The essence of Japanese ‘kanban’ system is to limit the number of tasks being executed in parallel. Only when one task is finished I can start a new one.
How this helps you
Just ask yourself the question: What would happen if I had to finish something first, before I allow myself to start something new?
What is it?
Kanban is a system used to schedule workload and track progress. You can use a Kanban board to see the progress of your work. Divide a board into three columns, ‘to do’, ‘doing’, and ‘done’ and with sticky notes with your tasks you can see your progress. One of the great powers of a Kanban is the limitation of actions in each colom. You need to finish one action before you can start on the next. With that it is a great tool to focus on delivery. It was Taiichi Ohno who developed Kanban at Toyota in the 1940s, to improve manufacturing efficiency.
How does it relate?
Kanban is derived from shushi menus where customers could place their orders themselves.
Kanban is part of lean production or the Toyota way of production. Lean avoids overloading the manufacturing system, and produces ‘just in time’, meaning that there is no stock. Every piece needed for production arrives at the time when it is necessary in the supply chain. A clear link can be made with scrum, which is now very popular for managing projects.
Your next Waypoint
Find out how the concept of Kanban might apply to your idea or business. How might you be able to change your production process making only new customer demand trigger the start of a new production cycle? Here’s 101 ways to use kanban zapier.com/kanban-board/
If you want to learn more about Kanban en the lean production process, start by making your own kanban pizza: agile42.com/kanban-pizza-game
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