WebRTC Expert Feature

March 21, 2019

7 Reasons you should Implement a Kanban System in your Business




If you’re already familiar with Agile project management, then you may have already heard of the Kanban System. While the system was first introduced by the Toyota company in the ’40s to manage their assembly lines and improve their manufacturing processes, Kanban was pushed to the forefront by software developers to optimize workflow. Kanban is now used in virtually every sector to help teams organize, visualize, optimize, and manage their work better.

And there’s actually science behind why Kanban is so efficient. The brain processes visual information much faster than words, which makes a highly visual system like Kanban so popular and powerful. Through visual information, Kanban is able to kick collaboration and interdepartmental communication into high gear which leads to greater output and productivity. Here are some of the main benefits of implementing a Kanban system into your business.

Highly Versatile

One of the main benefits of using Kanban for project management is because of how versatile and flexible it is. The main idea behind Kanban is to clearly communicate tasks and priorities via visual signals, which can benefits all members of your organization no matter their job titles or functions.

Because it’s can be applied pretty much anywhere in your organization, it can be used by anyone whether it’s at the floor level, marketing, or at the administrative level. It also makes it easier for projects to be moved easily across workers, departments, and functions. For example, you could easily transfer a content project to graphic design or editing, or a new feature on a piece of software through integration and testing.

Allows you to Work on Continuous Improvement

One of the main principles behind Kanban is Kaizen, which aims at constantly improving your processes and product. Using a Kanban system will allow you to quickly assess your workflow, reduce overhead, or reduce your cycle times and lead times among other things.

If you don’t understand what the difference is between cycle time vs lead time and why they’re so important, this article by Kanbanize titled “Kanban: Lead Time vs Cycle Time - Details Explained” summarizes it very well. In short, lead time is the time between when a particular task enters your workflow and when it departs from the system. Cycle time is the period between which a team member pulls a task from the waiting queue and the moment it leaves the system.

By using analytics tools, you will be able to see if there are big gaps between your lead time and cycle time and see how you can make improvements. Analytics will also allow you to quickly identify which specific tasks take the longest to complete and in which stages certain tasks seem to constantly stall. These tools will allow you to see exactly where the problems are in your work process and make the necessary changes immediately.

Also, since Kanban works towards agile responsiveness and continuous improvement, the final product will be less likely to have errors that might require rework. Quality control is put back in the hands of project management, which eventually yields more accurate outcomes.

Reduces Waste

Waste can take many forms in your organization and will all affect your bottom line and productivity in the long run. Using a Kanban system will allow you to better monitor your inventory and prevent overproduction. It will reduce waiting time and cut out non-value adding processes. No more underutilizing your staff’s expertise, talents, and skills. You’ll also be able to greatly reduce unnecessary motion between team members and cut out unnecessary movement of materials and products.

Increase Output

Kanban allows team members to limit their workload and over-commitment to tasks through what is called work in progress or WIP limits. WIP limits allow your team to eliminate blockages and work together to move items across the board until they’re completed. This also allows them to keep their work focused and prevents distractions and multi-tasking. This results in a team that can get much more done and faster.

Setting clear WIP limits allows you to limit the amount of workload stress among your developers, team members, and project managers during a project’s lifecycle.

Helps Manage Time Better

Kanban software will usually also have productivity tools that will allow you and team members to assess how time is used or wasted. One team member might be buried under work while another may have nothing to do. This will allow you to reallocate resources where needed and improve productivity. This will not only allow you to use your workforce better but will also make sure that they aren’t overworked.

Improves Collaboration

Collaboration is much more efficient when using a virtual Kanban system. Since the boards are transparent, project managers don’t have to waste time on status updates. Team members can see the progress on the Kanban board whether they’re onsite or not. And instead of spending hours on liaising each day, project managers can actually focus on the most pressing items.

Kanban Empowers Teams

With a Kanban system, the whole team shares the responsibility to push tasks forward and get things done. There is no need to constantly report to higher-ups like with other Agile solutions and teams can make decisions on the fly to move certain projects forward with more efficiency and constant innovation. Teams that are more empowered are more engaged and have much higher morale as a result. Instead of micromanaging, project managers can see progress in real time while focusing on maintaining open communication lines instead of being overseers.

Conclusion

As you can see, Kanban has tons of potential benefits and you should definitely consider applying it in your organization if you haven’t implemented an Agile solution yet. If you feel it could be a good choice for your business, make sure that you look at various tools on the market and find one that will adapt to your business’s regular workflows and will be easy to integrate into your daily operations.







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