A Kanban system is one that implements a project management method with respect for at least 2 simple rules: a visualization of the work process and a limitation on the amount of work being progressed at any given time.
The outcome of following these rules is a visible productivity increase, simplification of the communication processes (time saving), increased focus and job satisfaction among the team, waste reduction an many more positives that make this system too good to ignore.
The base for any Kanban system is a work flow division into 3 categories: a backlog of work (things needed to be done in the future), a work in progress column (containing only the things that are being worked on at the moment - with applied limit) and a section for items that have been completed.
Starting from a basic board, you can learn Kanban and get to perfect your process - work flow - as you go. The board set up in Kanban Tool - the original tool for online Kanban - can be altered at any given moment, without causing damage to the ongoing work flow.
You can create a board applicable to a time-driven process:
If the way your business is organized depends on certain events taking place in a designed sequence - you will benefit most from a board like this one:
When your are of work is sales, and you need to follow the potential customer's progress along the sales pipeline, it will be vital that you do not miss any opportunity of contact. A great Kanban board for sales pipeline would look like this:
There can be as many Kanban systems as many different workflows and business types there are. It's great to have somewhere to start (Kanban Tool offers 7 most often used Kanban templates for you to start with), but the cherry on top is the ability to tailor the board to suit your needs at any moment, without any negative consequences to the current work flow.
The great productivity aids of a Kanban system are:
- Better focus among the team members: limited amount of items that they are allowed to work on at any given time
- Reduced waste: it easy to prevent the team from doing work that is not needed, doubling up or focusing on the things that are not the most important
- Ongoing items completion: because the number of tasks is limited, they are bound o get finished before new ones are started
- Process flexibility: no restraints on how things get done - there is always room for improvement.