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Kanban: An Overview of the Kanban Methodology

Kanban is a tool you can use to track your progress and is commonly used when working on software projects Kanban is one of the best methods that is taking the reins of the modern workplace. Kanban is not just a process, it’s a way of working as an organization. It’s about helping people get their work done in an efficient manner. Kanban is a system that uses boards, cards, and work-in-progress (WIP) limits to manage the flow of work in a team.

What is Kanban?

Kanban is an open-source project management methodology that is considered to be more flexible than other project management methodologies. It is also considered to be an agile methodology. However, Kanban can also be used in a non-agile way. It is a method where tasks are managed through a visual board. The board is a list of tasks that are prioritized.

You can add tasks to the board, and you can also prioritize them. In order to use Kanban, you need a board to organize your tasks. There are many ways to make a board, including physical boards or digital boards.

It is widely used in software development and in manufacturing. The approach is to visualize the workflow and visualize the current status of the workflow. It helps to make work visible, which helps to break down barriers to change and teams to work together more effectively. It also helps to create a culture of continuous improvement.

How to implement Kanban?

The Kanban methodology is an important tool for managing your workflow. It’s a great way to manage your inventory and your workflow. But, implementing Kanban is not easy. It takes a lot of time and effort. So, how do you implement Kanban?

To implement a Kanban methodology, you need to first understand what it is and the benefits it can provide. Once you understand the basics, you can start implementing them into your workflow. 

  • Identify your current workflow

The first step toward successful Kanban implementation is identifying your current workflow, there are many steps that can be taken to assess your current workflow. This would require participation from everyone on the team, Discuss how your work tours from “To Do” to “Done”

Map out your process on a whiteboard, your workflow might be different depending on your team’s functions

Example:

Small teams: Project>Planning>In Progress>Done

Dev/IT: Backlog>Ready to Start>Design>Development>Testing>Done

Product Management: Features>Pending>Development>Testing>Sign Off>Done

It’s important to know that there is no right or wrong workflow, accuracy is the main goal when you assess the workflow. When you assess your workflow it will be a messy one, but you’ll have plenty of opportunities to improve in the further steps.

  • Visualize the workflow

Now that you have mapped out your workflow, it’s time to visualize the workflow. Take all your work items (current and upcoming ones) and visualize them on a board by creating a card for every one of them, you don’t have to fill out every specific card detail, it can be done later. The main goal of card creation at this stage is to visualize what your team has in progress.

  • Concentrate on the Flow

Flow is simply the measurement of how work moves through your system.  Good flow means that work moves from one step in your process to the next without trouble or delay. Bad flow means that work stops and starts oftentimes, spends a lot of time in queues. Now that you are able to see your workflow, it’s likely that you see many opportunities for improvement. Maybe one lane seems to always have twice the number of cards as another lane then it might be a bottleneck. Maybe work keeps getting stuck at a specific point in your process; maybe you could automate a part of that step to get progress flowing again.

As a team, identify some changes you wish to make to your board, and then make them one at a time, if you change too many things at once, you won’t be able to calculate or see the effect of those changes.

  • Limit your WIP( Work In Progress)

You’ve successfully built your board, you’re moving work through it and you’re implementing innovative solutions to maximize the efficiency of your workflow, Now you’re ready to adopt one of the most important concepts in Kanban i.e Limiting your work in progress.

Limiting your work is the practice of controlling how much work is in the system. Some benefits of limiting WIP include – Better work quality, Increased speed, and reduced context switching.

Limiting your WIP at a team level helps boost productivity and efficiency. It helps everyone to stay on the same page and ensures smooth and clear communication across the team. While limiting WIP on an individual level will help you deliver work faster with better quality.

  • Manage, Measure & Improve 

Your Kanban system should always evolve, the Kanban board and practices aren’t a one-time thing. Your board will reflect your process but it won’t be equally relevant 3 months from now. Be flexible and stay open to improvement, so that you can get maximum value out of your Kanban system.

There are many ways to measure Kanban Metrics.

How to avoid Kanban burnout?

As a manager, you may feel the need to manage the flow of work and the team more because it is not coming to you. Even if this is not your intention, you may still find yourself feeling overwhelmed and burnt out. To avoid Kanban burnout, make sure you are practicing what you are teaching. Break up your workday into smaller blocks, If you are teaching others how to use Kanban, use it yourself as well. Additionally, make sure you are getting enough rest. Burnout can also be a result of not taking care of yourself. You can also prevent burnout by taking a break when you need to.

How to keep up with Kanban?

Kanban is a methodology that’s been around since the 1970s. There are many different ways to keep up with Kanban. Some people keep a physical board to physically keep track of their workflow. Others might use a digital tool or app to keep track. Keep in mind that each person works in a different way. Some people might prefer to use a pen and whiteboard, while others might like to use a digital tool. See what works best for you.

Which Kanban board should I use?

There are many different types of Kanban boards, but they all share the same underlying principles. The most common board is the Kanban board. It’s a simple board with a list of tasks on the left and cards with tasks on the right. The board is split into three columns, representing the past, the present, and the future. The cards are placed in the right column. Each card represents a task that is currently being worked on. The cards are used to visualize the workflow of the project. Another popular board is the traditional or physical board. This type of board is made out of pieces of paper, or cards, which represent tasks that need to be done. The tasks are placed on a separate sheet of paper so that the work can be done.

What are the benefits of using Kanban?

Kanban is a system that is made up of a series of boards. The boards are used for different purposes and are sorted by priority. This system helps not just to manage your tasks, but also to manage your workflow. There are many benefits to using the Kanban system.

  • Assigned tasks help in collaborative problem solving
  • Strategic task scheduling
  • Manage changes in your process and work
  • Communication of workflow with your team
  • Reduces unnecessary work
  • Improves flexibility
  • Easy to get started

If you are new to the Kanban process, you can start with a simple board that is just three columns. You can also use a Kanban board that is organized with just two columns.

When to use Kanban?

Depending on your workflow, Kanban may be the right project management methodology to implement or overlay on your existing processes. Kanban was first used in the physical goods industry but now it’s widely used in the Software Development industry. There are a few factors you should look into before you decide whether Kanban is the right methodology for your team.

    • You need a flexible system
    • Estimation is not necessary
    • You don’t have tough deadlines
    • You want the ability to release anytime
    • Your team doesn’t respond well to big change
    • You want to improve the delivery flow
    • The system needs to be easy to understand

Conclusion

We understand that not everyone is familiar with this methodology so we wanted to provide a guide for those who are curious. We hope that by reading about Kanban, you feel more comfortable with this approach and gain a better understanding of the process. Let us know if you have any questions or comments by visiting our contact us page. Thank you for reading, we are always excited when one of our posts is able to provide useful information on a topic like this!

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