How to Apply the Kanban Method?

Many companies fail to stick to the project plans and deadlines made during the year and end up at the end of the year with unfinished projects, misplaced budgets and far from the intended targets. The main reason for the emergence of such problems is the lack of proper project management. In order to avoid such problems, businesses benefit from project management techniques such as Kanban. In this blog post, we will talk about the benefits of using Kanban.

What is Kanban?

Kanban, part of the Agile methodology, is defined as a project management technique. It is the most agile and adaptable project management chart available on the market. In the project management process, Kanban methodology offers the possibility to visually manage project management. It visualizes project management, which many people consider intuitive, and enables the efficient creation of workflow. Thus, it facilitates project management and provides certain advantages to businesses.

Basic principles of Kanban

Kanban boards depend on some principles and practices during the construction phase. The basic principles of Kanban methodology are as follows;

1. Start with the plan that is in the flow right now:

Kanban emphasizes small, step-by-step improvements. So, the team should start with the existing workflow and then continuously improve the process.

2. Limit the tasks available:

When teams take on work beyond their capacity, it wastes time and has a negative impact on the project. It is therefore important that team members recognize their own limits and limit the work in progress accordingly.

3. Respect existing standards, roles and responsibilities:

An important reason for Kanban’s success is that organizations do not have to radically change their existing work culture. Many organizations resist contemporary methodologies because they are unsure about change. Kanban, on the other hand, offers a way to increase efficiency even while staying within the boundaries of the existing order.

4. Leadership for all levels of employees:

While other traditional project management methods require executive approval for simple tasks, Kanban empowers the employee to make decisions on the task. This allows for the development of future leaders who are constantly learning from mistakes and improving their work. Kanban empowers its members to lead, take risks and grow professionally by fostering a culture of safety, as David J. Anderson puts it.

4 Key Benefits of Kanban in Project Processes

To begin with, Kanban is suitable for companies of all sizes. The following benefits will be able to adapt to every company. Thanks to its flexibility, Kanban can be used in all areas, from production to sales, from software to construction.

The benefits of Kanban are its visualization of processes in general, its flexibility, simplification of task allocation and the ease with which projects can be completed. In particular, the transparency of the processes and the selectability of the to-dos provide motivation to the teams to complete the project.

Visualization

One of the most important benefits of Kanban is that it visualizes the project. Using Kanban boards diagrams the process of how a plan works. Because the Kanban board transfers the entire process to a single page or screen, it makes it easy to see which employee has what task and where it falls in the process. For the team, this means everything is more understandable and better collaboration.

Builds resilience

For many companies agility is very important. Change is essential for problems such as changing the timing of the service to be provided depending on the wishes of the customers, and this is not possible in some project boards. Another important benefit of using Kanban is that it gives flexibility to projects. Changes in time, assignment and service provided do not mean a complete change of plan for the board, as there are no precise boundaries drawn. Since Kanban is structurally suitable for this, only the changes are revisited. In short, it takes shape according to timeless project processes and workflows.

Unifies disorganized teams at one point

There are modules for working remotely or from the office from anywhere in the world, which is a phenomenon of our age. However, remote workers may sometimes be unaware of the process and project planning, or there may be communication problems between those working in the office and remote workers. Thanks to Kanban, such problems are minimized. Since Kanban is on an active board, when everyone visualizes and shares their work, the existing communication gaps are eliminated. Another kanban effect that can be done is daily meetings. On the active kanban board, all team members can constantly exchange views on how to improve processes together, from daily organizations to strategic reviews.

Increases focus

Kanban boards provide motivation to team members as a plus of their visuality and flexibility. The project is clear from start to finish and leads to finishing the visible project rather than setting up a new project plan. By focusing teams on the most important tasks, it helps to draw the focus of employees to a single point.

Thanks to all these benefits, delivery speeds are continuously increased and processes are shortened as disruptions in the process are minimized. In addition, customer satisfaction, employee motivation and internal success increase. As a result, using a Kanban board helps projects and processes to progress with the best performance.

How to Apply Kanban in Project Management?

Kanban board setup:

First, it is necessary to choose a physical dashboard or a digital tool (such as Trello, Jira or Microsoft Planner) according to your company’s needs. On this dashboard, the project should be visualized in an easy-to-understand format by placing “to-do, in progress and completed” columns. If necessary, other columns can be added to better serve the project, such as review.

To complete the visualization, it is necessary to clarify the work, workflow and business risk.

Work: Each card represents individual tasks. The progression of the cards in columns allows you to quickly understand what stage the work is in. This quick overview helps you understand the overall progress of the project.

Workflow: On a Kanban board, the workflow is usually represented by different stages from left to right.

Business Risks: Identifying business risks may require looking at the details of each card, but there are often visual clues. For example, if more cards are listed in the “In Progress” or “In Progress” stage than expected, there may be a bottleneck slowing down work.

Whether you are using an online dashboard or a paper-based system, visual cues such as color codes, labels and labeling help highlight important information. This increases team member collaboration and enables more effective project management.

Work in progress (WIP) limitation

Determine how many jobs will be done at the same time in each phase. This prevents overloading and backlogs. For example, a limit can be set, such as allowing only three jobs to be in the “In Progress” column at the same time.

Follow-up of workflow:

As team members carry their job cards on the board, they should keep track of progress. This makes visible who is working on what, completed tasks and those that are pending. The total duration of task handovers here is an element that project teams should reduce as much as possible.

This process is usually assigned to the project manager and it is his/her job to ensure that the workflow moves quickly while dealing with blocks, bottlenecks and risks. Tracking the process and smoothness of the flow helps to see how efficient the process is and how the results are affected. This is one of the most important performance indicators.

Open policy communication

With a clear understanding of the issues, operations and rules, discussions become more rational and objective. These need to be documented and shared with the project team. The aim is to avoid subjective opinions and stay in line with clear objectives.

Get feedback

It is very important for kanban to hold team meetings on how things are going, how things are going, and to make open evaluations. Making continuous improvements, and working towards eliminating problems that may arise or have already arisen, ensures that the quality of the work delivered is maintained.

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