How Kanban benefits businesses
Many companies may have heard the term Kanban being used occasionally, but not everyone has a full grasp on what it actually is. Kanban is something which you need to know more about if you work in the business world, especially if you are a manager or senior executive who has several people or teams working under you.
Kanban was created all the way back in 1940 by Toyota, the Japanese car manufacturer, as a way to optimize their workflows just after the Second World War. As you can imagine, the raw materials required for the commercial production of automobiles was scarce, and Japanese companies were faced with the mammoth task of scaling up their production whilst only using the resources they needed. Waste could no longer be tolerated due to political and economic constraints.
Inefficiency exists in almost every line of business, but by taking proactive steps to eliminate it, including implementing systems such as the Kanban system, you can do a whole lot to reduce it to levels where it is no longer significant. It’s a great idea to learn Kanban and how it works, and you can read these Kanban articles to find out more. Produced by a leading provider of Kanban tools, these articles will give you some more detailed information about the tools available.
If you would like to learn more about how Kanban has valuable benefits for businesses, keep reading on.
#1: It Eliminates Inefficiency
Or, at least it reduces inefficiency so much that it is no longer a problem. Inefficient business can be expensive, stressful and wastes your time. It prevents the important things being done and anything which does actually get done ends up not being done properly. Despite this, many management teams aren’t aware that inefficiencies exist or don’t know how to tackle them when they arise.
When there are a lot of people working on lots of different parts of a project, this can lead to inefficiency when communications break down and nobody knows what anybody else is doing or should be doing.
Enter Kanban – Kanban helps solve inefficiencies and improves output by providing a system which enables workers to visualize exactly what is going on. As humans, we respond far better to visual information than black and white text, and when everything is laid out in the Kanban style on a whiteboard, everybody knows what they and everybody else should be doing, and when for. This prevents people from being inefficient through ignorance and waiting around for somebody to tell them what needs to happen.
#2: It Prioritizes Business Value
According to the person who pioneered the modern Kanban method, it is not only a methodology to manage projects, but it is also a business management framework which, whilst not sounding like very much, has a lot to offer and is very powerful. Kanban is not just a whiteboard on the wall (either physically or virtually) littered with sticky notes, it is a tool which helps to promote decision making that is efficient and economically-viable through the prioritization and management of work-specific goals.
Companies must today thrive in competitive markets and it is more important than ever for businesses to identify, prioritize and then carry out work which has the most inherent value. If they can’t do this, then they will simply fail to stay ahead of the competition and remain afloat. That is true no matter which industry you operate in or how big your business is, and this is why Kanban is so important, powerful and relevant today.
Using Kanban, your organization’s needs are put before anything else.
#3: It Improves Visibility
The amount of work which companies now undertake is astronomical, and lots of this work isn’t even visible. One of the core values of Kanban is visibility and the system helps organizations see things which may have otherwise been missed.
Information such as progress, project inefficiencies, bottlenecks and impediments can all be viewed clearly and plainly by taking a few seconds to look at a Kanban board and think about what it is displaying. Using Kanban, information becomes available for not only team members, but for other key people within the business such as stakeholders, investors and observers because information flows freely throughout an entire organization.
The Kanban system developed by Toyota in the 1940s and revolutionized in the early 2000s is something that is now used by almost all businesses worldwide; at least those that are serious about their long-term goals and success. The Kanban method, whilst simple in practice, does far more than many people can appreciate. The simple act of laying out all tasks for projects in a simple to digest manner completely eliminates inefficiencies and enables specific parts of projects to be seen which may have otherwise been invisible.