We changed our name from IT Central Station: Here's why
Beth Noser
Applications Analyst at University of Kansas Medical Center
Real User
Top 5
With everything in one location, we can determine if teams can take on more workload or have roadblocks
Pros and Cons
  • "We use the board and card hierarchies in terms of sprints so that we can see if we have cross-functional teams that are working on the same projects together, especially when projects have dependencies. The parent-child relationship within cards is really nice so that we can see what kind of dependencies there are when we're trying to get projects finished."
  • "Being able to track actual time on cards or sprints, instead of using just the planned start and stop date, would also be useful. I would like to see something like JIRA has with actual sprint starts and stops."

What is our primary use case?

We're using LeanKit for our IT teams right now, but we're hoping to utilize it enterprise-wide. We're using it for Kanban boards and methods to help with our lean and Agile workflows.

How has it helped my organization?

We have found that some teams get a lot more requests and work and projects than other teams. Those work-in-process, or WIP limits, are really helpful at determining if teams can take on more workload. It also helps us to see if they have roadblocks. If we have a lot of things that get in our way, it's easier to identify because we have everything in one central location on LeanKit.

Regarding a given card's status, LeanKit gives me easier access. I'm able to work more closely with my team to see what's going on with the cards that they're working on. And my manager can check in on the work that I'm doing just by looking at my cards. Everyone has a better picture of what's going on for the entire team. It also helps in project delivery. We can definitely see if our project is on-time or if we burned down too much time and are getting close to the end of the project and don't have everything done that we were supposed to have done.

While I haven't used the Card Health feature as much, when I have done demos of LeanKit to teams that are starting to use it, and I've shown it to them, they have found it really helpful. If a card has been sitting in the same lane for a few weeks, it helps them track things better to see what's going on with that individual card.

The Card Health activity stream helps business analysts and project managers to identify roadblocks, if they haven't been brought to the surface. If they have a card that's unhealthy, they're able to go to that team member and say, "Hey, what's up with this card? This is affecting the project's deadlines." Or they can even see, "Hey, we were able to get that card to the Finished lane a lot quicker than we thought," and they are able to analyze how that affected the project.

LeanKit has also reduced our cycle times. We are able to stay within our two-week sprints for those scrum teams. And for others we still have better continuous delivery; they are pretty healthy too. I would approximate that we have reduced cycle times by 20 percent, and that's just because we haven't been using it that long.

In addition, our project managers, business analysts, and scrum masters are able to use the solution's reports to determine if teams need additional help or if they can take on additional workload.

What is most valuable?

I like that it's very flexible so that we can change some of the fields, the titles and names, and that we can color code it. I really like being able to add different lanes. Every team is different and being able to customize LeanKit helps each team work to the best of its ability.

We use the board and card hierarchies in terms of sprints so that we can see if we have cross-functional teams that are working on the same projects together, especially when projects have dependencies. The parent-child relationship within cards is really nice so that we can see what kind of dependencies there are when we're trying to get projects finished.

I also really like the flexibility of the Board Layout Editor. Being able to customize your board and the layout helps teams feel that they really own what they're doing as far as Kanban goes. For instance, on the Not Started lane, if you add a couple of vertical lanes, things that need approval versus don't need approval, some teams really find value in that, but others don't need that feature. I like that we can manage that on our own.

What needs improvement?

Being able to determine what the Card Size feature is for, and have it be just one, standard thing instead of it being open to interpretation, would help.

I have also noticed that some people want to be able to make recurring cards. If they have tasks that they do over and over again, they would like to be able to automatically duplicate cards or have them recur. 

Also, being able to track actual time on cards or sprints, instead of using just the planned start and stop date, would also be useful. I would like to see something like JIRA has with actual sprint starts and stops.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using LeanKit for about eight months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's a very stable solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have about 200 users of LeanKit in our organization, and that's just our early adopters who have just started using it. We hope to use it enterprise-wide. We have just the Teams level of LeanKit in use at the moment. Each of them would have their own administrator and users within each board.

We do have plans to increase usage. We have about 15,000 employees, but because we are a hospital, we know that not every team, such as some of the nursing teams, will find it useful. But for teams that are more on the business operations side, I think it will be really useful.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have found their technical support to be helpful. I have opened a few cases with them and they've been very responsive and helpful with all the questions that I've had.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We used JIRA, and I have had a few teams use Trello and Asana as well. We've replaced all of them with LeanKit. We went with LeanKit because we use multiple Planview products. Being able to easily integrate with each Planview product, and not have several different platforms within the organization, means we just have one project management solution.

I'm excited to see all of Planview's products grow too.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty straightforward. All of Planview's products have been really easy to use, and Planview has a really great forum or place to get training documents. I found that nice and easy to use.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I'm not familiar with the pricing but I think it has been worth what we've paid for so far.

What other advice do I have?

When you're trying to decide on a solution like LeanKit, important things to look out for are reporting, and the customizability or flexibility within the product. Those are really helpful to individual teams.

The biggest lesson I have learned from using this solution is that you can really be creative with your Agile process and make your to-do list seem easier to tackle.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Executive Support Team Leader at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Powerful, intuitive tool that has helped reduce our cycle times
Pros and Cons
  • "I would say it's highly scalable. LeanKit can scale across the enterprise easily. Every business could probably find a use case for leveraging LeanKit."
  • "There's room for improvement with the Instant Coffee feature. There are other businesses that have been interested in leveraging a virtual whiteboard or sticky note capability and how Instant Coffee was developed has not met the mark."

What is our primary use case?

There is a group in our company that tracks all of the capital spend in the company. They are using LeanKit to track cash and incentives also. It has also been used for incentive tracking since earlier this year. 

In addition, various teams are using it for the Kanban board functionality, which helps them track work. My team, for example, created a board to share with our customer success manager. It's shared with Planview and we put cards out there when we have questions or when we need a demo. It's also how we track remote office hours. 

There are other groups within the company that are using these boards for various activities. Use cases pop up all the time. We're a very large company.

How has it helped my organization?

LeanKit has helped improve our collaboration with our team on the Planview side. It helps keep us connected and when topics come up, they get addressed pretty quickly. Before we started using this board, we were only using email and things were getting buried or weren't just getting the attention they needed as quickly.

What is most valuable?

The tracking of work has been the most valuable for our company. Holding people accountable for the cards they're assigned and the progress that's being made has been valuable. I know that our development teams have been very interested in it. I'm not familiar with Jira, but I know that they consider LeanKit better. 

What needs improvement?

There's room for improvement with the Instant Coffee feature. There are other businesses that have been interested in leveraging a virtual whiteboard or sticky note capability and how Instant Coffee was developed has not met the mark.

For how long have I used the solution?

Our company has been using LeanKit for about two years. My experience has been less than that. It is newer to me. I have been using it for almost a year. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

LeanKit has been stable. I get all the notifications because I'm the service owner so when there are issues and there have been some here and there, but not a lot. I get emails about LeanKit issues maybe once a month. However, they all get resolved pretty quickly.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I would say it's highly scalable. LeanKit can scale across the enterprise easily. Every business could probably find a use case for leveraging LeanKit. 

We currently have about 300 users. We also have some 30,000 knowledge workers. They do not have IT accounts so they are read-only users. 

How are customer service and support?

I have not talked to their tech support, however, Planview's tech support in general has been good. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Jira is the only comparable tool we used previously, but there is very limited use of it within the company. Only the IT development organization uses it. 

What about the implementation team?

We implemented through Planview. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We pay for LeanKit on an annual level. The pricing changes but next year it will be $2 million. 

What other advice do I have?

LeanKit's email functionality is nice. I get emails whenever something happens with a particular card so I do not have to constantly go into LeanKit and check on cards for status. That's very helpful. It enables faster scheduling of things or collaboration on items.

LeanKit has reduced our cycle times because we are able to collaborate so much quicker with it. Leveraging LeanKit's email capability has been a plus for me. We can also use it to ping people who may not be paying attention to certain cards. It keeps things moving. LeanKit has been more of an enabler for me to keep me on task or on track with what needs to get done. 

In the board layout editor, there's quite a bit of flexibility in how you can set up your swim lanes, etc.

We have not set any standards on how to use the card hierarchy. I have not used any of the more complex linking functionalities. We usually just create parent cards and link child cards to them. In addition, while the card hierarchy has not improved the speed of my deliveries, it has affected my bandwidth.

I would highly encourage others to implement LeanKit. It is a powerful tool and very intuitive. I think it is a great tool. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Flag as inappropriate
Learn what your peers think about Planview LeanKit. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: January 2022.
566,121 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Director, Solution Strategy & PMO at Verisk Analytics
User
Top 20
Great for viewing impediments and provides visibility and predictability across teams
Pros and Cons
  • "The "Blocking" feature has helped our scrum masters track impediments and share them at the program level to stakeholders with accountability and detail so that they understand and the action items which can be noted easily."
  • "Our overall impression of Leankit has been very positive, however, our experience with the JIRA integration into our Leankit boards was much harder than we anticipated and that could be improved by simplifying it somehow."

What is our primary use case?

With Leankit, our PMO has a single solution and Program Increment Board to integrate teams and projects and align priorities across the entire program - which consists of 22 Scrum teams. 

It allows us to track our PI goals, sprint goals, dependencies, and impediments across all of the teams creating extreme visibility and predictability for product owners, stakeholders and the teams. With integration into JIRA and the team boards, it allows us to have one single source of truth while not overwhelming the teams with the added responsibility of manually updating their epics, stories, and/or tasks. 

How has it helped my organization?

Leankit has made it much easier for us to visualize our progress across our entire portfolio, which consists of 22 Scrum Teams. 

It is now our single source of truth, given the integration with JIRA and near real-time updates. It has made such an impact on the way that our business unit manages programs that we plan to leverage the virtual Kanban boards to enable remote and in-person Big Room Planning sessions. 

It provides visibility and predictability across all of the teams in each PI. It also has been a great roadmapping tool for our product owners.  

What is most valuable?

The "Blocking" feature has helped our scrum masters track impediments and share them at the program level to stakeholders with accountability and detail so that they understand and the action items which can be noted easily. 

We use it for our Scrum of Scrum Impediment Executive Action Team Meetings daily because it allows us to view all of our impediments in one place and shows us what exactly is being blocked, (i.e. Program Increment Goal, Sprint Goal or an Epic). 

The dependency features are also very valuable as there are many to track in a given Program Increment; that also allows us to review them during our Big Room Planning. 

What needs improvement?

Our overall impression of Leankit has been very positive, however, our experience with the JIRA integration into our Leankit boards was much harder than we anticipated and that could be improved by simplifying it somehow. They could use some sort of drag and drop approach if possible. 

The requirements to create these integrations are very complex and time-consuming both on our end and the Planview/Tasktop end. Once the integration is set up, the user experience is great, however, the setup itself is difficult. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used the solution for a little over a year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution appears to be handling our setup perfectly. We rarely have issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution appears to be handling our 22 Scrum Teams, the JIRA integration, and our use across the program. 

How are customer service and technical support?

So far, we have had a very good experience with customer service and tech support. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We tried to use JIRA Portfolio, however, it did not meet our needs. Therefore we started looking for alternative solutions. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was fine, however, as I mentioned before, the JIRA integration was a bit complex and time-consuming. 

What about the implementation team?

We implemented through our own EPM Tools Group as well as with a Tasktop representative. 

What was our ROI?

This has yet to be determined. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We shared our experience with other PMOs within our company and it led to an Enterprise Agreement. The price was right and the setup was fairly easy. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also looked at JIRA Align. 

What other advice do I have?

We're very happy with our decision to use LeanKit for our Portfolio/Program management and we're glad we could spread the word around our company to lead to deeper integration. We look forward to some cool new features.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Flag as inappropriate