Examples of Kanban System


Popular Examples of Kanban System

Popular Examples of Kanban System

Kanban is a popular method of project management. Currently it is widely used all over the world. Actually, it can be applied to any industry which needs to have a tool for product’s quality improvement. This article is dedicated to the examples of Kanban system use. It is necessary to learn them to understand how this system functions. But before describing the examples of Kanban use, it is necessary to remind the definition of this system and its main functional features.

Generally Kanban can be defined as a project management method. It was invented in Japan back in 1940-s. At that time the famous Japanese corporation Toyota wanted to improve the quality of its production and the time of its delivery to the customers. The employees of the company invented a project management method that allowed them to achieve this goal and called it Kanban. This word can be translated from Japanese as a task board or a billboard.

The method is based on three simple principles.

The first principle is consideration of the customer’s demands. It is defined by the need to satisfy all requirements of the clients. It is always simpler to sell a product that is needed and wanted by the customers.

Visualization of workflow is the second principle of Kanban methodology. Usually it is achieved by the use of Kanban task board. This simple project management tool can be either digital or physical. It represents all stages of work that a task must pass before the final product is ready.

The third principle of Kanban methodology is limitation of work in progress. If a kanban team works on many tasks at the same time it cannot achieve high quality of production. Hence, it is necessary to limit the amount of WIP units.

Now, as we know the main principles of Kanban methodology, we can take a look at an example of Kanban system.

We speak about Kanban management in software development, so our example is also connected to this industry.

Imagine a team of developers. It works in one premise because its members need to communicate each other constantly. This is one of the main principles of any Agile methodology. It also applies to Kanban. One of the team’s members performs the role of the Product Owner. He contacts the customer constantly. His main task is to collect user stories and place them into the product backlog. After that he prioritizes the stories. The rest of the team considers these stories tasks for realization. They work on it every day. The team has its own task board. It is a perfect example of the Kanban board. This allows the developers to follow their workflow and visualize it. The task board has four columns. The first is called “to do” and the last is called “done”. There are several tasks on the board. Two or three, not more. That is because otherwise the Kanban project would be inefficient. The tasks travel along the board from one column to another. That reflects the stages of their performance. When a certain task is finished, the developers run another piece of work in progress item. The project lasts until the last task is performed and the final product is delivered to the customer.

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