If you’re new to Kanban and don’t know how to start, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. Getting started with Kanban doesn’t have to be daunting. We’ve answered the most common questions about kanban to help you. Whether you’re trying to figure out if Kanban is for you or you’re checking whether you have all you need to start, stick around and we’ll discuss all of that and more.

What is Kanban?

Kanban is a lean technique that originated in the Japanese car manufacturing industry. It makes use of visual cards to manage the flow of work within a production line. Today, Kanban is used as a lean project management technique that allows companies to manage their work as they flow through various business processes. It has transcended from the manufacturing industry to knowledge work and the practice has been seen to evolve since.

Check out our quick guide that you and your team can explore to get started with Kanban.

What are the benefits of using Kanban?

When implemented properly, Kanban can do a lot to improve your business. Here are just some of the top benefits Kanban has to offer:

  • Heightened transparency
  • Most important tasks are done first
  • Early detection of issues
  • Flexibility to market and business changes
  • Focus on quality
  • Pushes for continuous improvement
  • Focus on output
  • Get feedback faster
  • Empowered teams
  • Visual approach allows you to see the big picture

Read more about these benefits in a previous post, 10 Benefits of The Kanban System that Will Improve Your Business.

Can my company use Kanban?

Because Kanban started with the manufacturing industry, it might be difficult for some people to visualize how it would work for their business. There are no set rules on what types of businesses can use it. As long as you can visualize your process, you can use Kanban and benefit from it.

Today, Kanban is used as a project management tool in various industries and businesses including software development, marketing, hospitals, retail, and finance.

How do I know if Kanban is right for us?

Kanban will help streamline processes and identify problems to be solved. We suggest you give Kanban a try if you and/or your team:

  • Always seek to know the project’s progress
  • Refer to multiple sources to identify the next task to work on
  • Feels overburdened
  • Miss deadlines
  • Tend to change priorities regularly

Do I need to use specific tools to do Kanban?

Yes, you would need to create your Kanban board.


Your kanban board is a visual representation of how work flows through your process. It helps you assess whether you have a smooth flow of work or things are getting stuck somewhere. Because it makes work more transparent, it facilitates better communication within your team and organization as a whole.

Which is better: Physical or Online Kanban Board

Teams who are just getting started with kanban would often get stalled when choosing whether a physical or online board would be best for them. The answer? It depends. Teams who are co-located would benefit from physical kanban boards.

It would be more advantageous for distributed teams to use an online board. With Kanban Zone, there is always an option to start from our basic Kanban board templates. Online kanban boards are also great for big projects. You don’t need many resources to operate your board and you can also arrange information much faster.

Apart from facilitating flow, your kanban board is there to also improve team collaboration. Assess what type of board would work best for your team. You can also try starting with a physical board first then transition to a digital board once you see the need.

Can I use Kanban for my own tasks?

Certainly! Personal Kanban is recommended for those who want to be more organized with managing personal tasks, projects, and goals. Personal Kanban follows two of the six rules of Kanban:

Rule #1: Visualize Work
Rule #2: Limit Work-in-Progress

If you’re constantly struggling to manage and get through your tasks, Personal Kanban can help you.

Now that we’ve covered the basics of Kanban, read Part 2 of our Kanban Frequently Asked Questions series for the ins and outs of successful implementation

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About the Author: Lena Boiser

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Lena Boiser is an Agile enthusiast. Starting off her career as a Software Business Analyst in 2010, she eventually performed other roles including Project Manager and IT Business Manager. When she was immersed in Agile methodologies in 2014, Lena found her way through honing her craft and eventually became a Certified Scrum Product Owner. In 2017, after 7 years of working in the corporate world, Lena started her own remote consulting practice. Today, she provides project management and Scrum Product Ownership services to various businesses including software development companies, e-Commerce business owners, and small to medium sized companies. She believes that even teams working remotely can harness the benefits of Agile in order to deliver results for their companies. In her free time she likes to write. One day she could be writing about Agile, the next she could be writing anything about fashion or travel.