What Is The Kanban Method?

The Kanban method is an agile approach to optimize workflows, increase productivity, and visualize tasks. It uses a pull system and encourages gradual changes, respect for roles, and acts of leadership. Digital Kanban boards are used to improve productivity.

Jun 5, 2024
Kanban method: optimize workflows, increase productivity, visualize tasks, agile approach, pull system, gradual changes, respect roles, encourage leadership, digital Kanban boards, improve productivity.
It can be a daunting task to finish projects both rapidly and efficiently. However, the Kanban method provides an effective solution for agile work that can help individuals increase their output.
This approach emphasizes continual improvement instead of overloading your team with tasks. By embracing this methodology you will see improved productivity.
Kanban can trace its roots back to the “Just in Time” manufacturing process, but over time it has grown and broadened into an exceptionally effective solution for knowledge workers.
It is now used in countless workplaces across many different industries and sectors, allowing teams to complete tasks quickly and with greater efficiency.
Here’s what you need to know about the Kanban method.
Defining the Kanban Method The term “Kanban” is a method of defining, managing, and improving services that deliver knowledge work. It helps companies visualize their to-do lists, improve efficiency, and keep the overall flow of productivity going smoothly.
The Japanese term "Kanban", which translates to "visual board" or “sign”, has been a critical component of the production process for businesses since the 1950s. In 2007, this technique was further refined and formalized into what is now known as the Kanban Method.
At the start of the twenty-first century, leading software industry players noticed how a visual approach to managing labor could revolutionize their processes for delivering services and products.
As such, Kanban departed from its origin in auto engineering and spread into various sophisticated fields like IT, R&D, and development.
Numerous businesses today leverage the Kanban method in a simplified form to manage projects. For example, if you've ever used Trello boards with separate columns for Assigned, In Progress, and Complete tasks then you've experienced the powerful Kanban technique.
The Fundamentals of Kanban Work The fundamental purpose of Kanban is to help companies optimize their workflows and take full advantage of their team’s capacity. In other words, you make sure the pipeline is always moving forward by using an agile, ever-active approach.
The Kanban method is defined as a “pull” system. This means you pull work into the system (or to-do list), whenever your team has the capacity for it. In other words, you aim not to have too many things in the “In Progress” pile at once.
The principles of Kanban include: - Start where you are now The great thing about the Kanban methodology is that you can apply the concept to your current workflow, which makes it much easier to implement because there’s no need to change existing processes or technology.
You can easily add a Trello board to your current workflow management strategy for instance. The benefits of Kanban are usually gradual, and they develop over time, rather than requiring a massive change in processes.
- Agree to evolutionary change Although you can leverage the strategies you already have in place with the Kanban method, you do need to take on a specific kind of mindset. The people in your team need to agree to pursue constant, incremental change.
Sweeping changes can often unsettle teams and hurt performance. Kanban on the other hand is intended to incur minimal resistance among team members by encouraging slower, more consistent changes.
- Respect current roles and responsibilities You don’t have to make any significant changes to the organizational structure of your business when introducing a Kanban methodology.
Kanban can adapt to existing processes, roles, and responsibilities. Similar to process changes, any changes to roles and responsibilities can be incremental, to avoid change resistance.
- Encourage acts of leadership from all levels Finally, Kanban allows everyone on your team to have more of an impact on the overall movement of the business. Because the focus is on constant development and improvement, everyone needs to have a voice.
If the lowest-ranked team member comes up with an incredible idea, they should still be given the attention and respect they deserve.
What is Kanban Today? With the development of collaboration tools and project management technology, Kanban as a concept has been gradually improving. Today, we have a wide range of digital Kanban boards available to support remote teams in overcoming a range of common problems.
A modern Kanban solution can make it easy to distribute and keep track of the flow of work in an agile environment. In a hybrid and remote world of work, it’s possible to set up workflow automation processes and track the performance of a team through a Kanban board.
Many of the top tools used in Kanban workflow processes can also integrate with other systems. This makes it easier to maintain a consistent, collaborative environment.
Used correctly, Kanban can be a powerful tool for productivity.
Kanban method: optimize workflows, increase productivity, visualize tasks, agile approach, pull system, gradual changes, respect roles, encourage leadership, digital Kanban boards, improve productivity.