What’s Kanban and how is it being used?
Finding ways to do things more efficiently is becoming a necessity – no matter what and which business you are in. Lean is a general term used to minimize the costs in high volume production lines. Though Lean methodologies were developed for manufacturing environments, many Lean principles can be applied to any type of business or activity such as software development to accounting systems to household task.
Most of the people are familiar with the Lean as it is a toolbox that contains a variety of tools. Different tools can be applied according to the different activities or process. One of the most popular and useful tool is known as Kanban. So, let’s dive deep in and know about Kanban and how it is being used.
By this point you might be wayfaring, what Kanban is?
A Kanban is a card containing all the information to be done on a product at each stage along its path to completion and which parts are needed for subsequent processes.
These cards are generally used to control work-in-progress (WIP), production, and inventory flow. A Kanban system allows a company to use Just-in-time (JIT) production and ordering systems that allows them to minimize their inventories while fulfilling customer demands.
Kanban in software & IT:
In the world of software & IT, the definition of Kanban has undergone its own evolution and elaboration, especially over the last 3years. The Kanban is considered as a management method for managing and improving service delivery (in both software, IT and not non-IT) in a slow evolutionary manner. The 3 major fundamental guiding principles of Kanban method are:
• Start with your current process.
• Agree to seek an evolutionary approach to change and improve.
• Respect the current roles and responsibilities of the team/ organization.
Vivid changes away from high product throughput and high capacity loads towards the new idea of lower production times and work-in-progress have headed to the idea of incorporating Kanban systems in manufacturing industries.
These systems are most commonly used to implement the pull-type control in production systems aiming at reducing costs by minimizing the WIP inventory.
This allows the organization the ability to adapt the changes in demand.
A pull-type production line is a sequence of production stages performing different process steps where every stage consists of several workstations. The flow of parts through the overall facility is controlled by a combined push or pull control policy, which is established by the Kanban’s.
How to get started using Kanban:
The hardest part of any task is getting started. Knowing which steps to implement is the key. Here is what you need to do to get started with Kanban.
The very first thing to do is to identify the major processes in your organization and identify the steps involved in the individual process. Where do tasks come from? How they are prioritized, defined, and assigned? What are the steps to be involved in completing the task? This would be the workflow and each step gets its own column on the Kanban board.