The Kanban principles and practices have made their way from the plants of Toyota engaging in breakthrough lean manufacturing work to the world of software and knowledge work management today. In simple words, the Kanban system is a means to visualize, design, manage and improve flow systems for knowledge workers.
The method is well suited to help organizations start with their existing workflows and drive process optimization through continuous evolutionary change. You can get started with the Kanban method with a simple 3-column board: requested, in-progress, & done.
The Kanban method is suited for knowledge work where the arrival of work requests is unpredictable and quick deployment without over-dependence on other departments is a priority.
The Kanban system can be broken into two types of principles and six practices. The types of Kanban principles are:
Used to address our tendency to resist change by starting with established practices and striving for evolutionary improvement. There are three principles under this type:
Used to develop an ever-evolving service-oriented approach by deeply understanding the customer's needs and creating self-organizing service networks. In this case, too, there are three principles:
Actionable Tip: Start by bringing your team together to establish the base on which you'll implement the Kanban system. You can also ask members to take initiatives to constantly improve the process.
While the principles might guide the Kanban system, we must understand its practices for successful implementation. There are six of them, to be precise.
Kanban system is popular among knowledge workers due to the many advantages it brings to them. Some of the key ones that the Kanban system helps with are:
Overall, Kanban is a valuable system that will help you get things done effectively. The system is flexible enough to work with your existing flow and consistently improve on it. While we did cover some essential aspects of the system, there are still many things to learn about it for those who are curious.
Hence, here are some resources for further consumption:
Shiva is a subject matter expert in communication, marketing, productivity, and learning systems. He has previously contributed to many blogs and newsletters, including Validated, Mental Models, HackerNoon, and several brands. You can find Shiva on LinkedIn or email him at shiva(at)routine.co.