A couple of months ago I did an introductory article about agile methodologies and the advantages of their implementation in companies. In that article I mentioned two of these strategies, and today I will talk about the most popular, the agile Kanban methodology.
What is the Kanban methodology?
his organizational technique originated in the Toyota factory with the objective of controlling the progress of the work. The word Kanban means “visual cards” and that’s how the Kanban methodology works. Through tabs of different colors you will be able to know at a glance the current situation of a project, being able in this way to know if it is well on its way or if you have to recalculate the times
On what principles is the Kanban methodology based?
Here I highlight the aspects that make the Kanban methodology different from other ways of organizing projects:
Quality assured: in this case, quality is rewarded in relation to the speed of execution, that is, everything must go well the first time, without margin of error. This is because in many cases you lose more time and money in correcting errors than in doing it right the first time.
Minimum waste: the YAGNI principle governs the Kanban approach. Only time is invested in the just and necessary, everything superficial and secondary project must be in the background.
Continuous improvement: when we speak of Kanban, we are not referring only to a management method, but also to a continuous system of improvement in the development of the different projects.
Flexibility: once the main tasks of the project have been carried out, the least relevant ones come into play. In this case, tasks can be prioritized according to the needs of the moment.
How is Kanban methodology implemented?
The application of this method is done through a dashboard of activities that allows optimizing the workflow. Next I define the key aspects for the use of the Kanban methodology:
Workflow of the project: the first step will be to create a board for the project, a board accessible to all the people involved in the process. The board will be divided into columns, each corresponding to one stage of the project. Once a task is finished, the card is moved to the column of the tasks performed.
Visualize the production cycle: usually they are used post-it with the basic information of the tasks, as well as the estimated hours. The objective of this visualization is to clarify to the maximum the work to be done, as well as the priorities and the assigned goal.
Stop Starting, start finishing: “stop starting and start finishing” is the motto of the Kanban agile methodology. Priority must be given to the tasks that are being carried out in front of those that want to start, since in order to offer the best quality in the service, the work in progress must be limited.
It is about defining the maximum number of tasks that can be performed in each of the phases, thus restricting the work, and making clear the idea that you can not open a task without completing another. In this way, a very common problem is solved in many companies and projects, that of having a large number of tasks started and paralyzed.
The Kanban methodology allows monitoring of the work done, storing the information at all times, both the tasks done, and those that are being executed and those that will be executed later.
Is there any tool for the Kanban methodology implementation?
The most common way to work with this system is through the post-it, but this has a problem, what happens if we are not all the members of the project in the same office? It is a usual question, especially for large projects involving several people or departments or in companies where there is a lot of teleworking.
In my case, I use the TRELLO tool, an excellent organizational tool for the company. Its fame is due to the fact that through a very visual system it allows you to order tasks and projects to facilitate its follow-up. You can divide each project on a different board, and you can give access to the people that interest you.
Conclusion, Should I implement the Kanban methodology in my office?
In the end the objective of a company is to maximize expenses and minimize the time used in the different tasks of their projects. Many times you lose time to start several tasks at once or because a task without doing you cut the power to start with another task, so it is so important to use an agile methodology.
I hope you find this article on the Kanban methodology interesting, and that you seriously consider its implementation in your company. If you have any questions about this method, or about the digital transformation, do not hesitate to contact me.
See you in the next article!