You might have many options for workflow management systems in your firm, but when it comes down to ease of use, effectiveness, and efficiency, then nothing can match what Kanban offers. Kanban has covered a long journey; what started as lean manufacturing has converted into an impeccable workflow management system, all thanks to the enthusiasts who promoted it.
Now, technology has completely streamlined the effectiveness of the Kanban system by giving birth to Kanban boards. All the issues related to the traditional Kanban system have been wiped out through this technologically advanced board. Because of these boards, now even remote team members can work together, which is what makes Kanban more useful and relevant to the companies working today!
If you are wondering how the Kanban board helps visualize Work, Limit WIP, and Maximize efficiency, you have come to the right place. Keep reading to stay illuminated.
Understanding the different elements of the Kanban board
Although there are many things in a Kanban board, the first thing you will notice are the cards in the form of tickets or stickies. Every team involved in the project writes their work on these cards, and one card is allotted to every team. If there is an agile team, then the cards might represent one user story. After putting these cards on the boards, one can get a visual representation of which team is working on which part of the project and what is their progress rate.
Just like cards, columns are one of the most important parts of the Kanban board; Each column is used to show a particular activity in a composed form that shows the workflow. All the cards in the Kanban board keep on flowing through the entire workflow until it is finally completed. There are three categories of columns used in the board; done, to do, and progress.
Work In Progress Limits
WIP is one of the essential parts of the Kanban board, and these are a type of limit for the highest number of cards that can be put in a single column of the board. If there is a column on the board with a WIP limit of four, no one should put more than four cards in that particular column. If a column has been filled to its maximum limit, the team needs to start working on the existing cards and then move them up so that new cards can be put forward in the workflow.
There is also the availability of backlogs in the boards for all the teams involved in the project. In these backlogs, both the teammates and customers can put their ideas, and that is later picked up by the teams when they are entirely ready for it. So, we can say that the commitment point is a type of moment where a ready team picks a particular kind of idea from the backlogs, and the team starts working on the project as well.
It is the last point of the Kanban workflow, which is why it is considered as the end. Delivery point is that point for the team when the product reaches the hands of the customer. So, the teams’ main motive is to keep moving the cards from the commitment point to the delivery point in a quick manner. Otherwise, you will not have a stable and predictable workflow that delivers customer value efficiently…
The time taken by the team to move cards from the commitment point to the delivery point is known as Lead Time, and teams have to work on improving it.
If you are implementing the Kanban workflow in your firm, and if your Kanban system has these essential elements, you will have maximum success chances. But you can start with the two basic rules of Kanban that are; visualizing your work and limiting the work in progress, and then you can move up to maximizing efficiency. It will do wonders for you if used effectively to its full potential!