The Kanban Guide

Kanban Tool and Methodology

Kanban is essentially an approach towards management that takes visual cues to trigger an action. What this means in terms of project management is that Kanban, as a tool and methodology, takes a visual approach to give you an idea of where you currently are and are heading in the project.

It aims to manage work effectively by balancing demands with the available capacity and bettering the way system-level bottlenecks are handled. This allows you to effectively manage a project and ensure that tasks are met and taken care of while helping to avoid being overwhelmed, enabling you to take care of any task consistently without running out of resources.

An additional benefit of using an application to represent the Kanban methodology is that you can safely store and manage all your information via the cloud, ensuring that it stays intact and as it was left. It all makes it easily accessible via multiple devices.

The Kanban Tool

The Kanban Tool was traditionally represented in the form of a whiteboard, but applications have made the use of it even simpler and more effective. An example of an application that provides this feature would be Sinnaps project management software, which allows you to plan out your tasks and activities while spreading them across a timeline calendar format, making it easy for the team to visualize what tasks need to be completed and at what time.

Kanban Tools and Scrum Tools are both used for project management, scrum involves self-organizing and cross-functional teamwork, whereas Kanban Tool has effective flow management based on the principle it operates on, which will be covered later on in this article.

Kanban Tool’s overall strengths with scrum tools are that it enables excellent workflow and delivers consistent results when implemented right, while Scrum leaves teams to their own devices and does not hold up well in situations where tasks are not well defined. It may also be limited in effectiveness compared to Kanban; the Kanban tool works particularly well with medium to small-sized teams while Scrum tends to be effective when used with small-sized teams.

Using the Restyaboard software tool, you can visually represent Kanban with many charts and views.

The Kanban Methodology

The Kanban Methodology as mentioned before aims to assist in project management by consistently letting you complete tasks without overburdening your team. It simply lets your teamwork even better together. To go into further detail, three principles encompass Kanban:

  • Visualization – This involves seeing tasks in the context of how they relate to each other, which oftentimes proves informative in how you approach each task.
  • Limiting works-in-progress – This balances the approach so that teams never commit to too many projects at once, allowing them to finish them consistently.
  • Enhance Flow – This involves taking the highest priority item from the list of tasks that currently need to be completed.
Kanban methodology as it can be seen, is a viable option for project management, even more so when the methodology can be easily implemented using project management applications like Restyaboard. It may be an effective option to include a Kanban process flow chart as it is another way to visually represent tasks.

The Kanban Cards System

Utilizing visualization as a core principle, the Kanban cards system is an effective way to use Kanban in project management. Kanban cards are made using the following process:

  • Breaking down each step from beginning to end, creating a column for each step required.
  • Recording tasks on a separate virtual or physical card.
  • Indicating different types of work with colors for improved visualization
  • Tasks are moved from left (which need to be completed) to right (tasks that are completed)

A couple of guidelines should be followed while using these cards. As mentioned before, Kanban’s three principles involve visualization, limiting works-in-progress to avoid bottlenecking and enable consistent completion, and enhancing the flow of tasks by effectively prioritizing work. The steps above have given you a way to complete the first part.

 The second, limiting work to avoid reducing the speed of completion, is done by putting limits on the columns for the work currently being undertaken and making sure that you prioritize smooth workflow. Enhancing flow is done by observing how the Kanban team roles are coping with the workflow you’ve assigned them over time.
Collecting data based on this and making adjustments based on what the data shows will allow you to make clear, objective improvements to your Kanban cards system. Other aspects improved by using this entire methodology, not just the Kanban cards system include:

  • Kanban Pull
  • Kanban Task Manager
  • Kanban Product Owner
  • Kanban Production Control System

The Kanban Cloud Method

The Kanban Cloud Method involves storing and holding your Kanban information via the cloud, which lets you access the information whenever you’d like, rather than being limited to one location or a specific device.

This lets you modify, observe and complete tasks as long as you have an internet connection. This is particularly helpful with an approach like Kanban as it can help you improve the project team’s workflow.

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