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Jul 24, 2018  | by Mikalai Taracheshnikau

ClickUp and Kanban

clickup review kanban tasks
ClickUp and Kanban

ClickUp is a simple workflow monitoring system. It can be used for any enterprises, firms and companies, but most commonly used in IT- companies.
In this article I will try to tell you about the interface, how to work with the system, what the initial structure is and how to adapt it to Kanban.

Interface

ClickUp interface is quite simple and user-friendly.

At the top it is possible to configure the workspace display: to set up tasks filtration for all the team or appointed to yourself only, to configure the way of workflow display (blocks, list or board).

In the navigation there are also tasks search, calendar, analytics, notifications, settings and fast task creation button.

On the left side the workflow structure is located:

In the center there is the workflow process with the filtration settings.

At the bottom there is a notepad and it is also possible to set up a tray from tasks.

One of the pleasant interface features is the possibility to switch between light and dark themes. For this purpose there is a button in the settings:

Dark theme looks quite good.

Logic

The biggest unit is «Space». It defines what the workflow should look like. To create «Space» move your mouse to «Spaces» on the panel and click «+ Create Space» button.

After that, a modal window appears, where you need to choose whether it will be a new «Space» or the one created on the basis of a template, private or public; processes that can also be custom or from a template and additional settings. If «Space» is selected as public, then any person can click on the link and see the workflow, but if it is elected as private – you will need to send invitations to receive the access.

The difference between custom statuses and default ones is the following: for default statuses the tasks will be closed immediately on the button and there are only 2 statuses: Open and Closed, as custom status can be created from a template or manually.

In the advanced settings you can choose the number of people who can work on one task, deadlines, priorities, tags and control of the remaining time.

Each «Space» should have «Project». But it is not the project that we used to see, although it is possible to use in this way as well. ClickUp offers to use departments, units, stages of development etc. as projects. For example, «Space» can contain, accounting, sales department, transport department, etc., and can also contain developing, testing, layout, backlog, etc. Therefore, «Project» can be easily adapted to any needs. To create a «Project», click on menu and select «+ Add new project».

Next, a modal window will appear where you need to choose whether to create from scratch or based on the template, select the sheet (required), choose whether «Project» will use the structure of «Space», custom or simple. After that «Project» and «List» will appear on the structure panel.

«Project» consists of «Lists». «List» gives an opportunity to divide large «Project» into small, logically grounded, parts. Any task can belong to one sheet only. Accordingly, the role of «List» for each «Project» can be different and easily adapted to the needs of the project. «List» can be created through «Project» or through the already created «List».

«Lists» receive statuses from «Project», so they cannot be changed. When all «Lists» are created, you can filter the workflow on the whole project or on a separate «List».

Tasks

As mentioned above, the task can belong to only one «List». There are so many ways to create a task, but the most obvious is to press a large button in the upper right corner.

There are only two types of tasks: the task and subtask. Therefore, there is no choice of task types; instead you can convert a task in both directions. In the task creation panel you need to select the path to the task (current «List» by default), select the status, add a title and description, and you can also add a subtask, checklist, developer, tag, priority, attach file or become an observer. When the task is created, its appearance will slightly change.

 

If you open a task, it will be divided into 2 parts: on the left there will be a description with all the attachments, and on the right – story with comments. This makes it easy to follow both the task and its history. At the top there is the path to the navigation that you can change.

Below there are the control elements: status, a button that allows to close the task, developer (or several if multi-assign was selected), priority, remaining time, task settings, time spent, and also become an observer or set the repeat of the task. In the task settings, you can do the basic things: copy the path, delete, move, copy, etc. But there are specific functions: set dependencies, convert to task|subtask and merge into one task.

At the moment, there are just 2 dependencies: «is blocked» and «block». Then you can select a list of tasks that it blocks or by whom it is blocked.
Converting to a task|subtask occurs in 1 click. To unite in one the task should be selected from the list of any «Project» or «List». After that the description of tasks will be combined into one piece.

Also a distinctive feature will be addressed comments. You can add a comment to any task and a developer. After the developer performs the task from the comment, he must set a status «Resolved» in the comment.

Tasks move by block|list|board using Drag’n’Drop. All tasks can be edited directly in block|list|board. It is possible to expose priority, tag, or log time.

There 2 ways of time logging time: arbitrarily and with the help of third-party services. If it is necessary to set the time spent manually, you need to open the task, click on «Log time» and select «Add manual time».

After that, you can choose an arbitrary time, or a period of time.


If you want to use third-party services, then «ClickUp» has integration with Harvest, Toggl, Everhour and TimeDoctor. To do this, go to the settings profile and select «Time tracking».

Then select the desired service and configure integration.

For each task, you can set a deadline. To do this, go to Calendar and drag the task to the desired date. After that, a field «Due date» with the selected date appears in the task.

«ClickUp» allows you to upload or download tasks. Uploading occurs in CSV file, after that it can be downloaded. To go to the settings of tasks upload/download, you need to go to profile settings and select «Import|Export».

To download, go to the tab «Export», click on «Start export» button, then select «Download export».

To upload from other services, you need to go to the «Import» tab, select an existing service (currently it is Asana, Trello, Todoist, Jira and Basecamp) and configure integration. For each integration there is a detailed guide how to do it.

Kanban

In our case, ClickUp was considered as an alternative to Jira. The main feature of Kanban, is the limit in the number of tasks in the column. ClickUp doesn’t have such a feature. It became the main reason to choose Jira. But it is still possible to configure the Kanban process in ClickUp.

«Space» can be divided into 2 parts: backlog and releases. What is it for? As it’s known, Kanban is like a river, a river from a flow of tasks. In order to make releases and not to save ready-made tasks in a column «Closed», «Project:Releases» has been created. There are stored tasks related to development and testing. Each release is a «List». So, when there are several tasks ready to go to the release, task deploy occurs. Tasks not included in deploy go to the next release. After successful verification the current release is archived.

Thus, the minimum number of tasks move from release to release. The archived releases are not displayed in the common project panel. Why are the tasks related to testing and development only involved in the release? Because a large number of tasks can be in the backlog, like at the stage of the problem description. It complicates the transfer of tasks from the release to release. Perhaps most tasks will never get into the release, so to transfer them to the release is inappropriate. If needed to show archived releases, then «Project» settings have a «Show archived» button.

After that, releases will appear in «Lists».

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