Before we start discussing what Kanban system is and how you can utilize it to maximize system efficiency, it is recommended to read this article first on What Industrial Engineering is and Why you should study it?
The Kanban allows a continuous flow of material and information within a system by visualizing the process, restricting work in progress (WIP), and controlling the operations based on customer demand.
The Kanban Method takes its name from the use of Kanban, which is a visual communication structure to monitor progressive work for abstract work items. Like Scrum, Kanban method is designed to help teams work better together.
Generally, the systems using this method are called flows – indicating that workflows through the system continuously rather than being organized into distinct time boxes.
Are you interested in knowing more about Lean Manufacturing tools and techniques? This article will help you with that.
Principles of Kanban System
Kanban methodology is based on the following four principles:
- Visualizing workflow:
Kanban merely involves recording the workflow in a manner that can be easily visualized, unlike other business processes that prohibit the workflow. It is vital to map the process visually to begin the Kanban improvement and search for improvement opportunities.
- Restrict work in progress:
The philosophy behind the Kanban is to push every bit of work from start to finish efficiently-all while trying to minimize the duplication and cut costs throughout the process. This will include a restriction of the amount of work in the pipeline to what is relatively achievable at a particular time.
It helps to balance the flow-based approach so that teams do not begin and participate in too much work at once.
Much like in the grocery store today, the product is only brought from the backroom to the shelf when the customer’s demand makes way for it. The work is never moved forward, which is how they prevent bottlenecks.
- Focus on Flow:
The third principle includes concentrating on the output flow and the process. Once Kanban’s first two principles are in place, work will flow naturally and eventually feel simpler. The emphasis should be on any interruptions in the flow. They reflect resources for further visualization and enhancement of processes.
- Continuous Improvement:
Kanban’s ultimate target is consistent progress. The amount of change you can achieve within a manufacturing cycle can never be finished-unless you are running at optimum capacity. Kanban is never done, and if you use the technique, then you are not either.
Continuous improvement techniques can help ensure that a facility is continually working to reduce waste, increase performance, and change the way a facility does things. Although not all current attempts to change are linked to Kanban, it’s an essential concept to uphold from the very start.
Kanban System values
A person applying Kanban methodologies should adopt the following values:
The flow of business value increases by freely exchanging knowledge, using a simple and concise language.
The method of Kanban was introduced to improve the teamwork of the people.
- Focus on the customer
Kanban systems strive to maximize the value transfer to consumers outside the system, but who may be internally or externally linked with the operation of the company.
The starting point requires individual and organizational self-knowledge to step forward and develop.
To achieve effectiveness, different aspects, points of view and capabilities, need to be balanced.
Management is required at all levels to achieve continuous improvement and value production.
All people involved in a system are committed to change and agree to work towards goals together while acknowledging and accepting different views and approaches.
Benefits of Kanban System
Kanban offers you a lot of benefits like better visibility, better productivity, and efficiency, reduce cost and etc. Let us discuss some of them in details:
Visualization and the Kanban board is the essential feature and visible aspect of the system. Every project has a set of tasks to perform and a set of processes that a job must pass. Anyone can immediately see how the tasks pass through the process using the Kanban board.
You can quickly spot the bottlenecks, as they are formed, by the simplicity of its visual display.
Every product manager wishes to do more. When there is some room in the budget, throwing extra resources at a problem is a possible solution, but what if you could do more with what you already have? The most obvious advantage of using Kanban is increased flow capacity that happens shortly after the Kanban system is introduced into the organization.
Improved efficiency naturally contributes to improved productivity.
By changing the concentration from beginning work to finishing work, the Kanban improves your productivity.
In Kanban, the main efficiency metrics are cycle time and throughput. Cycle time determines how long the cycle takes for a task to move. Throughput tests the rate of the tasks performed during a given period of time. Keeping up your cycle time and throughput shows you how your productivity regularly improves over time.
For many companies, the need for flexibility drives the bid for the growth of the business. The freedom to respond quickly and decisively to the needs of your customers and to the actions of competitors is necessary for significant development, especially for early-stage companies.
The product managers are free to reconsider immediate goals based on market conditions by selecting paths with a Kanban roadmap rather than depending on a fixed general project schedule. The Kanban Approach proposes a backlog management approach that helps teams become more self-managed while at the same time, adding accountability and coherence to the decision-making process.
Better business environment
Strengthened organizational culture of productivity and inclusiveness is due to the good cooperation between team leaders, administrators, partners, and customers. This promotes flexibility and initiative, enabling team members to unleash their ingenuity and talents.
Recommended Books for the Kanban System application
1. Kanban by David J. Anderson
Teams around the world are applying Kanban to their current processes to facilitate cultural change and bring more flexibility to the company. For this, the Kanban book by David J. Anderson provides analysis and limitation of work-in-progress in the development of software and the practice of information technology. The book is well organized and practically well defined.
Before reading this book, I believed that the Kanban was just an example of using the team board. Yet, this book proved me wrong and told me that there is even more to Kanban.
This book comprises of four parts:
2. Kanban benefits
3. Implementing Kanban
4. Making improvements
Thus, providing you all information that is essential for understanding the Kanban method.
The book makes use of good examples and gives me a clear insight into how Kanban can and should function. This technique helped me a lot to set up, use, and optimize my own Kanban system.
In short, this is an all-in-one guide that offers you all the essential content of the Kanban system. You should check out this book on Amazon.com and enjoy its outstanding services.
2. Kanban Change Leadership: Creating a Culture of Continuous Improvement
This book offers content regarding the importance of understanding change management for Kanban as well as the techniques to implement it in the workplace.
It also provides information regarding the critical aspects of the Kanban and some realistic tips for handling Kanban change to help escape the traps.
I personally believe that this book is the practical guide for implementing change programs based on David Anderson’s more abstract book on the Kanban system. This book also helps people appreciate the “technology” behind strategies for change and provides plenty of tools and approaches to be used.
If you have never given a workshop before but know these principles, you could use the suggestions in this book and have a robust plan on your way.
This book provides me detailed information on Kanban methodologies and the tools and techniques utilized in this regard. It enables me to understand all the Kanban terms thoroughly and apply them for optimizing my business processes. Even the reading is fun, so the time goes faster than the pages.
This book is a resource of the different tools and techniques of Kanban, along with the critical information. So, it would be best if you gave it a try. Check it out on Amazon.com.
3. Kanban: 3 Books in 1 – The Ultimate Beginner’s, Intermediate & Advanced Guide to Learn Kanban Step by Step
This book provides you all the essential information to upgrade your Kanban to a higher level. It gives you the information you need to make your processes more productive and effective.
This book provides you a path to advance from the beginner level to a complex advanced level.
This book provides you the methods and techniques for progressing from the level of Beginner Kanban Project Management to the level of Intermediate Kanban Project Management. It also gives you information regarding the tools and techniques that have been used by several companies for their improvement. Thus, providing you all the essential information in this regard.
All beginners should read this book to have the proper and essential knowledge regarding Kanban and to make progress from a beginner level to an advanced level. You can check it out on Amazon.com.
4. Agile Project Management with Kanban (Developer Best Practices)
With Kanban, you can add value to the customers every minute you spend on a software project. One book will help you accomplish this objective that is Agile Project Management with Kanban.
The book provides you with the practical tools for right-size teams to predict, reach deadlines, deploy components and facilities, adapt or develop from Scrum or traditional Waterfall, and more. This book tells about good, traditional, and notorious Project Management, something that is considered bad and dead by many Agile or Lean orthodox people. It presents precise and actionable ways of implementing Kanban as a method for organizations of various sizes and kinds.
The book covers the basics of the new methodology and attempts to provide guidance for the move. It is easy to read. The book is filled with enthusiastic and fascinating examples of writing. It doesn’t pretend to be Kanban’s sole source of all information but provides suggestions if more specifics are needed, which I find refreshing personally.
It provides me a clear and concise explanation of the terms and topics related to Kanban. It also offers me the specific instructions regarding the start-up with the Kanban. You can also check it out on Amazon.com.
5. Kanban Maturity Model: Evolving Fit-For-Purpose Organizations
The Kanban Maturity Model is a modern, useful tool for coaches and consultants who advise large organizations’ change and development using the Kanban method.
The book is for consultants, trainers, organizational change agents, and executives who have to lead medium-scale and large-scale companies through a transformation to strengthen their processes and delivery of services.
This book is intended for companies seeking superior business resilience, delivering fit-for-use goods and services, delighting consumers, and ensuring long-term survival.
This book is a must-read for all Kanban practitioners who want to get an adequate amount of content regarding the Kanban Methodology. This book offered me precious experience in managing and improving the workflow with the resources of the Lean Kanban. This book is excellent and exceptionally well written. You can also check this book out on Amazon.com.
6. Kanban in Action by Marcus Hammarberg
This book is a down-to-earth guide to Kanban with no frills. It’s based on a lot of practice and a lot of observations.
This book gives you the basics of how the Kanban works, as well as how to use various color stickies on a Kanban board to help you organize and track your work products.
It discusses the concept behind flow-based processes and gives a lot of practical implementation tips on everything from visualizing research to getting a sticky note out properly.
Kanban In Action is a wonderful, well arranged, and well-written book. I can say that this is a book that I always refer because of the richness of the material and its realistic approach. You can check out this book on Amazon.com.
The Kanban approach formalizes the flow approach to information work and gives companies a way of enhancing their processes of software creation and implementing agile standards and concepts without even needing to experience significant cultural change.
Kanban system offers you a way to enhance your capabilities for the success of your business life. Its methodologies, tools, and techniques enable you to build your career and your future.
So, if you want your future to be bright and your business successful, you need to have the essential information regarding the Kanban system through which you can enjoy several business opportunities.