Open-source Exploration Series #3 — Wekan
Wekan — Trello-style Kanban Board
A Kanban board can be described as a way of managing tasks. Traditionally it is a physical board with columns representing states of completetion such as to-do, in progress, and done and the tasks move from left to right as the work is being done. Wekan is an open-source application which provides this functionality and additional features I will be delving into.
Project Overview — As of 12/3/2017
The open-source Trello-like kanban (built with Meteor) https://wekan.github.io
Created By — mquandalle
Maintained By — xet7
First Commit — May 12, 2015
Latest Commit — December 2, 2017
Number of Stars — 11,918 (Click and ⭐️ this!)
Number of Commits — 1,539
Method 1 — Manual Install : Follow these instructions
Method 2 — Automated Install: Deploy Wekan on ServiceShop without a credit card
Simple Project Management
The appeal of project management software such as Wekan and Trello is the simplicity behind them. It’s just a giant board filled with tasks in various states of completion at the core.
Wekan provides a lot of bells and whistles to make managing this board easier with a host of features that match proprietary software like Trello or Jira.
Wekan allows you to “watch” and track cards you deem important. This places them in a special “watched” board that displays all the cards you have marked. This is very useful when you have large projects and hundreds of cards worked on by many developers. As a project manager being able to build a board of your high impact and high importance cards is a very valuable tool. Watching cards can also trigger email notifications when certain changes happen such as the card being moved or a comment being added.
I’m always happy when I find apps with keyboard shortcuts. I personally find that being able to control an app with my keyboard increases my productivity and speed tremendously.
Import from Trello
Are you using Trello and want to start using Wekan? Don’t worry aboout moving your existing projects and boards and tasks manually — Wekan supports an import from Trello so you can get all your project data into Wekan easily without headache.
Having Work-in-progress limits is a good way to enforce project management best practices when using a Kanaban board. If you can only have a certain amount of tasks in progress and you hit a blocker, you will be forced to move that task into a state more suited such as “blocked”, and then you can move another task into in-progress.
Markdown is a great way of formatting text. It can be version controlled, express complex things like tables and code snippits and is well defined. Wekan allows you to embed markdown within cards so you can be as expressive as you want in your project management.
Wekan, like any good project management system, has file attachments as a main focus of the cards. Many times cards result in deliverables which tend to take the form of files and when you are dealing with a task management system you want to be able to track your deliverables easily and effectively.
With a comprehensive labeling system and powerful search functionality, a project manager can easily find the data they are looking for. Using Wekan you can filter by due dates, user, label, state, and more.
Is Wekan right for you?
Wekan is great for project managers who are into Kanban boards. While lacking the complex workflows of Jira, it matches up pretty well against Trello in terms of feature richness and is even more simple to use and manage boards. If you are currently using Trello — consider trying out Wekan as it even has an import feature so you can get up and running with your current projects instantly.
Wekan is a powerful Kanban board app with features matching proprietary commercial products such as Trello. I know I’ve tried a lot of project management software and Wekan is one of the best ones in terms of polish, functionality and ease of use. Give it a try and star them on Github!