The modern Kanban is a way of visualizing and managing workflow. It was started in Japan by Taiichi Ohno at Toyota. At first successfully used for industrial process optimization, since the early 2000s, the method's been adapted for software development teams and later any business industry.
The focus is to absolutely limit the amount of work in progress per team member, therefore promoting greater productivity and less time wasted on repetitive communication. The other staking point is the visualization of workflow - making it much easier to get orientated in the process, just by taking a glance at the Kanban board.
If getting constant messages from a number of sources (e-mail, phone, colleagues) takes your mind off what you're doing - it's a good idea to use some kind of a visual aid to remind you quickly where you were exactly.
Also, when you need to fish out the most urgent jobs out of the sea of tasks - it may help if you color-code them or use any other system of visualizing importance over standard. Using different colors or priority arrows will quickly make you see the fires that need to be put out.
This problem touches the vast majority of people. An especially useful feature of Kanban Tool is the ability to keep an archive of all your work - so you can always look back at what you did and how. Also keeping vital files in Kanban's attachments makes a lot of sense. Sort your tasks with regard to priority, or any other way, and make sure to limit the number of tasks you can pull at one time. This way, once you've completed a task, you can calmly pull another and enjoy the progress of your work. Complete focus guarantees great productivity.
When using Kanban, the whole team can have access to the status information across the whole project. Simply by taking a glance, each team member can see what the other people are working on.
The same thing will occur for the analytical needs - say you're managing a team of people and want to take a look at what they have achieved so far and how well are they performing - by use of Cumulative Flow Diagram you can track the progress, its speed and quality of the team members.
Seeing if there's maybe someone who has too much work, or not quite enough of it, finding the person responsible for the delay or fixing one, recognizing bottleneck moments before they happen - all this is possible and easy with the Cumulative Flow Diagram and with Time Report.
When there is a number of people working, it would make great sense to make them follow the same policy, to ensure similar quality of work and consistency of the progress.
By use of Kanban Tool you can apply a policy to a project or part of it, and demand (by making it strickingly visible when it's not followed) that it is implemented. Also, because in Kanban the tasks are assigned to users, it is unavoidable to disown one's work. When everyone knows you're on it, you will remain responsible till the end of the task. That does indeed motivate to apply all effort possible.
A vital part of teamwork is being able to communicate effectively and easily. By use of Kanban team members are able to not only make the description of their current task public, but they can also comment on each other's work and send attachments with detailed instructions. Even an answer to a simple question like "when will you get to task D?" is easy to anticipate - just by looking at someone's backlog. Sending mass email may easily be taken over by adding a task with an important information to every team member's board. As Kanban users make a habit of checking the board for what's up - they're bound to get the message.
It's also far less likely for communication slip-ups to occur, when most things communicated on the board stay on it. So it's much more difficult to forget something, when you see it right in front of you, or at least can go back to look at. Integration with calendars and the ability to set reminders also help greatly.
Having all information present on the board will make it very easy to keep deadlines in check. You can simply add them to the cards and they will be visible in board view - it's quite difficult to miss them then. If a number of users stays aware of when something needs to be finished, the chances are even greater for the due date to be kept.
Setting a reminder in My Work widget will also ensure that absolutely all deadlines are taken into account and followed. So, simply prioritize the tasks and make sure to add due dates to see the best order in which to pull new tasks.
Using the online Kanban Tool gives you great liberty to work from anywhere and anytime you want. To see your current tasks just go online and pull the next task going. You can be at the office, or at home, on a beach, in a park, on a bus etc., etc. This in itself is time-saving. If you feel you work best in shorter sprints, working with Kanban makes it organized, no matter how many and how long brakes you take. Just go back right onto the board and see your next scheduled task.
Another benefit is the ability to add new tasks via email. Whether you want to send something inspiring straight from your inbox, or if you'd like to email a task to a person that didn't share his board with you - that's a great solution.
Kanban is used by all kinds of organizations, ranging from one-man projects to thousand-employees corporations. This proves its flexibility. Being able to adjust the board and the card template to your personal needs makes for best project management tool possible. With Kanban Tool you can customize your board's shape and size, decide on what kind and how much information and in what order is being shown on the fronts of the cards. Even after the board has been used for a long time, it can still be adjusted to your needs. So, as your business will change - so will your board.
Even though Agile methods were started with software development in mind, they work fantastically well for all businesses. Once you give it a go, you'll notice a great change in productivity and work atmosphere immediately. Whether it's Kanban, Scrum or another Agile method - as soon as you implement the limitation of Work In Progress and benefit from Cumulative Flow Diagram and Lead and Cycle Time estimations - you will never stop the Agile approach.
Forget work atmosphere, business improvements and future business estimations - the main benefit of using Kanban is the clear increase in productivity. Because all the team members are completely focused on what they're supposed to achieve, because you save time on useless, repetitive communication, because your team can access their work from everywhere, because when using Kanban you prioritize, keep deadlines and are really well organized - your overall productivity goes through the roof.
Improve your team performance like Kanban Tool happy customers did:
Kanban Tool is a visual management solution that helps companies visualize workflow, track project progress, and analyze and significantly improve business processes. Kanban Tool provides powerful online Kanban boards with seamless time tracking and insightful analytics. Our Kanban software works perfectly in any business process and is designed for teams that want to visualize work on a Kanban board.