A Complete Introduction On The Kanban Methodology – DevstringxHimanshu Yadav
What Is Kanban Methodology?
The word Kanban comes from a Japanese word that means – Visual Signal.
It is inspired by the Actual Manufacturing Process. It has various stages of a task. Right from when a work is started to the end result.
With so many people working in services and technology, many times the work is intangible, invisible or it is difficult to track. Kanban helps you visualize the work. Helps everyone understand better. And it helps team members to work together more efficiently. Kanban is a Project Management Tool, which maximizes the efficiency of the team.
It can be built on white Boards, walls, windows, or with a suite of digital tools like Trello or Jira.
The purpose is to categorize all the stages of work that a work item flows through. From something, you haven’t started to something that’s done. This is called a workflow. Each stage of the workflow has its own column.
Structure of Kanban Board
- The Kanban Board has columns and each column has some work items which we call a card.
- We can define the columns as per the project requirements.
- The basic flow of the board has 3 major components: To do –> In Progress –> Done
- We can add as many columns as possible to make our workflow better. For E.g. we can add a column/lane for things in backlog, where every team member can put ideas. And a column/lane where the product is ready for functional testing and QA Engineer can test it to approve that it is ready for the use of the customer.
Why Kanban Should You Use Kanban Methodology?
1) Physical Boards vs Kanban Board
Physical boards are much more preferred if all the team members live in the same building. Digital boards like Kanban are much more reliable when the team is distributed and they live in different places. This board helps everyone to have equal access to the information. And they are able to access the information from anywhere, especially the people outside your current location
2) Kanban Card
A card is an item in each column. You can think of Kanban Card as a work item. One card per work item. We can make cards for all the things we are working on and place them in the appropriate stage of the workflow. (To-do, in Progress, or Ready).
A well-defined Kanban Card should have:
- A Title
- A Description
With the help of the Kanban card, we can also add helpful information like due date, priority, status, etc. We can attach photos videos or the design related to what needs to be done on the card. We can also assign people on the card.
Apart from that, We can create a separate work item (checklist) within the card and assign people to those small tasks that can be done without having to create a separate card and make the board bigger and more complex.
Team members can leave updates on the card, as they move from one stage to another.
Kanban cards should be small enough, that they can be done in a reasonable amount of time. It should not be so big, that it takes weeks to move it forward. It should also not be very small that it is every task you are working on.
How To Use Kanban Methodology?
To get into the details and realize the benefit of the Kanban Board:
- You should try building a Kanban Board
- Fill the board with Kanban Cards
- Set a Work in Progress limited
Kanban as a Tool
If you look at it, Kanban may look simple, but it is a very powerful tool when it comes to team and Project management. It is a tool that can help a team go from dysfunctional to an efficiently working team. One can say that:
– Kanban brings method to the madness.
– Brings culture to the organization.
– Helps the work done in a more efficient manner.
Best Things About Kanban
– It can also be used as a prioritizing tool
– It shows what to do now, what can be done the next day and what can be done later.
– Kanban promotes everyone taking responsibility for the tasks and it helps the project as a whole.
– It’s on the team to work together and make Kanban work for you or the company
Benefits of Kanban
Kanban teams often have a “backlog” for their board. Where they can put new ideas for a new project the team can pick up.
Once you see a column that starts to bunch up, you’ll see where your bottleneck is, in your workflow.
You can also see what size card your team can manage to move forward in a timely manner. This movement is called the flow of the work. And Kanban is built to help the team’s flow work better from Backlog to done.
Being able to analyze WIP, cumulative flow diagrams, cycle time, and many more within a click or two.
Cycle Time– The time it takes for a task (card) from the time it is being worked on till the time, the work is done.
Kanban also helps to find the Lead time of any task/card.
Lead Time: – The time that it takes to flow through your workflow from when you start working on it to when you’re done. Till the product/feature is in the hands of the customer.