Kanban- An Effective Technique for an Efficient Workflow

Kanban- an effective thinking

Introduction

Kanban is a technique for managing the creation of product by concentrating on continual flow. It encourages collaboration among teammates, and mainly concentrates on the finishing the job correctly and effectively. While ending the task, you do something that helps when you start another related task. When we are finished with a thing, next one comes into picture. It is not a use and done method, remember it is an evolutionary systematic incremental procedure. It sets finishing as main task instead of starting. It is all about proper thinking and doing.

Highlights of Kanban:

There are few reasons why it is preferred as an apt technique to follow.

  • Start with what you normally do. Kanban doesn’t instruct us with steps or procedures. You can implement it in your work without making any drastic changes. You can simply use Kanban technique in your work to bring positive changes in your workflow
  • It encourages positive, small, and continuous changes in the workflow that is an evolutionary procedure. At the same time discourages drastic & big changes
  • Kanban doesn’t insist change or prohibit change. It is all about encouraging incremental change. Implementing small positive changes is better than altering the entire work flow
  • To put into Kanban into action, you need not be a leader or an executive level employee. Anyone playing any role can adopt and use it for an effective work flow
  • It doesn’t demand sudden change of roles and responsibilities but rather improves them
  • It encourages positive relationships with team and within team

Steps for Implementing Kanban Technique Successfully

Visualizing Work and Work flow

Understanding your workflow is very important and first step in Kanban. Visualize your work by analyzing it. We are using Kanban for proper optimization of the workflow that involves understanding how things are functioning presently. Making changes before understanding the process can only result in a big mess. Therefore, to visualize it break down the work into tasks from start to finish.

Limiting WIP

WIP stands for Work In Progress. Limiting the Work In Progress means, we should understand our capacity and limit the number of ongoing processes. When there is excess work, it distracts us which results in lack of attention to other details & decreases quality of the product in the end. All these become burden in the future. Addressing the results of lack of attention (like forgetting details or deadlines) will demand extra cost to invest, time and effort that leaves us with nothing but frustration. When the finished product is of poor quality, it may not serve the purpose, which requires extra attention to set it right and it may even slow down the entire work. By limiting WIP, we may not solve all the problems but we can avoid many and make clear to others that we want qualitative work done in time. The other advantages are few or no distractions and full focus on task. Remember no limits no improvement. Limiting WIP helps in improving quality, decision machining & completing the work. Question yourself “How many things we want our team to work on at this movement?”

Managing Work flow

Our main aim is to bring a positive change in the workflow. For that, you have to understand the flow of work, analyze the problem, define the changes required, and implement the changes. To know the effect you had achieved i.e. to know the outcome of the implemented change, repeat the procedure, which gives you either a positive result or negative. If positive result is the outcome, proceed further or else modify the change and get desired result.

Being clear and focused

Understanding is the key word in Kanban. To change or modify something you should have proper knowledge of it. Everyone will and can move along with you only if they understand what you are doing, why are you doing. This can also improve their work interest and involvement. So, make the aim and procedure to clear to yourself and others. This helps you and your work force in travelling towards success gradually.

Improving collaboration

Kanban is all about positive, small, continuous change in workflow, which is an evolutionary process. This is only possible when the team shares a good understanding of workflow, work theories, risks, procedures, resources, etc. Proper understanding among teammates about what they are doing, why they are doing, how they are doing helps in sharing & discussing problems & available solutions.

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Why Use Kanban?

  • It is a step-by-step procedure without any complexities.
  • Can start where we are, with whatever we have.
  • Improves quality of organization
  • Improves productivity
  • Increases trust of customers
  • Exposes quality problems
  • Encourages transparency in the organization
  • No need for massive changes
  • Irrespective of role, responsibility and title one can apply this
  • Doesn’t require any eligibility
  • Encourages collaboration among team-mates
  • Continuous delivery
  • Reduces waste
  • Motivating
  • Improves performance of team
  • Flexibility in planning
  • Increases focus on present task
  • Minimizes the work cycle time
  • Discourages inefficient multi-tasking

Forms of Kanban

Kanban technique is an amazing method. We can use it in many fields. For effective handling, there are many forms of applications readily available in the market. Some companies are also providing customized programs & guidance for users with special requirements. The pricing of these products are available in many ranges so select one that fulfils your requirement.

Applications of Kanban

It is used in developing software applications, manufacturing of products in companies, stocking shelves in supermarkets for an effective and qualitative work. It can even be applied to our day – day activities to improve the quality in whatever we do. It can be used in small-scale businesses to large mega scale businesses for effective and efficient working.

Conclusion

Kanban is all about how you do and what you do.

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