We are living in a fast-paced world where time is invaluable since we always have a lack of it. In business though, time translates into money. The competition is fierce. Only companies that are able to adapt, optimize their processes and use their main resource – time – wisely, have a competitive edge over their rivals on the market.
Therefore, companies are given a choice – continue doing things the old way or change and adapt to the times. The companies that wish to thrive choose to change. No matter how hard or painful it may seem. They are making constant changes and improvements. Usually, that means looking for new ways to streamline their management while taking every aspect of the organization into account. All the while the focus remains on achieving better results.
One method that stands out in a world choke full of project management techniques is using a Kanban visual management board. But how simply changing your project management approach can improve your productivity?
The Importance of Visual Management
Humans are visual creatures. Our brains can process images 60,000 times faster than text. Also, people remember around 37% of visual images and only 20% of what they read. So, it’s only natural that introducing visual management will improve your team’s productivity.
The Kanban visual management board is intended to clearly and concisely display relevant information about the company’s processes. It also displays data about current performance and enables vital control items to be easily available to the entire team. That way everyone can be up-to-date with their tasks and progress, and more easily notice and resolve impediments.
Benefits of Using a Visual Management Board
In this day and age, when we have a wide variety of digital tools at our disposal, using an online Kanban board is the new normal. Some of the most popular boards like Trello and Kanban Tool take the basic columns-system to create a board. But solutions like Kanban Zone allow you to implement the Kanban methodology in its full force. Turning your system into a super-charged high-performance machine that uses its maximum capacity to deliver outstanding results.
Maximized Use of Time and Resources
One of the biggest and advantages of using a Kanban board is helping the team understand how they are spending their time. Online Kanban boards provide multiple ways to track productivity and performance. Thus help team members identify problem areas. Additionally, teams can rectify issues as soon as they arise, introduce continuous improvements and continuously deliver high-quality product or service. When you deliver product incrementally and continuously, you can make modifications based on customer feedback. And do this repeatedly from the first to the last project phase.
Faster and More Effective Communication
Visualizing the whole project and encompassing processes doesn’t just make information more accessible, but also more memorable and more actionable. A Kanban board allows you to track progress and accomplishments, but also makes any issues and roadblocks more visible. This also eliminates the necessity of preparing status reports, progress updates, or holding lengthy meetings. Instead, data is transparently displayed. And team members can easily discuss tasks and progress via short emails or phone calls.
Promoting a Sense of Ownership
When a good visual management system is in place, the team becomes more involved and dedicated. The Kanban board indicates a sense of ownership. Each person becomes fully aware of the big picture. And more conscious about their role and responsibility for achieving the project goals. Each team member can monitor the performance in real-time. They also become empowered and motivated due to the increased sense of accountability that Kanban board instills. As a result, team members are eager to take initiatives and ensure work items move along the board swiftly until they reach the “Done” column.
Intuitive Design and Flexibility
What many people fail to mention and understand is the importance of design when using a visual management board. Online boards, like Kanban Zone, that have a seemingly simple, yet very intuitive design and flexible layout enable teams to construct a board that matches their workflow and helps them process information easier. It is also important for team members to be able to additionally customize how and what they see on the board. And make their tasks and flow stand out. That way, they can easily see the movement of their assigned cards across columns and prioritize tasks accordingly.
Kanban Visual Management Board for Continuous Delivery and Continuous Improvement
Kanban is a lean management technique. Meaning it encourages teams to question the efficiency of their process and always look for areas for improvement. Having your whole process visualized makes it easier to spot any problems, blockages or clusters of tasks ready to move to the next step in the process. It makes it easier to identify reasons and avoid encountering the same situation again.
The Kanban board represents the whole workflow, and it is vital for indicating demand. Work is limited in scope and pulled through as needed, with no excess nor waste. The team’s communication runs smoothly, and changes and improvements are introduced gradually. As a result, the team works more efficiently and productivity is increased to maximum.
Can My Team Use a Kanban Board?
Kanban boards are incredibly simple to implement. In small companies, and large enterprises. You can set up a board for your own work, for a single team, project, or process at the organizational level. You can always add more teams or projects later without disrupting or duplicating the existing work process.
Every team can benefit from implementing an online Kanban board. It makes team members feel more involved, thus more dedicated and they can see their achievements in real time. When you get team members to feel in synergy with each other everyone gets focused on accomplishing the same goals, without wasting the most valuable business asset – time.
Some friendly advice:
set a baseline to define indicators, visual standards, and relevant metrics;
everyone should understand what they need to do and how you’ll be measuring results;
aim for a top-down implementation – get a green light from the C-level team.
It is important that you set the base and get the managerial team to lead the change by example. It will be easier to gain acceptance through the entire organization if the management team is on board.
Ivana Sarandeska is a digital marketer, creative writer and master procrastinator. An Agile enthusiast and a firm believer that thorough planning is key to good execution and even better improvisation. She has a soft spot for technology, so most of her full-time jobs were in IT companies where she was introduced to Agile and Scrum. After she got her Scrum Basics certification she started actively using these methodologies and their main principles. Learning how to organize her time and tasks better has motivated her to dive deeper into these methodologies. Now, she is an avid advocate of Agile and Scrum and happily shares her knowledge and experience to fellow procrastinators.