Ultimate Beginner’s Guide For Efficient Kanban Process

While searching for the best project management approach on the internet, you must have come across Kanban- the most used project management approach worldwide. Introduced to the world in the late 1940s, Kanban has crossed the boundary of Toyota’s manufacturing unit and has become a new normal for all the firms located in every corner of the world.

Even if you haven’t searched on the internet, you must have heard people talking about it as it is a keyword for the entire secret society. One of the first things that you should know about this impeccable project management strategy is it’s worth investing in, regardless of the size and industry of your firm.

All you will need is 15 to 20 minutes to understand the core functioning of Kanban- the game-changer for project management and increasing efficiency. To make things easier for you, we have come up with this Kanban software guide for beginners so that you can start the Kanban journey from scratch.

What is Kanban?

Kanban is a Japanese word that means ‘signboard. This fantastic concept of managing inventory was introduced by Taiichi Ohno, an engineer at Toyota during the 1940s. He noticed that the inventory management system used by retail shops was a more effective way to deal with overproduction and introduced Kanban to Toyota. 

Before using the Kanban system, the refilling of reordering of stocks was done based on forecasted sales and demand. This was an ineffective approach since forecasting can never be accurate. But in the case of retail stores, they used a pull system, and in this system, new items were ordered only when they sold the existing items. It means that they did the refilling of inventory based on actual sales, not on forecasting.

The same pull system was implemented in the manufacturing unit of Toyota, and soon common inventory management issues like overprocessing and overstocking were eliminated. This pull system was introduced as the Toyota Production System and became the base of what is known as the Kanban method.

At that time, signal cards were used by the line workers in the plants of Toyota, and it was the cards that gave signals when to move an inventory from supply to storage. It is how the Kanban system transformed into a just-in-time method for lean manufacturing. This method helped the Toyota plants to get rid of improper value and waste.

What is a Kanban method?

Kanban software is a tool based on the Kanban method to workflow management used to improve Service Delivery. The technique focuses on the smooth and quick flow of work.

The Kanban method does not imply assigning specific roles since it is wholly based on evolutionary changes that lead to continuous improvement. You might have to focus on various aspects of the Kanban board but to begin with, here are the four core Kanban practices:

Visualize the work- This means that you should be able to look at the tasks involved in your project at any time.

Limit work in progress- There should always be a limit to the number of tasks a team can work on at a given time. New tasks should be introduced only when the existing tasks leave.

Measure and manage workflow– A team should be able to measure the workflow, and based on the data collected, they should be able to improve the way tasks are managed.

Make policies explicit- The specific design of the Kanban board will make the process policies straightforward.

The primary purpose of Kanban

The different teams of a firm, especially the operation team, are constantly under pressure. The number of tasks that the teams handle is always more than their capacity. This leads to delays in accessing the product and services for customers.

Kanban helps such teams in seeing the work in progress in a visual manner. These tasks have been started but haven’t been completed. So, instead of increasing the backlogs, the team can focus on achieving what’s currently in line.

 

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Some common challenges and how to deal with them

 

While using the Kanban board, don’t try to boil the ocean. You can indeed do many things with the Kanban board, but you should never make things complicated as this will create more confusion. For example, instated of cramming in project risks on the project board, you can build a separate risk board.

You don’t need to spend months training your team members on using Kanban since this popular methodology is known for its simplicity. But take care of the different aspects of the Kanban software method explained in this blog post before searching, shifting, and implementing this new method.

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