5 Reasons You Should Use Kanban Already

5 Reasons You Should Use Kanban Already

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Monday, 10 April 2017 03:19

When leading a Project, clarity is the one quality that can make the difference between success and failure.
There is no excuse for not being effective or efficient on the job. There is no excuse for not providing clarity to your Team.
Kanban boards provide clarity and they should have a special place in your toolbox.



Why Use Kanban Boards

You can see a Kanban board as a 2-dimensional to-do list.
To-do lists are usually unidimensional. A to-do list is just a series of items, from top to bottom, representing things to do.
Good to-do lists are ordered by priority but that is as far as information goes for a well-done list.

Kanban boards provide one additional dimension to the traditional to-do list: progress.

On top of the list of things to be done, a Kanban board can give you at glance a series of other useful information. It turns out that this additional info can help a great deal to keep the Team running in the right direction with minimal input from Project Management.
There are just a few rules to apply for an effective use of a Kanban system. The benefits of sticking to those rules are mindblowing!


1. Kanban Shows What's Coming Next

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A Kanban board is made up of many columns showing different stages of the progress of the same Project.
Depending on the specific Project, the number and denomination of columns may vary but the overall structure of the board remains something on this line: to-do, in progress, done.

Each Activity (or Task) is represented by a card on the board and cards are sorted by priority, on each column. As result of this arrangement, the next Activities to be executed on a given column, are always those on the top of the previous column.

With reference to the image above, when a resource is ready to execute the next Activity, he/she "pulls" the first card from the column "Planned" and drag it into the column "In Progress".


2. Kanban Shows What's Being Done 

While using a Kanban system it is very easy to see what is currently being done.
This is a great advantage for Managers and for everyone on the Team as it allows a quick assessment of the progress and of the time necessary to advance to next activities.
Pending Activities are always on the left while Activities in progress are at hand on the "In Progress" column.
As a good rule, at each given time, each resource should not have "In Progress" more tasks than he/she can deal with during the day.


3. Kanban Shows Who's Doing What 

Most of the more advanced Kanban boards show who is the assignee for any Activity on the board.
Some boards allow filtering the activities by resource so that it becomes evident the amount of work assigned to each resource. This particular feature helps in planning a correct (effective and efficient) use of resources.
This is not just for Managers! ...for the Team to perform correctly, each member should have a clear picture of who-is-doing-what... and this is one of the strong features of a good Kanban board.


4. Kanban Shows What's Completed 

Every completed Activity will move to the "Completed" column so that it can be processed for testing, revision or approval.
When a card moves upon completion, it frees up space in the "In Progress" column and the overall look of the Kanban board is always tidy and uncluttered.
Moving Activity cards to the next stage also has a positive motivational effect on the resource that executed the Activity. The psychological benefit of this "quick-win" scheme cannot be overlooked as it plays a big role in Team building and on the overall satisfaction of workers and employees.


5. Kanban Shows Where is the Bottleneck

As consequence of the "pull" behaviour of the Kanban system, Activities naturally tend to pile up in certain columns.
With exception of the leftmost and rightmost column (Planned and Approved), the other columns should contain only Activities that are being dealt with in real time by the available resources.
If all resources are busy, Activites will start to pile up in one or more columns. This is a clear sign for Managers that either something is inefficient in the process (slow resources, inadequate procedures or tools, ...) or simply more resources have to be added in order to keep every stage running at top speed.


Kanban Provides Visual Clarity

They say an image speaks more than a thousand words... and this is exactly what Kanban does: convert a process into a schematic representation.
Given the outstanding properties of the Kanban representation, Kanban boards are the perfect tool to keep any Project running at fast pace.


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Published in Workplan/

Read 493 times Last modified on Tuesday, 11 April 2017 08:08

Andrea Bronzini

Brilliant and committed professional.
Andrea has been working in construction industry since 2004 and he was certified as Passivhaus Consultant in 2010.
Among other skills, Andrea specialises in Sales and Marketing and collaborates with Leansite in quality of Marketing Consultant.

Website: andreabronzini.com