What Is A Kanban Board Feature 1200x562

Having a Kanban board is essential to implementing Kanban in any business operation. A Kanban board that guides the team in consistently executing the core properties and principles of the Kanban method in their work.

What Exactly is a Kanban Board?

A Kanban board is a tool used to visualize the flow of work and enables a team to manage and optimize its processes. Kanban is the Japanese word for “visual card” or simply, “card”. The Kanban method originated in the manufacturing industry when Toyota re-engineered its car manufacturing process. To manage the flow of work-in-process (WIP) items within the assembly line, workers would use Kanban cards to signal the team from a preceding process when they are in need of parts. The preceding process team then knows WHEN to produce the parts and IN WHAT AMOUNT – limiting work in process goods and producing only what is necessary at the right time.

How Teams Use it?

Teams use Kanban boards to visualize and manage their workflow. The board maps key process steps and contains valuable information for members regarding their workload, priorities, deadlines, and expectations.

This visibility allows them to manage and improve the processes easier than traditional methods.

Elements of a Kanban board

A Kanban board mainly has two components:

  • Workflow
  • Kanban cards

Workflow refers to the process steps an item or task has to go through in order for it to be completed. The workflow is depicted on a Kanban board through columns and swimlanes. Kanban cards are then used to represent the task a team will work on. These cards flow through the columns and swimlanes of the Kanban board – allowing teams to know the status of their work at a glance.

A simple Kanban board has at least three columns – To Do, In Progress, Done