A whiteboard and Post-it notes!
We use a cork board and index cards, much as Pascal Thivent uses a whiteboard and post-it notes. For tracking metrics, we use Excel, although any spreadsheet program would work just as well. This allows us to easily create cumulative flow diagrams.
The Limited Work In Progress society is now maintaining a list of tools.
You need a tool that will allow you to easily tweak and change your process as you begin to understand your cadence better. You won't get it right the first time, and so you need the flexibility.
Ideally, if your team is colocated, you do this on a whiteboard or cork board as others have said. Low-tech and totally malleable.
AgileZen (agilezen.com) is pretty solid as Jacob mentioned, and new features are being added constantly. I would use this for my team but a hosted solution is not an option for us due to company policies.
Presently, LeanKitKanban leads the pack specifically for a Kanban implementation in a hosted app.
All of the available tools are somewhat naive about their interpretation of Kanban and of what's important in a tool and a user experience. They tend to be overly-narrow perspectives of Kanban and Lean by only that part of software product development that is populated by programmers. But then, programmers are the folks most likely to build an app. I hope that we'll get a truly awesome Kanban app/service at some point - one built by a whole product development organization rather than just by passionate programmers jumping on the Next Big Thing.
For the time being, I find LeanKit to be the one that has the least naive implementation of Kanban, but I'll jump at a tool that reflects Lean more holistically and goes beyond mere automated enforcement of work-in-process limits.
Disclamer Visual WIP is an open source project I have been working on for a few weeks.
If you use Team Foundation Server 2010 Visual WIP may be of interest. Here is a description of the project
Visual WIP is a visualization tool to make your Work In Progress (WIP) visible. The visualization is a card-wall with stickies in different columns.
If work-in-progress limits are set for a column the same amount of kanban’s(slots/placeholders) are added to the column. If more work is added to the column than the set work-in-progress limit the column background will change color.
The main goals of Visual WIP is to:
Visualizer a process work-in-progress by using strong visual signals with a card wall metaphor.
Utilize multi monitors to enable to both show an overview from more that 10 feet’s and show detailed information when closer.
Use a plug-in model to enable customization and support different electronic backing systems. The main focus is to support Team Foundation Server 2010 but SharePoint is also in the roadmap.
Not tied to a specific process as Kanban can be applied to any process. Currently MSF for Agile for Team Foundation Server 2010 is the process that Visual WIP is developed against.
You guys should checkout the new entrant Swift-Kanban as well. You'll see our creativity and innovation, right from the website. We have tried to do some cool stuff. We are in beta and looking forward to work with the community and build the next set of capabilities.Give it a shot and let us know what you feel.
Not satisfied then take a look at this list http://www.toolsjournal.com/tools-world/item/142-kanban-tools
I think Kanbanery is worth to check.
- Simple and neat board.
- There is an open API used by chrome extension, android app and an iphone app.
- There is a free plan, that's hidden under paid plans :)