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6 Different Types of Kanban Systems Explained

The Kanban methodology uses Kanbans or cards to signal work items’ status and monitor progress. This approach strongly relies on balancing production to demand, and maintaining an optimal flow. The nature of this methodology is such that it is very easy to use it to any industry. It also doesn’t have strictly defined roles, and it’s easy to modify it according to your organization’s process. Through the years, Kanban has evolved to fit the needs of various industries. As a result, we now have different types of Kanban systems represented by the different cards, signaling the need to move items or replenish items in the work. Kanban Cards and Kanban Systems All Kanban systems use a Kanban board divided into three basic columns – To Do, In Progress and Done. Of course, when the process is more complex, the board can have additional columns and swim lanes. The

By |2021-11-10T12:24:26-07:00April 2nd, 2019|General, Kanban, Lean Thinking, Process Flow|

Kanban Project Management Principles

What comes to mind when you hear the phrase project management? Words like schedules, deadlines, budgets, and resources may ring a bell. But what is project management? As we go along this article, we’ll also discover what Kanban project management is about. The Project Management Institute (PMI) defines project management as “the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements.” A project is a time-bound activity taken by an individual or a group. It has a defined set of goals and resources. The approach used to tackle a project is what project management is all about. Project management isn’t a 21st-century concept. Our ancestors have been practicing forms of it since time immemorial. Take for example some of the world’s most famous wonders like the Pyramids of Giza and the Great Wall of China. Not only did it take a whole empire

By |2022-07-25T02:28:02-07:00March 28th, 2019|Kaizen, Kanban, Process Flow|

Kanban and Lean Six Sigma: A Match Made in Project Management Heaven

Increasing productivity and improving process flow are the main goals of every project manager. Eliminating unnecessary and repetitive tasks while reducing waste are two additional goals on their checklists. The ultimate goal, of course, is to plan and execute projects more accurately and more efficiently. Luckily, there is a plethora of tools and methodologies out there for project managers to choose from and achieve these goals. Most PMs go for one methodology or another. But we believe that to get the most out of your team (and organization), you should be a bit bolder. Take the best out of two tried and tested methodologies and put it together. You guessed it – we are talking about combining Kanban with Lean Six Sigma. So how should you go about it? Read on and learn! Similarities between Kanban and Lean Six Sigma Kanban and Lean Six Sigma are lean project

By |2022-05-02T14:02:23-07:00March 26th, 2019|General, Kanban, Lean Thinking, Process Flow|

Identify and Eliminate Problems and Obstacles with Root Cause Analysis (RCA)

Successful organizations follow the same general project management and leadership principles to ensure things are moving forward. The same goes for dealing with critical situations and solving problems. Good managers and skilled leaders must have the ability to differentiate the root cause from the various, consequently arising issues. This important skill is the difference between solving a problem permanently and treating the symptoms. Identifying the underlying reason why an issue appeared can help you deal with it efficiently and prevent it from resurfacing again. Understanding Root Cause Analysis (RCA) Very often, we see many ‘symptoms’ and smaller problems related to one project. In reality, all of those problems can have a single underlying cause. One very effective approach to effective problem solving is Root Cause Analysis (RCA). RCA is one of the most widely used tools/techniques for detecting issues. The power of Root Cause Analysis lies in its

By |2022-06-01T11:37:34-07:00March 23rd, 2019|Kanban, Lean Thinking, Process Flow|

Improve Your Information Flow with Kanban Cadences

Everything around us seems to happen at a certain time. A rhythm that defines the pace and order of activities. It is present in nature. And it is present in organizations of all sizes. Especially those who have a well-aligned system of information flow and feedback loops. But many organizations often underestimate the importance of feedback loops outside the team-level Kanban. This often leads to teams working in detachment from business priorities. After a while, instead of delivering value at the organizational level, the isolated teams turn into bottlenecks. One of the best ways to avoid this, and create an uninterrupted information loop, is establishing a Kanban cadence. What are Kanban Cadences? A cadence is defined as “a rhythmic sequence”, “the beat, time, or measure of rhythmical motion or activity”. Similarly, a Kanban Cadence is the rhythm of Kanban meetings. A regularity that fosters bi-directional communication necessary at

By |2022-07-25T05:00:38-07:00March 21st, 2019|General, Kanban, Multitasking, Process Flow|

What is a Kanban Card: Use and Purpose

The Kanban methodology greatly relies on the proper use of two tools: Kanban Board [IS1] and Kanban cards. If the Kanban board is the main workspace where the whole project and its processes are laid out, the cards are the visual representation of all the work necessary for successful project completion, broken down in individual tasks or ideas. Kanban Cards: Origins The name Kanban in Japanese means “visual signal” or “card”, so when we say “Kanban card” we say “visual signalization card”. Kanban cards, and Kanban as a methodology was developed back in the 1940s in Toyota to improve manufacturing efficiency. This system helped Toyota workers achieve greater transparency, better communication, and reduction of waste. Of course, at the time, workers were using physical cards to signal stages in the manufacturing process and inventory levels. Nowadays, with the emergence of technology, Kanban teams use online boards. That allows easier

By |2022-07-25T04:43:27-07:00March 16th, 2019|General|

Drum Buffer Rope (DBR) Kanban Boards

The Kanban Lead Time and Throughput Conundrum Kanban's background in product development and maintenance might focus on Lead Time where being quick to market is important, but many companies just need more things to be done in less time (rather than faster) and cheaper, which is where improving Throughput comes in. -Kurt Häusler A little while ago, I ran across a statement from Kurt Haüsler that you can read just above. What an awakening. I then realized that all my knowledge regarding Kanban was really focused on Lead Time. This is what the Kanban method is all about. Everywhere, Kanban’s basics is taught with Little’s law. You get to understand the effect of Work In Progress (WIP) on Lead Time and voilà! That sums it up. As for Throughput, it is merely the plug-in figure in Little’s law for the Kanban method. There is literally nothing to support Throughput

By |2022-05-31T12:54:08-07:00March 15th, 2019|Kanban, Process Flow|

The Anatomy of a Kanban Board

A Kanban board is a tool for work visualization. To make the most of this work visualization tool, it's important that you understand the anatomy of a Kanban board. “Kanban” in Japanese means “visual signal”. This project management method uses visual signals for improving resource utilization, bottlenecks identification, and problem resolution. The main tools in the Kanban method are the Kanban board and the Kanban cards. Find out more about the anatomy of a Kanban board to understand how you can utilize them better. What is a Kanban Board? The Kanban board is a tool for visual representation of the overall work and workflow. It is very practical for managing projects in a simple and clear way. Visualizing and maintaining your tasks and workflows on the board makes it easier to spot potential bottlenecks. Additionally, it improves the team’s efficiency and communication. And helps you optimize the pace of

By |2021-05-02T01:08:57-07:00March 14th, 2019|General, Kanban, Process Flow, Toyota Production System|

Kanban for Improved Office Productivity

It’s hard to keep focused these days what with all the things that are battling for our attention. It’s a challenge to be productive, especially in the office. Just imagine what happens daily at work. Endless meetings and your trip to the pantry for a water refill suddenly becomes a catch-up with your teammate. Your work inbox never seems to rest with incoming emails and you can’t fight the urge to read them all. Your office seatmate decides to chit chat on the latest episode of the TV series you’re also hooked on. Your smartphone always lights up because of Facebook notifications...and so you end up spending a good 15 minutes of scrolling through your feed. There are countless distractions in the office. Studies show that a typical employee gets interrupted every 3 minutes and 5 seconds. The same study recorded that it takes 23 minutes and 15 seconds

By |2020-05-02T12:27:46-07:00March 11th, 2019|Kanban, Multitasking, Personal Kanban, Pomodoro|

What is Kanban – A Quick Guide

We are all in search of the perfect productivity system. Good time management, task organization, and careful planning are key to achieving success and reaching our goals. While a perfect system does not exist, there is one particularly simple, yet very helpful and effective methodology which users can utilize for all your needs. Whether you are looking to organize personal tasks and errands or want to up your business game, using it can help you get a better overview of everything that needs to be done, and allows you to plan for successful execution. But what is Kanban? What is Kanban? It is a lean manufacturing technique, which over time, matured into one of the more prominent visual project management methodologies. It is based on a visual system – the board - for managing work as it moves through a process. By using boards for visualizing both, the process

By |2021-05-28T03:26:52-07:00March 5th, 2019|Kanban, Lean Thinking, Process Flow|