Summary -

In this topic, we described about the below sections -

What is Kanban?

Kanban is a well-known framework that is used to implement agile software development. It would require real-time communication of capacity and total transparency of work. Work items would be represented visually on a Kanban board, allowing the team members to view the state of every piece of work at any time.

Kanban is visual system for workflow management as it moves through a progress. It visualizes both the process and the actual work that is passing through that process. The main objective of Kanban is to identify the potential bottlenecks in this process and get them fixed so that workflow would go through it in a cost-effective way at an optimal speed or throughput.

History of Kanban -

In the late 1940s, Toyota introduced "just in time" manufacturing to their production. The approach would represent a pull system which means that production is based on customer demand, rather than the standard push practice to produce amounts of goods and pushing them to the market. Their unique production system laid the foundation of Lean manufacturing or simply Lean. The actual core purpose of Lean is minimizing waste activities without sacrificing productivity. The main goal is to create more value for the customer without generating more costs.

A Kanban system would ideally control the total value of chain from supplier to end user. So, in this way it would help in avoiding the supply disruption and overstocking of goods at various stages of the manufacturing process. Kanban would need monitoring the process continuously. The main Objective would be achieving higher throughput with lower delivery times. Over time, Kanban has become an efficient way in a variety of production systems.

What is Kanban Method?

The Kanban method is a process of slowly improving whatever you do whether it is software development, staffing, IT/ops, Recruitment, Marketing and Sales, Procurement, etc. With an increased focus on efficiency and by harnessing benefits in computing technology, Kanban has left the world of the automotive industry and was successfully applied to other complex commercial sectors such as IT, software development, marketing and so on.

Kanban Principles

David J. Anderson has formulated the Kanban method as an approach to incremental and evolutionary process. It is focused on getting things done.

The four core principles of Kanban

  • Start with what you are doing now -The Kanban Method would strongly highlight on not making any change to your existing setup/ process right away. Kanban should be applied directly to current workflow. Any changes that are needed may occur gradually over a period of time at a pace the team is comfortable with.
  • Agree to pursue incremental, evolutionary change - Kanban would encourage you to make small incremental changes rather than making complete changes that might lead to resistance within the team and organization.
  • Initially, respect current roles, responsibilities, and job-titles - Kanban does not force any organizational changes by itself. So, it is not necessary to make changes to your existing roles and functions which may be performing well. The team would collaboratively identify and implement any changes that are required. These three principles would help the organizations overcome the typical emotional resistance and the fear of change that usually would accompany any change initiations in an organization.
  • Encourage acts of leadership at all levels - Kanban would encourage continuous improvement at all the organizational levels, and it says that leadership act would not have to originate from senior managers alone. People at all levels would provide ideas and show leadership to implement the changes to improve continuously the way they would deliver their products and services.

Kanban Boards -

The work of all the Kanban teams would be with Kanban board. This is a tool which is used to visualize the work and optimize the workflow among the team. While physical boards are popular among some teams, virtual boards are a main feature in any agile software development tool due to their traceability, easier collaboration, and accessibility from multiple locations.

Kanban Overview

Be it a physical or virtual board, their main function would be is to ensure the team's work is visualized, workflow is standardized and all the blockers, dependencies are identified immediately and resolved. A basic Kanban board has a three-step workflow -

  • To do
  • In Progress
  • Done

The Kanban Methodology would depend on full transparency of work and real time communication of capacity which can be treated as a trusted source for team's work.