The Agile DMAIC Kanban board can be used to help you manage and visualize the progress of your process improvement project. Here, the acronym DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control) refers to a data-driven improvement method that has its origins derived from Six Sigma projects and also serves as a framework for the Agile DMAIC methodology. If you want to know more about the Agile DMAIC methodology and its combination with the Kanban method, please take a look at our article “Agile DMAIC with Kanban“.

The column names of the board show the required process steps in order to carry out the project. Under each column of the board, explicit agreements are defined which help you to decide when to pull the cards from one specific column to the next process column in the Agile DMAIC Kanban board. Some cards illustrating possible types of improvement projects that can be handled by means of this Kanban board have also been added to assist you when beginning to use this Kanban board.

What is Agile DMAIC Kanban Board Template?

Agile DMAIC Kanban Board is a template developed to help you carry out your process improvement projects. You’ll be guided through the Agile DMAIC methodology for process improvements, from defining project ideas to finishing the project. Figure 1 shows a schematic representation of the Agile DMAIC Kanban board.

agile dmaic kanban board

Figure 1: Agile DMAIC Kanban Board.

Consider this template as your Kanban board for process improvement. Once you open the Kanban board, you visualize the process flow to achieve the desired goals of the project. It is also possible to know the work that has been done, and what should be implemented next by following the process steps (columns).

This Agile DMAIC Kanban Board template also assists as a collaboration tool between the project manager and the project team. You can invite your team members to the board, so that they will be able to monitor the progress of the project tasks over time.

What is included in the Agile DMAIC Kanban Board template?

This template includes:

  • Nine main columns: “Backlog”, “Priority”, “To Do”, “Step 1 (Evaluate and Plan)”, “Step 2 (Measure & Analyze)”, “Step 3 (Improve & Validate)”, “Ready”, “Step 4 (Iterate & Optimize)” and “Done”.
  • Two rows in the “Priority” column: “High” and “Low”.
  • Two subcolumns in the “Step 1 (Evaluate and Plan)“ column: “Evaluate“ and “Plan“.
  • Two subcolumns in the “Step 2 (Measure & Analyze)“ column: “Measure“ and “Analyze “.
  • Four subcolumns in the “Step 3 (Improve & Validate)“ column: “Plan“, “Implement“, “Review“ and “Test“.
  • Four subcolumns in the “ Step 4 (Iterate & Optimize)“ column: “Plan“, “Implement“, “Review“ and “Test“.
  • Five labels: “Cost reduction“, “Setup time reduction“, “Process flow optimization“, “Lead time reduction“ and “Waste reduction“.

How to Use the Template

  1. Start your Free Trial, then build a new board from the Agile DMAIC Kanban Board template.
  2. You can start using this Agile DMAIC Kanban Board template by defining in the “Backlog” column the set of improvement projects to work based on specific criteria concerning the projects, as for example, the idea, impact, feasibility, resources as well as the technical requirements.
  3. The priority (high or low) among the possible project ideas listed in the “Backlog” column can now be specified in the column “Priority” of this Kanban template. For each project idea, a specific card can be created in this Kanban board representing an improvement project that needs to be accomplished.
  4. After having defined the priority of the improvement projects to be carried out, their associated cards can proceed to the “To-Do” column of the Kanban board.
  5. Next, the first step “Step-1 (Evaluate and Plan)” of the board takes place by taking into consideration the substeps “Evaluate” and “Plan” which are represented as particular columns. The column “Evaluate” refers to the initial evaluation of the process related to the improvement project whereas the column “Plan” aims at defining the main problem (opportunity) that needs to be addressed in the project.
  6. It is possible now to advance to the process step “Step 2 (Measure & Analyze)” which is composed of two distinct substeps. In the substep “Measure”, the main process output metrics are measured, and the process state related to the problem is mapped. This allows us to identify and prioritize the potential causes associated with the problem being investigated in the project. The substep “Analyze” is where the root causes of the problem are proven and validated through data-driven analyzes.
  7. After having completed the previous steps, it is time now to effectively improve the process through suitable solutions that must be also validated in the step “Step 3 (Improve & Validate)”. Here is where the first level of improvement of the project is delivered through an iterative sprint cycle composed of the substeps “Plan”, “Implement”, “Review” and “Test”. If the implemented solution (or solutions) is not suitable, then return to substep “Plan” e iterate again until reach the first level of improvement.
  8. Now, the card associated with the improvement project proceeds to the column “Ready” which represents a buffer process step. Cards in this column are ready to be pulled to the “Step 4 (Iterate & Optimize)” of this Kanban board.
  9. “Step 4 (Iterate & Optimize)” represents the last step of the Agile DMAIC Kanban board where the project team continues to deliver incremental improvements until the project goals are achieved. Therefore, further sprints are carried out through the sequential substeps, namely, “Plan”, “Implement”, “Review” and “Test”, before finishing the project. If the incremental improvement to the implemented solution (or solutions) does not achieve the project’s goals, then return to substep “Plan” and iterate again until reaching the project’s goals.
  10. Finally, after having achieved the project’s goals, move the card to the “Done” column and celebrate!

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