What is Kanban?
Kanban is a visual project management framework that is used to manage duties and workflows using a Kanban board filled with cards and columns. The word Kanban translates from Japanese to “billboard” – as it was developed by Toyota in the 1940s to manage Just-in-Time manufacturing processes.
The Kanban Board
The Kanban Board is the center of the whole process. It allows visualizing the workflow of the project scope and keeps on board just what needs to be completed, thereby optimizing performance. It’s generally split up into three sections: to do, in progress, and done. You may also add additional columns to the workflow for additional steps.
- Kanban Cards: Each card includes information about a given task, such as a short summary, a deadline, and who will execute it.
- Kanban Columns: They’re a way to split up the various steps of the project. Cards are arranged under column headings as team members move them to the right demonstrating the workflow process.
The Core Principles of Kanban
Before applying the Kanban Approach to your business, it is necessary to first understand and follow its core principles:
- Start with what you’re doing right now. Kanban doesn’t require any changes to your current processes. Instead, it can be used explicitly to the current workflow.
- Evolutionary change is gradual, not radical. Kanban is structured to incur minimal resistance so as not to disrupt teams, impede flow, and affect performance.
- Respect current roles and responsibilities as they are valuable and worth keeping. Often encourage teams to work collaboratively to define and incorporate any improvements.
- Encourage leadership at all levels – everybody should cultivate a continuous improvement mindset (Kaizen) – so that the teams can attain maximum efficiency.
The Core Practices of Kanban
- Visualize the workflow, whether using a physical board or software.
- Limit work-in-progress (WIP) to keep teams completing tasks fast.
- Manage and improve workflow by analyzing work and resolving bottlenecks.
- Be explicit with process policies: identify and share them.
- Have feedback loops, such as review phases, to offer the finished product to the consumer as soon as possible.
- Be collaborative and experimental in order to constantly strive for better.
Who Can Use It?
Kanban can be utilized by anyone who prefers to use a visual workflow tool. This includes IT companies, most of which are used by software developers, healthcare providers, particularly hospitals; manufacturers of all sorts, and even publishers.
Pros and Cons of Kanban
- Increase flexibility: as new details emerge, goals and priorities are reassessed.
- Reduce waste: Ensure that teams do not waste time on excessive tasks.
- Simple to start: Easy to understand nature. Teams don’t need to learn a totally new technique.
- Enhance flow: Emphasis on a just-in-time approach and execute work at a normal rate of operation.
- Minimize Processing Time: Reducing bottlenecks to guarantee that work goes through the process efficiently.
- Overcomplicated board: the board should be plain, clear, and easy to read.
- Outdated Board: Teams must stress the importance of holding boards up to date (risk of incorrect information).
- Lack of timing: it can be tough to predict when things are going to happen.
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