Unveiling the power of Kanban: Simplicity and Scalability

With many tasks ranging from immediate client requests to long-term projects, MSPs constantly need a system that simplifies their complexities and scales effortlessly as they grow. The essence of Kanban is its ability to provide a precise and adaptable method to manage and streamline tasks. Kanban simplifies task management by visualizing work, making it easier to understand, track, and optimize. The method utilizes boards and cards to represent various tasks, transforming abstract workflows into tangible visual elements.

Kanban’s straightforward design means easy implementation and quick adoption. For MSPs, this translates to minimal disruption in shifting to a new system and a lower learning curve for team members. Visibility is a vital feature of Kanban, where every team member can see the status and progress of tasks. This transparency is key to fostering collaboration, understanding workload distribution, and ensuring no task falls through the cracks.

One of Kanban’s most significant advantages is its scalability. As your MSP grows, the Kanban system can expand and evolve to accommodate new services, clients, and workflows without losing effectiveness.


Implementing Kanban in MSP workflows

Adopting Kanban can bring clarity, efficiency, and adaptability to your workflows, transforming how your team collaborates and manages tasks. Imagine your typical workday with tasks ranging from urgent client issues to ongoing project work. A Kanban board can help you organize these tasks effectively. Here’s how you can do this:

  • Create columns for each stage: Start with columns like ‘To Do,’ ‘In Progress,‘Review,’ and ‘Done.’ This setup mirrors the journey of tasks from start to finish.
  • Add tasks as cards: Each task, whether a client request or an internal project, gets its card. Place these cards in the ‘To Do’ column initially.


Streamlining team collaboration

With your Kanban board in place, watch as it brings a new level of transparency and collaboration to your team’s workflow. Your team can now see everyone’s tasks. This visibility helps identify who might need help and what tasks are taking longer than expected. High-priority tasks, like critical system outages, can be highlighted or moved to a special column to ensure immediate attention. Hold brief stand-up meetings around the board to discuss progress, address bottlenecks, and shuffle tasks if needed.

As your client base grows and your services expand, your Kanban system can evolve to keep up. You can expand the board and introduce new columns or even create separate boards for different types of work – one for client support and another for project implementations. Similarly, customize the board’s layout and the card information to match your team’s specific needs and preferences.

Let’s explore some practical examples of Kanban in MSP

  • Managing high ticket volumes: You’re facing an influx of tickets after a major software release. Organize these tickets on your Kanban board, categorizing them by urgency and complexity. This organization leads to efficient handling and faster resolutions.
  • Overseeing complex projects: For larger projects, break down the work into phases like planning, execution, and testing. Track each phase on the Kanban board, ensuring every part of the project is progressing as planned and nothing is missed.

The adoption of Kanban in your MSP operations can lead to significant benefits. With a clearer view of tasks and priorities, your team can focus better, reducing feeling overwhelmed. Clients appreciate the quicker turnaround times and the increased transparency you can provide on their requests and projects.

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How to use Kanban for a better MSP performance

Kanban isn’t just about visualizing tasks; it’s a strategic approach to managing work more effectively. Here’s how to leverage Kanban to enhance your MSP’s performance:

  • Kanban’s flexibility allows you to modify your workflows based on real-time demands. For instance, if you see a surge in a specific ticket type, you can quickly adjust your board to prioritize these tasks.
  • Regularly review your Kanban board to identify trends. Are specific tasks consistently bottlenecked? Use this insight to refine processes or provide additional training to your team.
  • Use your Kanban board to ensure a balanced workload across your team. Visualizing who is working on what allows you to easily redistribute tasks to prevent burnout and maintain high productivity levels.
  • Customize your Kanban board to reflect the specific stages of your MSP operations. You might have stages like ‘Client Review,’ ‘Quality Assurance,’ or ‘Follow-up.’
  • Implement WIP (Work In Progress) limits to prevent your team from being overwhelmed and to keep tasks moving smoothly through the pipeline.
  • Differentiate tasks using color codes or tags. For instance, urgent client issues might be marked in red, while routine maintenance tasks could be in blue.

Imagine a client reports a critical network issue. The corresponding task card is created and placed in the ‘Urgent’ column. The team immediately knows this task takes precedence, ensuring a swift response. For migrating a client to a new cloud service, break down the project into smaller tasks such as ‘Initial Assessment,’ ‘Client Approval,’ ‘Implementation,’ and ‘Testing and feedback.’ This breakdown makes the project more manageable and less daunting.

How to track and analyze performance using Kanban

Kanban isn’t just about organizing work; it’s also a tool for analysis and improvement. Here’s how you can track and analyze performance:

  • Monitor how long tasks stay in each stage. If tasks linger too long in a particular stage, investigate and address the cause.
  • Hold weekly or bi-weekly meetings to discuss the Kanban board. What’s working well? Where are the challenges? This collective review encourages team involvement and continuous improvement.
  • Use client feedback to adjust your workflows. If clients frequently request changes at a certain project stage, consider adding a review checkpoint in your Kanban board at this stage.
Scaling operations with Kanban

As the volume of work increases, expand your Kanban board to include more columns or detailed stages, ensuring that increased complexity doesn’t lead to confusion or bottlenecks. For MSPs offering a range of services, use separate Kanban boards for different service lines. This separation helps manage each service effectively without overlap or confusion. When introducing new services, create dedicated workflows on your Kanban board to manage these effectively, ensuring a smooth rollout and integration into your existing service portfolio.



Monitoring tasks on the Kanban board helps maintain high service standards. By observing how tasks move and where they stall, you can pinpoint areas for improvement, leading to higher quality in service delivery. Including client feedback directly into your workflow helps refine your services. Adding a stage on the Kanban board for client feedback creates a loop that ensures constant improvement based on actual client experiences. As your MSP evolves, so do your services. Kanban boards can be easily adapted to include new services or modify existing workflows, ensuring that your operations remain agile and responsive to market demands.

If you are ready to make your MSP work smarter, not harder? TopLeft is here to help. Our Kanban boards integrate seamlessly with ConnectWise and AutoTask, making managing your projects and tasks easy. With TopLeft, you can see your workflow, keep your team on track, and adjust quickly as your business grows. Want to see how it works? Request a demo and discover how TopLeft can simplify your MSP operations today.


Contact us now to schedule a demo.