Kanban presentation – Kanban in 4 easy steps

The best kanban software

Implementing significant improvement in you company doesn't have to be extremely difficult. Kanban method is a revolutionary concept popularized by Toyota. Today Kanban is helping many companies around the globe to improve their productivity and efficiency. Uniqueness of this method lies in its simplicity.

This presentation has quickly become one of the most popular Kanban presentations. It shows how to successfully implement Kanban in your business process or life in four easy steps.

Kanban in 4 easy steps - enjoy Kanban!

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Kanban Presentation - what's inside

Step 1 - Visualise your work

Get a whiteboard, break down the flow of work from the moment you start it to when it's finished into distinctive steps and draw a column for each. Next, get some stickies in as many colors as you can. Write down each task on a separate sticky note. Use different colors for different types of work. And put them on the whiteboard. Each task will move from left to right until it's done and leaves the workflow.

Creating good workflow takes time and practice, but there are few basic examples you can begin with.

Simple layout like this one is a good starting point, especially for Personal Kanban and small teams.

The example of a Personal Kanban board

A more complex example of time driven workflow for Personal Kanban and small teams.

Time driven online Kanban board view

Workflow for software development company

The example of a Kanban board for software development

Kanban Sales Pipeline

The case of a Time driven online Kanban board

Step 2 - Limit work in progress.

With two hands you can juggle only few balls before you start dropping them. At 100% capacity you have minimal throughput. And Kanban is all about maintaining flow and eliminating waste.
Start by putting limits on columns in which work is being performed. WIP Limits aim to enforce a high, smooth flow of work and eliminate different kinds of waste.

On the personal level this gets much simpler. After you introduce the WIP limits you can try to propagate them back through the workflow, observe results and adapt. Getting limits right takes time, so start with your best guess and fine-tune over time. The ultimate goal is to achieve constant, high throughput and personal/team performance.

Step 3 - Don't push too hard. Pull instead!

It's easy to get friction between different teams, especially when one is more performant... and pushes more work than another one can actually handle. A solution to this is a pull system, where next team pulls work only when ready for it. You can implement pull system by adding a limited capacity buffer between teams.

The explanation of a Kanban pull system

Step 4 - Use it! - then - Monitor, adapt and improve.

The best tool to measure Kanban performance is Cumulative Flow Chart. Each day, for each column, mark how many tasks are in it or somewhere further down the workflow. This will produce a mountain-like looking chart, which gives insight into the process, shows past performance and allows to predict future results.One of the many things you can read from it is the mean time for task to get through the workflow. Note that without limit on Work In Progress, the Mean Cycle Time tends to increase drastically... eventually leading to the dreaded waterfall model.

Power tip 1 - Use online tool to manage your activities using Kanban method:

  • perfect for distributed teams
  • real time collaboration
  • accessible from everywhere
  • provides in-depth analytics, including Cumulative Flow
  • retains data about your past performance

Power tip 2 - Mix Kanban with something you like

  • ScrumBan
  • PomodoroBan

Power tip 3 - But most of all ...

Enjoy Kanban!

Go to resources on Kanban to find out more about Kanban.

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"After giving it a go for a few weeks our productivity was through the roof"