What is Kanban?

What is Kanban? Features of Kanban

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Whether in an individual or a business that wants to operate and develop stably, it is necessary to have an appropriate work management system. And Kanban is often mentioned and applied by many organizations and businesses. To help readers find the answer to the question What is Kanban? and Kanban related information, let's Johnson's Blog Find out in the article below.

What does Kanban mean?

Kanban is a term that originates from the Japanese company Toyota. In Japanese, Kanban means signboard. Kanban is a method for managing and optimizing workflows, especially in software development and production. It was originally developed for the Toyota Production System and uses visual boards to track tasks and progress, allowing teams to balance demand and avoid overloading the system. The goal of kanban is to maximize efficiency and productivity by promoting just-in-time deliveries, reducing wait times, and increasing workflow.

Especially, there are work items displayed in an intuitive, easy-to-understand way to help users have a view of the progress and process from start to finish. Your work will not be pushed into the process when required, but it will be pulled to the capacity.

From that, Kanban model become a familiar method, applicable in most types of companies and businesses operating in many different fields.

>>> See more: What is 5S? and basic information about 5S that you should know

Benefits of Kanban

Kanban offers a number of benefits, including:

  • Increase efficiency: By visualizing work processes and promoting just-in-time delivery, kanban helps teams avoid system overload and maximize efficiency.
  • Better Collaboration: The intuitive nature of kanban makes it easier for team members to see what others are doing and collaborate more effectively.
  • Increase transparency: Kanban makes it easier for teams to see progress, track issues, and identify bottlenecks, leading to increased transparency and accountability.
  • Improve productivity: By reducing wait times and improving workflow, kanban can help teams complete tasks faster and increase overall productivity.
  • Adaptability: Kanban is a flexible methodology that can be tailored to meet the specific needs of a team or organization, making it suitable for many industries and workflows.
  • Customer satisfaction: By getting the job done faster and more efficiently, kanban can help teams respond to customer needs more efficiently, resulting in increased customer satisfaction.

Disadvantages of Kanban

Kanban, like any method, has a number of potential downsides, including:

  • Difficulty in implementation: Implementing a kanban system can be challenging, especially for teams that are not used to intuitive management or just-in-time delivery.
  • Limited flexibility: Tight control of workflow in a kanban system can limit flexibility, making it difficult to handle unexpected events or changes in demand.
  • Lack of priority: Without clear deadlines or priorities, it can be difficult to prioritize tasks in the kanban system.
  • Too much reliance on the table: Teams can become too dependent on visual boards and ignore other forms of communication or collaboration.
  • Resist change: Some team members may resist a change to the kanban system, especially if they are used to a different way of doing things.
  • Complexity: For large or complex projects, a kanban system can become too unwieldy to be effective.

It is important to consider these potential downsides when deciding whether to implement a Kanban system, and to plan the implementation carefully to ensure success. In many cases, the benefits of kanban outweigh the disadvantages, and teams can successfully implement this approach to improve workflow and increase productivity.

What principle does Kanban work on?

Kanban works based on the following 4 principles:

Principles of intuitive management

The Kanban board will include specific work status columns. Each job with a different status will be placed in the corresponding status column. Businesses can completely use physical boards or use Viindoo as a Kanban support software.

The goal of visual management is to make work processes clear and transparent, foster collaboration, and keep teams on track.

In a kanban system, visual management is achieved through the use of visual boards, which show the status of work items and help teams manage workflow.

Visual dashboards help teams quickly see the status of work items and identify any bottlenecks or inefficiencies. This fosters collaboration and keeps teams on track, reducing the risk of mistakes and ensuring that work gets delivered on time.

Principle of just-in-time delivery

The goal of kanban is to deliver work on time, avoid overloading the system, and reduce wait times. This helps to maximize efficiency and improve work flow.

In each state there will be a certain amount of work being done concurrently. As a result, limiting the unfinished business improves performance, and problems and obstacles become more apparent. This helps to create the conditions for continuous improvement, reducing the cost and effort required to change.

In addition, it also creates a stable motivation in work through development efforts because the new task can only proceed when the previous task is completed.

>>> See more: What is Kaizen?? Compare 5S and Kaizen

Principle of focusing on work flow 

The Kanban model helps in group policy development. Then from there, help optimize the system to improve the workflow more smoothly. In particular, the policies and process explanations are very clear and transparent, helping the team to exchange, discuss and change in a positive and subjective way.

The goal of kanban is to improve workflow and deliver value to customers as efficiently as possible. By visualizing workflows and limiting work in progress, kanban helps teams avoid system overload and reduce wait times. This results in more efficient and effective use of resources, improving the overall workflow.

In a kanban system, team members are encouraged to focus on the workflow and continuously review and improve processes to eliminate waste and inefficiencies. By continuously monitoring and improving workflow, teams can identify bottlenecks, optimize processes, and increase efficiency.

Principle of continuous improvement

By tracking the quality, production time, etc. for the team to measure the effectiveness. After that, analyzes and tests to change the system will be conducted, helping to increase the effectiveness of the team.

The goal of continuous improvement is to eliminate waste, inefficiencies and bottlenecks, leading to smoother workflows and better results.

In a kanban system, teams are encouraged to regularly review their workflow, identify areas for improvement, and make changes as needed. This helps teams continuously optimize their workflow, reducing waste and increasing efficiency.

Continuous improvement is an important component of the “lean” philosophy, which underlies many modern management techniques, including kanban. By continuously improving work processes, teams can achieve better results, increase customer satisfaction, and improve overall productivity.

How does Kanban work?

Kanban works by using visual boards to track tasks and progress. The table is usually divided into columns, such as “To-Do”, “In Progress”, and “Done”. Tasks are represented by cards and are moved from column to column as they are completed. Visual representation of work makes it easier for team members to see what others are doing and helps balance needs, avoiding system overload.

In the kanban system, the workflow is controlled by setting a limit on the number of tasks that can be in each column at any given time. This helps avoid congestion and promotes just-in-time deliveries. Once a task is completed, a new task can be pulled from the “To-Do” column and started, ensuring a continuous workflow.

Kanban also encourages continuous improvement by allowing teams to review their workflow and make changes if needed. This helps teams identify inefficiencies and implement improvements, resulting in increased efficiency and productivity over time.

Kanban works by using visual boards to track tasks, promote just-in-time deliveries, and encourage continuous improvement, leading to increased efficiency, collaboration, and productivity.

What are the benefits of using the kanban model in task management?

The kanban model for flexible planning

A group Kanban will focus on a certain category of work. When it completes that category, it just begins to move on to the next. Therefore, businesses can freely arrange the outstanding work without interrupting or affecting other on-going items.

However, the owner must keep the most important work items in the backlog. Because then, the development team will always be sure they bring maximum value to the business.

Kanban helps to shorten cycle time

Cycle time is simply understood as the time from the start to the completion of the job. As a result, optimizing cycle times made it possible for the team to predict the future distribution of work.

In Kanban, members always support and complement each other, not focusing solely on any skill. From there, minimizing bottlenecks as well as optimizing cycle times, the process will go smoothly.

>>> See more: Applying Sun Tzu's Art of War in business

Kanban helps to reduce congestion

Limiting work in progress reduces bottlenecks and increases redundancy in a team's processes. The low limit encouraged the teams to pay attention to the issues in the review state. Also review the activities of others before advanced reviews of their own code.

Kanban for visualizing metrics

In Kanban, your work is tracked through a graph, providing an intuitive mechanism that ensures continuous improvement. Among them, control charts and cumulative flow diagrams are used the most. Looking at this data, it will be easier for the team to spot bottlenecks in the process and remove them.

Kanban helps the process to be delivered continuously

It is an obvious fact that the faster a team delivers innovation to the market, the more competitive their product will be in the market. And Kanban does it well. They optimize workflows for their clients, focusing on value that stands at once, just once.

>>>See more: The production management models Commonly applied in businesses today


Through the above article, Johnson's Blog provided readers with basic information about What is Kanban? and benefits of Kanban when applied to task management. If you have any other questions, please leave a comment below.

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