Kanban is a way for teams and organizations to visualize their work, identify and eliminate bottlenecks and achieve dramatic operational improvements in terms of throughput and quality! Kanban is a method to gradually improve whatever you do – whether software development, IT/ Ops, Staffing, Recruitment, Marketing and Sales, Procurement – in fact, almost any business function can benefit from applying Kanban to bring about significant benefits such as reduced lead time.
In simplified terms, Kanban is a visual system for managing work moving through a process – the “value stream”. It is a system for visualizing work, reducing waste by limiting work in-progress, and maximizing customer value.
Benefits of Kanban
How Does Kanban Help and Who can use use it?
In the software and IT world, the definition of Kanban has undergone it’s own evolution and elaboration, especially over the last 2-3 years. The Kanban Method was defined and has been enhanced by David Anderson. Today, Kanban is considered as an agile management method for managing and improving service delivery (in both software/ IT and non-IT contexts) in a gradual, evolutionary manner. The 3 fundamental guiding principles of the Kanban Method are:
- Start with what you have now – that is your current process.
- Agree to pursue an evolutionary approach to change and improvement
- Respect the current roles and responsibilities of the team/ organization.
Who can use Kanban?
You can implement Kanban methodology if you are a Software or IT/ Ops/ DevOps team and one or more of the following apply to you:
- You are desperate for a solution to problems like missed deadlines, untested or incomplete software, missed defects or change requests, scope changes to deliver better software, applications and services to your customers.
- You are looking for techniques to help your team manage its work more effectively and deliver value to your customers and stakeholders.
- You are not looking for yet another methodology or process – you want to improve what you have! You want to improve continuously and do not wish to completely disrupt your team/ organization in order to improve.
- You want more visual and collaborative management of your projects and activities!
In short, if you are serious about improvement, but you want to do it in a sustainable, fun and collaborative way, you want to work with a collaborative and visual management tool – and you want to ensure all teams and stake-holders have the exact same picture of the state of your projects and operations, then Kanban methodology can help you achieve wonders.