How To Boost Your Productivity With Kanban?

Boost Your Productivity With Kanban

While reading the title about how to boost your productivity with Kanban, in most cases you are wondering what’s Kanban?

From Japanese, Kanban is literally translated as signboard or visual signal.

Kanban is a visual system for managing work as it moves through a process.

Kanban visualizes both the process (the workflow) and the actual work passing through that process.

The goal of Kanban is to identify potential bottlenecks in your process and fix them so work can flow through it cost-effectively at an optimal speed or throughput.

Kanban Origin

It all started in the early 1940s.

The first Kanban system was developed by Taiichi Ohno (Industrial Engineer and Businessman) for Toyota automotive in Japan, as a simple planning system.

It aims to control and manage work and inventory at every stage of production optimally.

Over time, Kanban has become an efficient way in a variety of production systems.

Kanban Board

A Kanban board is a tool for workflow visualization and one of the key components of the Kanban method.

Originally built using a whiteboard split into columns and swimlanes.

Each column represents a stage of the workflow while swimlanes separate different types of activities.

When a task enters your workflow, it’s placed on a Kanban card that goes through each column of the board.

To boost your productivity with Kanban, the simplest Kanban board can have three columns:

  • Requested,
  • In Progress,
  • Done.

Kanban Card

A Kanban card is a visual representation of a work item.

Translated from Japanese, it literally means visual (kan) card (ban).

It is a core element of the Kanban system.

It represents work that has been requested or is already in progress.

A Kanban card contains valuable information about the task and its status such as a summary of the assignment, responsible person, deadline, etc.

Kanban WIP Limit

The acronym WIP stands for Work In Progress.

WIP is the number of task items that a team is currently working on.

Limiting work in progress is one of the core properties of Kanban.

It allows you to manage your process in a way that creates smooth workflow and prevents overloads.

How to Prioritize Work?

To boost your productivity with Kanban, you can use different tools on your Kanban board to prioritize work in an optimal way:

  • Columns to pull first priority tasks,
  • Swimlanes to expedite urgent issues,
  • Color indicators to improve visibility.

Kanban Software

For your personal use, we recommend these 2 free solutions:

  • Trello: online task management system using Kanban board
  • Flow-E: convert your Gmail or Outlook mailbox to a personal Kanban board

More Articles

Recommended Reading


, , ,

Leave a Reply