What Is Kanban?

Businesses are always looking for ways to be more efficient and improve productivity, and as a result, they have adapted various methodologies that were created for this specific purpose. One popular method that is widely used in a wide array of industries is Kanban. 

Kanban Definition

Kanban is a management method that facilitates team collaboration and increased efficiency. With Kanban, project workflows are represented visually, providing team members with context on how their contribution fits within the larger picture. Team-wide transparency into the entire workflow is meant to eliminate redundancy, wasted efforts, and provide continual delivery.

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What is Kanban and Why Should You Use It?

With Kanban, organizations have the opportunity to improve their processes gradually. With minor changes, the production process for any given project can flow much better, with as few disruptions as possible. Just about all business operations can improve (regardless of industry) after implementing some or all of the principles, practices, and methods of the Kanban method.

Kanban History 

Kanban has a fascinating history that dates back to the 1940s. It all started with Toyota’s efforts to better align its significant inventory levels with consumer demand and the actual consumption of materials. To do so, it was necessary to communicate with various teams, such as suppliers and those working on the factory floor, in real-time.

In practice, the methodology uses cards, also referred to as Kanbans. These are passed between team members to notify them that one step of a process is complete and what’s needed to complete the next step. For example, if a bin of materials is emptied and new materials are required, a Kanban is issued to notify they are ready for new materials—how much, what type of material it is, and so on. This prepares the staff in the warehouse to send that bin of materials back to the factory floor, and then send a Kanban to the supplier.  Then, the supplier will supply the specified bin of materials, which would then be sent to the warehouse. 

Although manufacturing is where Kanban started, as technologies and techniques evolve, its methodologies and principles are now in use in many other ways.

Kanban: Methods, Principles, and Practices

According to Kanban practices, big changes at the beginning of any process are discouraged. When you do begin to make changes, be sure to do so gradually to ensure your team is comfortable with the new process. 

Kanban principles also encourage team members to understand and respect everyone’s role within the organization. This means knowing everyone’s job title and understanding what that role entails. Kanban encourages collaboration when it comes to identifying any changes that are needed. 

Kanban also encourages equal contributions from all team members when it comes to offering ideas. Even entry-level employees can provide useful input that can help to improve overall efficiency. 

How Does Kanban Work?

For businesses looking to apply Kanban methodologies to their day-to-day operations, the first step is to visualize the workflow with a Kanban board. This is an actual board that uses cards or sticky notes, all of which contain different tasks on each card or sticky note. 

Kanban boards will typically divide these notes into three columns: tasks that need to be completed, tasks in progress, and completed tasks. 

This transparent and straightforward method allows organizations to easily see the status of different tasks so that there are no questions or misunderstandings. Kanban boards can become quite elaborate and complex by showing detailed workflows, depending on the project. 

Kanban in Agile

While can Kanban works all types of production processes and industries, it is especially prevalent in software development. It’s frequently used in agile software development because it emphasizes the importance of complete transparency and real-time communication throughout the development process. The Kanban board is especially useful for team members working in software development because it allows them to see what others are working on, what they’ve completed already, and what they still need to do. 

How much are you aware of the agile methodologies? Try answering these Agile Scrum Master practice test questions and find out now!

Conclusion

Because more and more companies are finding value in following Kanban methodologies, becoming an expert in Kanban and receiving your certification can lead to an abundance of opportunities. At Simplilearn, we offer several different training options for all skill levels.

Our PMI-ACP® (Agile Certified Practitioner) Training teaches students everything they need to know to master various agile methodologies. In addition to Kanban, students in this course also learn lean, scrum, and other agile techniques. This course prepares students for their PMI®-Agile Certified Practitioner exam. 

If you want to focus exclusively on Kanban, our Kanban Management Professional-1 (KMP-1) Kanban System Design Certification Course may be more aligned with your goals. Also offering corporate solutions for organizations, this program provides students with in-depth instruction on Kanban principles and methodologies.

For those who prefer a traditional classroom setting and strive to be a Scrum Master, our SAFe® 4 ScrumMaster (SSM) Certification Training will provide just what you’re looking for. Currently based in Dallas, Texas, this two-day program not only teaches students the ins and outs of the scrum but also includes a one-year membership to the SAFe Community Platform. After successfully passing the course, all students receive course completion certificates. This course also prepares students for the SAFe® ScrumMaster (SSM) exam.

Looking to learn more about scrum and become a certified Scrum Master, but prefer to enroll in an online training program? Our Agile ScrumMaster (ASM®) Certification Training program is the perfect way to do so. 

No matter what you’re searching for in this fast-paced and evolving world of technology, Simplilearn has a program that is likely to align with your goals and career ambitions. Not only can formal training that’s focused on a specific area help when it comes to landing your next job opportunity, but becoming certified can genuinely help you stand out amongst other candidates vying for the highly coveted roles. Learn more and enroll in one of our accredited programs today!

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Simplilearn is one of the world’s leading providers of online training for Digital Marketing, Cloud Computing, Project Management, Data Science, IT, Software Development, and many other emerging technologies.

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