What is a Kanban System?

A Kanban system is one that implements a project management method in respect of at least 2 of the simple Kanban rules: visualization of the work process and limitation on the amount of work being progressed at any given time (WIP limits).

    The base for any Kanban system is a workflow division into 3 categories:

  • Backlog of work - things to do in the future,
  • Work in progress column, containing only items that are being worked on at the moment, with a limit applie,
  • Section for items that have been completed.
What is Kanban System

Starting with a basic board, you can learn Kanban and get to perfect your workflow - as you go. With process evolution and time, the system can grow to quite a complex set of steps for the team to follow. A board set up in Kanban Tool - the original service for online Kanban - can be altered at any given moment, without causing damage to the ongoing workflow.
If the way your business is organized depends on certain events taking place in a designed sequence - you will benefit most from an event-driven board (events within the process delimiting moving a task forward), which goes deeper into defining process steps than the basic kind:

Event Driven Kanban System

What are the system's limitations?

There can be as many Kanban workflows as many different business types there are. But the system will always resemble the basic set of Kanban rules.
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 negative consequences to the current workflow.

What are the benefits of using a Kanban system?

The results of working along Kanban, are making this system too good to ignore and start with visible productivity increase - there is great research to prove it. Other improvements the system brings are:

  • Simplification of the communication processes
  • Better focus among the team members, thanks to the limited amount of items that they are allowed to work on at any given time
  • Reduced waste - it's easy to prevent the team from doing work that is not needed, doubling up or focusing on the things that are not important
  • Ongoing items completion - because the number of tasks is limited, they are pressed for completion before new ones can be started
  • Process flexibility - no restraints on how things get done - there is always room for improvement.

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Kanban Tool customers