What Is Kanban?

Kanban is a flow-oriented method for working in a lean/agile way. Organizations typically choose Kanban when:

  • They need a continuous/flow-oriented environment as is more and more frequent today in the world of Lean Startup, DevOps, Continuous Delivery.
  • They need an evolutionary way to go Agile when the revolutionary style of Scrum isn’t the best fit.
  • They need a simple yet effective way to scale agile to support a network of teams working together using Program-level Kanbans and networked kanban systems.
  • They want to extend lean/agile from R&D teams to the entire life cycle/ Value Stream.
  • They’re in an ultra-fast-changing environment such as IT OPS, Marketing, Publishing/Broadcasting companies, Product Maintenance.
  • Their process and specialization is too complex to be able to map it into Scrum (e.g. Engineering Operations in Manufacturing)

Learn more about Kanban below. Contact us or check out our Kanban services page if you’re seriously considering it and need help.

Kanban aims to Efficiently Deliver Value

One of the key Lean principles is Flow – creating a continuous and predictable delivery stream of Features/Capabilities. Kanban visualizes the Features/Capabilities currently queued and in process, and employs mechanisms aimed at minimizing flow disruptions, wasted effort, and amount of in-process inventory.

Work and Workflow are Made Visible

Activities, Issues and Impediments rise to the surface and are dealt with rather than swept under the carpet.

Work in Process is Limited

Limiting the Work in Process (WIP) encourages key behaviours desired in Lean/Agile environments, e.g.,

  • Remove obstacles rather than ignore them;
  • Focus on running work to completion, rather than inefficient multi-tasking / context-switching.

Kaizen – Evolutionary Improvement is encouraged and incorporated into the life cycle

A rigorous Continuous Improvement regimen encourages removal of Systemic Causes of Problems. Retrospectives, Operational Reviews, Advanced analytics based on Lean, Six Sigma and Queueing Theory Science, all contribute to systemic study and improvement of process performance.

Flexible Language for describing Development/Maintenance Workflows

Kanban can visualize and manage any kind of workflow, usingsemantics such as “Work Types”, “Classes of Service”, “Horizontal SwimmingLanes”, “Tagging”, “Hierarchical Work Types”.

Where to use Kanban

Kanban is used by a wide range of organizations – small, medium and large.

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