What is Kanban?

Today, everything is happening and changing very quickly in the business world. In a fast-paced business environment, businesses need to continuously increase their productivity to ensure success. For example, let’s imagine that your team has started a new project. You need every step to be up-to-date and accurate, such as the details of the project, its stages, task distribution and process progress. Instead of scrolling through files, papers and tables to use the information you need, you can view all the steps in one place using Kanban, workflow management, and execute your projects more successfully.

Definition of Kanban

Kanban is originally a Japanese word meaning “visual card” or “board”. All the details of a project are represented on kanban boards and even the most complex projects are brought together on a single visual.

In other words, the Kanban system helps teams focus on tasks and work processes until the project is completed by visually representing the project and workflow. Thus, the efficiency of the teams’ work is maximized.

How Does the Kanban System Work?

On a Kanban board, all work is displayed on a project board organized in columns. Each column represents a phase of work. A typical Kanban board has columns such as workflow “to do”, “in progress” and “completed”. These columns are filled with cards showing team members their tasks. A team implements task tracking by following them through these columns.

Basic Principles of Kanban

The Kanban system is based on three basic principles and guides businesses to optimize workflow. Let’s briefly examine these principles:

Representing Work Tasks in a Visual Way

The first principle is to visually represent workflows with cards on a board. Teams can follow the processes and tasks on these cards. Creating a visual representation of the project helps to identify bottlenecks, make the work more transparent and more efficient.

Limited Amount of Work

The second principle is to delimit the work that needs to be done at each stage on the Kanban board. Limiting the work prevents overloading teams with tasks and helps them focus on completing a single task. Thus, the efficiency of the work increases.

Continuous Improvement of Workflow

The third principle focuses on continuously improving workflow based on the Kaizen philosophy. Teams continuously review the workflow, identify bottlenecks and optimize the flow by improving workflows. It ensures that tasks are done efficiently.

What are the Benefits of the Kanban System?

The main benefit of Kanban is that it increases the visibility of a job and encourages continuous improvement. Other benefits of using Kanban are as follows:

  • Increased Flow Visibility.

Kanban is based on the idea of visualizing each job. In this way, the Kanban board becomes the information center that brings all the information together. It brings transparency to the business process by making all tasks visible. Team members can track the status of the project or task by looking at the board.

  • Reduced Lead Time.

Kanban increases workflow visibility, allowing teams to track work distribution and make informed analysis. In this way, each team knows what they need to do and can easily identify bottlenecks in the processes. The team that deals with these challenges in a timely manner can shorten lead times.

  • Increased Transparency.

The visual workflow shows the task distribution of the employees in the project. This allows everyone in the team to see who is assigned which task and prevents the question “has this been done?” for a task. Thus, it brings transparency to the process.

  • Improves Collaboration Among Employees.

A Kanban board allows team members to see what other people are working on. This encourages the team to give feedback, offer ideas and work collaboratively with their peers.

  • Promotes Continuous Improvement.

Kanban is built on the process of continuous improvement. The team implementing Kanban regularly observes the processes and makes improvements to the processes that are causing bottlenecks. This both encourages continuous improvement and ensures flexibility.

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