What Is Kanban Methodology?

Kanban Methodology

Kanban is a methodology designed to manage and improve workflow in knowledge-based jobs. It encourages starting with existing processes and driving evolutionary change by visualizing the workflow, limiting work in progress, and focusing on task completion.

Core Concepts of Kanban

Kanban uses visual signaling systems, such as kanban boards, to control intangible work products, thereby enhancing workflow efficiency.

Applicability of Kanban

  • Useful in unpredictable work environments.
  • Ideal for delivering work as soon as it's ready, rather than in fixed timeboxes.

Key Values of Kanban

  • Transparency: Open sharing of information to improve business flow.
  • Balance: Harmonizing various aspects and viewpoints for effectiveness.
  • Collaboration: Enhancing teamwork and cooperation.
  • Customer Focus: Optimizing value delivery to customers.
  • Flow: Ensuring continuous or episodic value flow.
  • Leadership: Inspiring action at all levels for continuous improvement.
  • Understanding: Self-awareness for progress and improvement.
  • Agreement: Commitment to joint goals with respect for differences.
  • Respect: Valuing and considering all individuals involved.

Principles and Practices of Kanban

Change Management Principles

  • Start with the current workflow and respect existing roles and job titles.
  • Pursue evolutionary change.
  • Promote leadership at all levels.

Service Delivery Principles

  • Focus on customers’ needs and expectations.
  • Manage work and allow self-organization.
  • Develop policies to enhance customer and business outcomes.

Key Practices in Kanban

  • Visualize: Use tools like kanban boards to display work and workflow stages.
  • WIP Limits: Restrict work in progress to improve flow and quality.
  • Manage Flow: Maximize value delivery and predictability.
  • Explicit Policies: Clearly define and display workflow policies.
  • Feedback Loops: Implement regular reviews for continuous improvement.
  • Collaborative Improvement: Adopt a continuous and incremental improvement approach.

Kanban Lifecycle and Feedback Loops

  • Strategy Review: Quarterly service selection and context evaluation.
  • Operations Review: Monthly assessment of service balance and resource deployment.
  • Risk Review: Monthly analysis of service delivery risks.
  • Service Delivery Review: Bi-weekly examination of service effectiveness.
  • Replenishment Meeting: Weekly planning for upcoming work items.
  • Kanban Meeting: Daily coordination of service activities.
  • Delivery Planning Meeting: Planning deliveries based on customer cadence.

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