Kanban is an agile project management methodology designed to focus on a project’s workflow and help to improve productivity and efficiency. It was originally developed by Toyota in the 1940s as part of their wider system of ‘just-in-time manufacturing’. In recent years, it has become increasingly popular as a method of managing software development projects.
The word ‘Kanban’ comes from Japanese and means ‘signal card’. It is a visual system that uses cards to represent each task in a project and the current state of it. Kanban cards are placed on a board and serve as a visual representation of the tasks, who is responsible for them, and their priority.
The main goal of Kanban is to improve a team’s workflow and productivity. It does this by helping team members stay focused on the current task and not get distracted by other tasks that may not need to be done right away. This focus allows a team to complete tasks quicker and with higher quality.
The Kanban process has three main stages: commit, deliver, and review.
Commit: As tasks are assigned to a team, they are added to the Kanban board and marked with a ‘commit’ card. This card indicates the team’s commitment to working on the task.
Deliver: As tasks are completed, they are marked with a ‘deliver’ card. This serves as a visual indicator that the task has been completed and is ready to be reviewed.
Review: After a task has been completed, it is reviewed to ensure it meets the team’s requirements and expectations. If it does not, it is sent back to the team for changes.
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Kanban also has a few simple rules that teams should follow:
• The board should be visible to the entire team. This helps to ensure everyone has access to the same information and that work is being completed efficiently.
• Limit the amount of work that is being done. This prevents overloading the team and ensures that the work that is being done is of high quality.
• Avoid multitasking and have each team member focused on one task at a time. This helps to keep everyone focused and ensures deadlines are met.
• Have regular reviews of the board and tasks. This ensures that tasks that have been completed are reviewed and any completed tasks are removed from the board.
• Involve everyone in the process. This ensures that everyone is aware of the tasks that need to be completed and maintains a clear understanding of the project’s goals.
Kanban is a great way to improve the productivity and efficiency of a team. It works well for short-term tasks and projects, as well as longer-term projects. It’s important to remember that the best way to get the most out of Kanban is to use it consistently and be disciplined in following the rules. This will ensure that the team is working together to reach the project’s goals and complete tasks in a timely and efficient manner.