6 tips for successfully using Kanban

By |2021-03-30T09:07:46+00:00March 29, 2021|Productivity|0 Comments

Teams often wonder how to start using the Kanban method to organize their work. Starting from scratch can be difficult. Without the right tips, it can take longer to start taking advantage of this working method.   

Teams often wonder how to start using the Kanban method to organize their work. Starting from scratch can be difficult. Without the right tips, it can take longer to start taking advantage of this working method.

This method is increasingly used to optimize the work of remote teams that require the right digital tools to manage projects remotely.

Therefore, we have selected the best tips to implement this working method and keep your team organized and productive.

What is the Kanban method?

Kanban is a Japanese term that means “card”. This system was named after the very company that developed it, Toyota. Kanban is a method that uses cards of different colors or different sizes to specify and assign tasks. This method allows you to optimize work management by using signal cards to control flows. By knowing exactly which tasks need to be done, which are being done, and which have already been completed, you can increase productivity and optimize your team’s workflows.

1. Map the current workflow

The first step in implementing any methodology is to understand what is currently being executed. With each stage of the project identified, it becomes easier to organize the tasks that need to be completed and assign them to the person responsible for them. Thus, it is also important to define what their flow will look like. The most common are:

To do: this is where all tasks that must be done are listed regardless of type, priority, and responsible party.

In Progress: in this column are the tasks in progress or those awaiting some dependency.

Finished: these are the tasks that have already been completed. Keeping visible what is already completed helps to have an idea of what has been accomplished in a given period and serves as motivation for the team.

2. Make your Kanban board reflect the way you work

Match the various states of the Kanban board to your organizational practices. For example, you may need “waiting for review” or “waiting for approval” columns. Visibility of this information will help prevent work from getting stuck in the workflow.

3. Optimize your system

With the project running and tasks moving from one column to another in Kanban, it becomes easier to understand what is and isn’t working. Also, there are more opportunities to find ways to improve the workflow from the mistakes and improvements that have already been made.

4. Establish smart policies

It’s essential to determine guidelines on how to use the Kanban board and make it clear to the entire team. However, this is one of the most overlooked rules of Kanban, even though it’s crucial for getting the most out of the system. Your policies should cover:

  • What conditions each card must have to enter the next stage (column);
  • What conditions a card must have to leave a stage (column);
  • And lots of other information such as: who is allowed to move cards on the board or when to remove a card.

5. Involve your team

Communication is everything. More than a tool, Kanban is a work method that requires an organizational culture that embraces the concept of the agile methodology. For this reason, it is necessary that everyone understands the advantages of this system, both individually and for the company. This way, you will be more successful in implementing this method and will have a team willing to help in structuring the workflow.

6. Measure execution time and cycle length

Kanban helps teams focus on their work and allows them to do more with the same amount of time. A good kanban tool helps you measure execution time and cycle length. Do you want to know how many tasks your team is finishing in a given period? How long a task takes at each stage? You can do so through Airdesk‘s Kanban view. With Airdesk’s Kanban board, teams can visualize their work, limit “work in progress,” and maximize efficiency. It allows team members to commit to the right amount of work, and to get it done!

As you can see throughout this article, Kanban is a dynamic method that can be adapted to both optimize your company’s project management, which makes Kanban an important tool for achieving success.

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