the triage board(s).
  • Swimlane: If you have more than one ConnectWise board used for triage, you can set swimlanes to ConnectWise Board to make it clearer which tickets are on which boards. Or you can set swimlanes to Priority to show a lane for the various ticket priorities, to help you triage high-priority tickets quickly to meet your SLAs.
  • Columns: Only include columns for statuses that are used by new tickets- you don't need to include columns such as In Progress, Scheduled, or Blocked.

Service overview for Kanban workflow - queued for team, pulled by technician

Objective: Show tickets ranked by priority, including tickets waiting to be picked up by an available technician.

Configuration:

  • Filters: Set the board to show tickets available to a single team. We recommend a separate Kanban board for each team in your organization. The filters used to limit tickets to a certain team will vary based on your current ConnectWise workflows, but a couple of common ways are:
    • If tickets always have the ConnectWise team set, then set the Team filter
    • If you have one or more ConnectWise service boards per team, then set the Service Board filter to the appropriate ConnectWise board(s)
  • Swimlane: no recommendation- leave it blank or try a few options to see what helps
  • Columns: Create columns for each critical stage. Keep it simple! You can map multiple ticket statuses to each column, so you don't need to make a column for each unique status. Also consider how you want to use WIP limits, as these are defined per column. These columns are a good start:
    • Needs definition- the ticket isn't yet ready to start because it needs more detail
    • Ready
    • Blocked
    • In Progress
    • Complete- only include this if you have a method to regularly move tickets marked as complete to a fully closed status (for example, after billing the ticket to the client)

Service overview for ConnectWise displatch flow - tickets assigned by dispatch/pushed to technician

Objective: Show tickets for a team, ranked by priority and indicating the assigned technicians.

Configuration:

  • Filters: Set the board to show tickets assigned to members of a single team. We recommend a separate Kanban board for each team in your organization. The filters used to limit tickets to a certain team will vary based on your current ConnectWise workflows, but a couple of common ways are:
    • If tickets always have the ConnectWise team set, then set the Team filter
    • If you have one or more ConnectWise service boards per team, then set the Service Board filter to the appropriate ConnectWise board(s)
    • Since tickets are assigned by a dispatcher, set the Resource filter to the members of the team
  • Swimlane: no recommendation- leave it blank or try a few options to see what helps
  • Columns: Create columns for each critical stage. Keep it simple! You can map multiple ticket statuses to each column, so you don't need to make a column for each unique status. Also consider how you want to use WIP limits, as these are defined per column. These columns are a good start:
    • Pending- ticket is created but not yet ready to start for some reason
    • Ready
    • Blocked
    • In Progress
    • Complete- only include this if you have a method to regularly move tickets marked as complete to a fully closed status (for example, after billing the ticket to the client)

Stand-up Meeting

Objective: Show tickets for each individual member so he or she can easily review during the stand-up meeting. This works best when shown on a very large TV screen.

Configuration:

  • Filters: To show all your organization's tickets, don't set any filters. If tickets are assigned during dispatch (pushed to technicians), then under Resources, ensure "Show unassigned tickets" is checked.
  • Swimlane: Set to Resource. The board will show unassigned tickets in the first swimlane, followed by lanes for each technician. This makes it easy to review tickets that have no technician and then allow each technician to see his or her tickets at a glance as the team reports during the stand-up meeting. During the stand-up, one of the team members will scroll down the page as each member reports.
  • Columns: similar to the service overview boards described above

Open Projects

Objective: Understand status of projects

Configuration:

  • Filters: Under Ticket Types, select Project Ticket and Project Issue. Optionally, use the the Project filter to limit the list of projects to show. If you leave Projects blank then it will show all project tickets.
  • Swimlane: Set to Project
  • Columns: Configure a column for each critical status used by project tickets. Keep it simple! The board will show a swimlane for each project with open tickets, providing an at-a-glance view of the status of each project. If a project has many tickets in a not-yet-started status, you can see that the project is just getting started. If a project has only one or two tickets left in a waiting or blocked stage, you can see that one final effort may be able to completely finish it. In order to emphasize tasks that haven't changed status recently, consider setting column Status Age and Age Warning fields, which can show the card with a red background if the ticket hasn't changed status in a certian period of time.

Tickets assigned to single technician

Objective: Show tickets assigned to a single technician so the tech can see his or her own workload

Configuration: Though it's possible to create a board filtered to show a single resource, we recommend you use the board display filters for this instead. Let the technician open a suitable Kanban board and then select him or herself in the technician filter shown in right corner of the main navigation menu. Pro tip: this filter is saved in the page URL so you can easily bookmark it or share it.

Lean QBR Process Board

Objective: Similar to the Quarterly Business Review (QBR), but this common MSP process has been re-engineered in a very unique way. Maps out the end-to-end value stream and implements it using TopLeft.

Configuration: This one is more complex but has a high payoff, see our blog post Building a Lean QBR Process with ConnectWise and Kanban for the full details on how to leverage this powerful tool.

Sales Boards

Open Opportunities

Objective: Understand status of opportunities

Configuration:

  • Filters: Unless you have a large number of opportunities, you may find that all your opportunities can be shown on a single board. If this is the case, you don't need to set any opportunity filters.
  • Swimlane: no recommendation- leave it blank or try a few options to see what helps
  • Columns: Configure a column for each critical stage used by project opportunities. If you only have 3-5 stages, one stage per column may work well. In order to emphasize opportunities that may be growing stale, consider setting column Status Age and Age Warning fields, which can show the card with a red background if the opportunity hasn't changed stage in a certian period of time.
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