If you have heard about the long list of benefits offered by the Kanban system but are still confused about many of its aspects, then you have come to the right place. Through this blog post, we will try to make you understand the basic concept of Kanban which will further enable you to make the most of it too.
What is Kanban?
Kanban is a type of visual system used for adequately managing the work as it keeps moving through the entire process. With Kanban’s help, one can easily visualize the workflow along with the type of work that is being passed through that workflow. Although there are many things that Kanban will offer to your firm, it is implemented with the main motive of finding all the potential obstacles or what is more popularly known as bottlenecks and fixing them as soon as possible; This helps the team keep running the work at optimal speed and deliver value more frequently to the market.
Understanding the Kanban method
Kanban came into existence through the manufacturing industry by Taiichi Ohno but the first person to apply this powerful concept to knowledge work was David J. Anderson. He implemented the Kanban concept in the software and IT development industry and kept on working on the idea brought in by others to define Kanban properly. The first book on Kanban was published in the year 2010.
The Kanban method is a type of process through which whatever you are doing is streamlined. Whether it is the recruitment process, software development, product development, or management, a proper workflow can be improved in every aspect of the business with the help of this method. The Kanban system’s versatility makes it more effective, which is why every type of firm can benefit from it.
The founding principles of the Kanban Method
Here are the founding principles of the Kanban Method that you must understand:-
Begin with your current work- The Kanban method never forces you to make drastic changes to what you are doing currently. In this method, the changes occur gradually, giving the team members time to adjust and improve.
Be ready for incremental changes– If you are using Kanban, you will need to make small gradual changes in the workflow instead of making any radical ones. A radical change might have to face resistance from the team members.
Respect all the current responsibilities and roles– Kanban never motivates the firm to make any organizational changes. If the current roles and responsibilities are doing well, you don’t need to change them.
The Kanban Board
The team’s entire workflow is based on the Kanban Board, which is a tool used for visualizing the workflow and then streamlining the same while eliminating bottlenecks. Many firms and teams out there are indeed reluctant to use a physical board for this purpose, but at the same time, virtual boards are growing in popularity as it allows even remote teams to work effectively.
It doesn’t matter whether you are using a digital board or a virtual board. You should work with the main motive of visualizing the workflow, standardizing the process, and eliminating every type of bottleneck after identifying them.
Why use Kanban?
Now that you have gone through the primary Kanban concepts , it’s time to get familiar with the Kanban system’s benefits.
If a team is working based on the Kanban system, it will be focused entirely on the work in progress. The team will move to another task only after the completion of the first one. The work owner will always have the advantage of all the reprioritizing works in the backlog without making any significant changes in the team or disrupting the team.
Reduced time cycle
When it comes down to the Kanban system, then the cycle time becomes the key for all the team. Cycle time is the time taken by a unit to travel through the workflow from the moment the task goes in progress to the moment when it’s done.. By working on cycle time and optimizing it correctly, the team can accurately forecast the delivery.
One of the most important aspects of a Kanban system is reducing wastage. Only that amount of inventory is stored in use, and the next restocking happens only when the first batch is properly used. This leads to reduced wastage and the proper use of all the resources.
A kanban system is one of the most effective workflow management systems that can be used in any business function, which is why it is so effective. But make sure to learn its basics and go through this Kanban tutorial first before implementing it.