What Is Kanban

Kanban is a workflow administration method intended to assist you to visualise your workflow, maximise productivity and be flexible. Kanban is a Japanese concept that can be interpreted as signboard or noticeboard. Arising from production, it later grew into a theory maintained by rapid software development organisations. Lately, it started becoming recognised in business circles for its uses across various areas. 

As it becomes more and more popular, it has begun to be misinterpreted. So what precisely is Kanban? Here are the most important things you need to know to understand the concept. 

Kanban an introduction 

Initially, it emerged as a scheduling method for streamline manufacturing, arising from the early Toyota Production System (TPS). Beginning in the late 1940s, Toyota added the concept of just in time producing to their manufacturing. The program embodies a pull system. Meaning that their production was based solely on demand, as opposed to the more traditional method of a push-based practice that was meant to produce a certain amount of goods so they could be pushed to market. 

Their unique production system set the framework of Lean manufacturing or just Lean. Its central goal was decreasing waste without decreasing productivity. The end goal was to pass these reduced costs onto the customer through being able to sell products at a more competitive price. 

What is the KanBan methodology 

At the start of the 21st Century, essential players in the software business soon realised how Kanban might be used to impact the ways their services and products were delivered. 

With an enhanced focus on productivity and by harnessing advancements in computing technology, Kanban jumped from the realm of the automotive trade and was favourably applied to other complicated commercial areas such as software development, sales. 

The simplex way of devising a Kanban board is to use just three columns, Requested. In Progress and Done. It can serve store real-time information once it is built, managed and running correctly. It can also be used to highlight problems in execution and design while offering solutions fluidly, minimising delays to production where ever possible. 

How exactly does this Kanban work? 

Kanban methodologies follow just four fundamental principles. 

The first principle – always start with what you know 

The beauty of the Kanban method is that it can be integrated with existing systems, workflows and processes without negatively impacting that is operating successfully. It will merely highlight areas that need addressing and help plan any changes that need to be implemented is as non-intrusive a fashion as possible. This methodology is so versatile it can be introduced in increments follow the system that Is designed to minimise disruption. And be effectively implemented across a broad range of organisations as there is little or no need for sweeping change has to be made directly. 

The second principle -; agree with evolution, not a Revolution. 

The kanban method focuses on the small changes which prompt an evolution in the current process while meeting with minimal resistance. Generally, most organisations avoid sweeping changes, as a result of uncertainty and fear among their staff. 

The third principle -: always respect current responsibilities, rules, and processes. 

Kanban recognises that existing processes, roles, responsibilities, and titles have value and are, generally, worth preserving. The Kanban method does not obstruct change. Still, it is designed to support and help incremental, relevant, differences without triggering any anxiety caused by this change. 

The fourth principle – actively encourage effective leadership 

This is the most current Kanban principle. It suggests to you that the best examples of leadership come from ordinary acts of somebody to the forefront of their teams. A successful leader must have the mindset that continual improvement is central to optimal performance. 

What are the six practices Kanban philosophy 

There are six core practises that are central to the successful implementation of Kanban. 

Always visualise the process 

It is essential to be able to see the process for it to be successful; you need to understand what it takes to bring your product from concept to reality. Only after learning how the course of work currently works can you try to correct it by performing the necessary modifications. 

Limit Work in Progress 

It can be harmful to any process to implement change in the middle of a production lead cycle unless you tread very carefully; it will inevitably lead to inefficiencies occurring. Kanban is designed to allow a workable number of functions to be active at any given time. Limiting work in progress ensures that a pull system is introduced to your workflow. This ensures that setting a maximum number of items is set per stage, meaning that any part of the flow is not overloaded. 

Effectively manage flow 

Creating a healthy process that operates smoothly in central to Kanban. In other words, we are interested in maintaining the production flow, not the people. Once the current is running at an optimum speed, we need only focus on managing work processes and placing policies in place to get this work through the system quicker than before. The faster and smoother the flow, the more value our system is creating. Focusing on reducing the average cycle, thus avoiding costs attached to delays is central to this principle. 

Make policies clear and concise. 

How can you possibly hope to change something that you cannot understand? Remember to define the process, before implementing any changes, If you want people to get involved, make sure they see the benefit that these changes will have for them. 

Feedback Loops 

Listening is one of the keys to the success of a Kanban philosophy; your staff will tell you all you need to know if they are allowed to speak. Offer every team member the chance to talk without the fear of reprisal on front of the Kanban board to explain their thoughts. Detail what their plans are for the day, encourage them to take and give feedback. 

Encourage active collaboration 

The best way to implement continuous, effective and sustainable change is to get as many people to share the same vision. If most people are working towards the same end goal, the chances of reaching the destination increase exponentially. 

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