Continuous improvement: Kaizen
Process Improvement, Team Performance

Continuous Improvement: Kaizen

Improvement is not a one-time event. There is no shortage of techniques, tools and software that present themselves as the solution to all of your problems, but real-world business environments are never that simple. Lasting change happens in increments, over time, each new improvement building on the one before. Today we’ll look at how applying the Japanese concept of Kaizen brings continuous improvement to your business practices, increases productivity and improves team morale. What is Kaizen? In Japanese, Kaizen is…

The Top 10 Benefits of Kanban
Process Improvement, Team Performance

The Top 10 Benefits of Kanban

Kanban is a method applied across all fields of work to help teams drive down costs and become more efficient by visualising and improving workflows. Kanban gives you the flexibility to build sustainable competitive advantage and empower your team to accomplish more, faster. In this article we’ll take a look at 10 benefits of Kanban for your business. 1. Better visibility Visualisation is an important Kanban practice, and the most recognisable feature of the method is the Kanban board. Every…

Understanding Your Data: Kanban Analytics
Process Improvement, Team Performance

Understanding Your Data: Kanban Analytics

Kanban processes improve by continuously making incremental changes. Effective changes are built upon intelligible and unambiguous data. A picture is worth a thousand words – how many data points does a chart convey? In this article we’ll take a look at how you can use Kanban analytics to understand your data, spot issues and make your process more efficient. Cumulative flow diagram The cumulative flow diagram tracks the total amount of tasks in progress. Each coloured band shows a different…

Kanban low dept
Process Improvement, Project Management

Borrowed Time: Kanban Flow Debt

Excessive debt slows progress and can become a huge burden. However, debt is not always bad and can be necessary to meet project goals. Nevertheless, debt must eventually be repaid. Flow debt in Kanban project management works according to the same principle. In this article, you will learn how Kanban flow debt is defined, how to measure it and how to prevent your flow debt levels from increasing in an uncontrollable manner. What is flow debt? Flow debt is when…

Types of frequency distribution
Process Improvement, Project Management

Types of Frequency Distribution

Project estimation is not a straightforward process – it’s a scientific and statistical exercise that deals with numerous interconnected variables. The value of these variables can have significant impact on your final estimate. Knowing the frequency distribution of these values enables you to make data-driven decisions. The type of frequency distribution is especially important when making predictions with the Monte Carlo simulation. In this article, we’ll explain the frequency distribution shapes that you will encounter most frequently. Normal Distribution The…

Quantifying the Uncertainty: Monte Carlo Simulation
Process Improvement, Project Management

Quantifying the Uncertainty: Monte Carlo Simulation

When making forecasts or performing risk analysis, it is impossible to escape from variability and uncertainty. Even with large amounts of past performance data at our fingertips, the future is unpredictable and unforeseen events can change the course of a project. Monte Carlo simulation does not try to eliminate risk – instead, it uses thousands or millions of permutations of random variables to calculate all possible outcomes. The probability distribution it generates is remarkably accurate, making it one of the…

Reading the Signs: Kanban Cycle Time Scatterplot Patterns
Process Improvement, Project Management

Reading the Signs: Kanban Cycle Time Scatterplot Patterns

To make your processes more efficient, first you need to identify where you are falling behind. The Kanban method uses visual methods to analyse your performance and find areas to improve. Cycle time is a key metric for quantifying how your team delivers value. Kanban cycle time scatterplot displays the cycle time for all tasks completed within a certain timeframe. Each task is represented by a dot on the chart. The height of the dot shows its cycle time. Learning…

Effective Forecasting: Estimation in Kanban
Process Improvement, Project Management

Effective Forecasting: Estimation in Kanban

When it comes to project management, the big question is always “How long will this take?”. From single work items to entire projects, making accurate delivery forecasts maintains a high level of customer trust and satisfaction. In the Agile community, there are many different opinions about how often estimation should be performed and how detailed an estimate should be. Some teams prefer not to estimate at all – time spent making estimates is time that could have been spent creating…

Keeping Things Clear: Kanban Rules
Process Improvement, Team Performance

Keeping Things Clear: Kanban Rules

In any project, work items need to be prioritised above others. Classes of Service (CoS) are a way of setting up parallel workflow streams in Kanban projects to handle tasks with different levels of priority. For Classes of Service to work correctly, however, you must set Kanban rules on how different classes should be treated. So what does this mean for you and your team in practice? Prioritisation The first step to implementing Kanban rules is to define your Classes…

Process Improvement, Project Management

Manage Bottlenecks in Kanban: the Theory of Constraints

In the same way that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, the throughput of a multi-stage process is limited by the slowest step. The Theory of Constraints states that in order to improve any system, this weakest link or constraint must be improved or eliminated, and the next priority becomes finding and eliminating the next-weakest link. The Theory of Constraints has been applied in many countries, many types of company and many industries leading to rapid…