Many teams have started looking for ways to reduce team members’ stress and allow tasks to flow efficiently. One of the ways that project managers have started to implement is the Kanban method in their operations.
The Kanban methodology was introduced by an engineer, Taiichi Ohno, who was working for Toyota. When inventory management became a problem for the company, Ohno conducted research to develop a project management system that made the responsibilities of team members transparent and understandable.
Thus, Ohno came up with the Kanban methodology, which became applicable to every type of industry as the method evolved and became more popular.
This article will give an overview to the reader of how the Kanban method works and its ability to improve team collaboration between team members.
What is the Kanban method?
The Kanban method is a visual method for managing a team’s workflow.
When project managers implement the Kanban method in their daily operations, they will be able to provide their team members with a clear and transparent overview of their responsibilities, priority tasks, and due dates.
This methodology consists of a visual board, where team members can see responsibilities assigned to them using Kanban cards.
Thus, when managers are trying to improve team collaboration and the quality of deliverables of their teams, they can try using a Kanban board to achieve better outcomes.
#2 How does the Kanban method work?
When project managers follow the Kanban methodology, they must devise the best way to create the Kanban boards and cards. Since Kanban methodology involves visuals, managers can use physical or online boards to create and implement this project management strategy.
When the boards are created, on the boards, there need to be columns of responsibilities and deadlines, and under each column, each team member will be assigned Kanban cards, where they will see what they need to complete. Providing a visual workflow such as a Kanban board can help improve team collaboration and increase the team’s productivity.
Components of a Kanban Board
- Lists or columns
- State of a task (to-do, work in progress, delivered, done)
- In review (Testing)
- Deadline date (Done)
How do Kanban boards help team members and project managers?
Team members can clearly understand their tasks and assign them as work in progress since they are broken down into smaller tasks.
Additionally, project managers can track and control whether each employee is on time or if they need any help with completing a task.
How can Kanban boards help improve team collaboration and customer service?
One of the benefits of Kanban boards is that it can help improve team collaboration and communication. This improvement is not limited only to team cooperation. It can also improve the collaboration between businesses and their customers.
Customer service teams who provide their services to their customers via emails have seen a positive outcome when the Kanban board is implemented.
The connection between the Kanban process and email outreach
Keeping up with the emails that customer service workers need to send is an overwhelming task where they can easily forget about replying to an email. By following the Kanban board, these employees can track each email they are sending out, making tracking their work an easy task.
Plus, when email tools are implemented in their operations, the process of assigning due dates for each email can become simpler. For instance, Mailbutler offers the email contacts feature to its users, where users can improve their email communication and never lose track of the conversation history with their clients. Combining this feature and the Kanban methodology, customer service workers can assign deadlines to reach out to their customers accordingly.
To not lose track of who to reach out to and satisfy customers and collaborators with a company’s email services, project managers should consider following a Kanban methodology to collaborate effectively.
How can the Kanban methodology increase team efficiency?
The main goal of the Kanban methodology is for project managers to control the “work in progress” and “done” tasks of the entire team.
By implementing this team and project management software in their operations, teams have been able to improve their workflow and increase their efficiency.
Since individuals will be able to see what they need to complete during a period visually, this reduces the stress of forgetting something that needs to be completed. So, team members will feel less overwhelmed with the work they need to do and their responsibilities.
On the other hand, this management software requires tasks to be broken down into much smaller tasks. This process allows individuals not to miss a step and, in the long run, achieve continuous improvement in the workflow of the entire team.
A Kanban board allows management to monitor where each team member stands with their responsibilities. By following this system, managers will be able to understand whether an individual is behind their deadlines, needs help with a task, or is completing each assigned task on time and can be entitled to a promotion.
Benefits of implementing the Kanban method
Using Kanban boards brings many benefits to the entire team; whether teams are using physical or digital Kanban, they will be able to witness efficiency maximization, allow flexibility to each team member, and create a faster and more productive working environment.
Plus, by using the Kanban boards, team members will be able to understand what task requires more time and effort from them. In the end, they will be able to save time and complete tasks earlier than their deadlines.
There are a lot of creative ways that project managers can design their Kanban boards. The most important thing they need to come up with is what steps each task should pass through and create columns on the Kanban board accordingly.
In a nutshell, when project managers are looking for ways to increase efficiency, productivity, and improve collaboration between team members, they can try following the Kanban board system. This system will help teams keep track of each individual’s responsibilities and to-dos, monitor work in progress (WIP) tasks, assign deadlines, and provide a more flexible and transparent workflow environment to their team members.