Kanban best practices
Process Improvement, Project Management

Observe, Manage, Evolve: Kanban Practices

The Kanban Method has exploded in popularity, largely because of its simplicity. Kanban is used to improve team productivity and workflow efficiency. It is designed to be flexible to the needs of your projects. There are six Kanban practices that are essential to successful implementation and form the foundation of Kanban workflows. Visualise Workflow The first and most important Kanban practice is visualisation, going back to its origins on the factory floor. The English translation of Kanban is “signboard” or “billboard” –…

Kanban workflow
Process Improvement, Project Management

Improving Processes: Kanban Workflow

The Kanban Method focuses on making iterative, incremental changes to work processes to increase efficiency and productivity. How can you translate your project processes into Kanban workflows and make them more efficient? What is a Kanban Workflow? A Kanban workflow is made up of the step-by-step process states between starting and delivering a task. The simplest workflow could have just three process states – To Do, Doing and Done. Tasks move sequentially from the first state to the last. In reality,…

Little’s Law and Kanban
Process Improvement, Project Management

Stable Systems: Little’s Law and Kanban

When discussing Agile methodology and Kanban, one equation makes frequent appearances: Little’s Law. But what does this formula have to do with project management? While originating from queuing theory, Little’s Law has been found to apply to all kinds of different systems – from retail to design to development. In Kanban, Little’s Law links the three basic metrics – throughput, cycle time and work in progress – in one simple formula. Understanding how these Kanban metrics are connected allows you…

Work in progress limits
Process Improvement, Team Performance

Do Less to Do More: Kanban WIP Limits

Have you felt like your team is always busy, but nothing is ever quite finished? With a constant stream of new requests from clients and management, it’s easy to jump from task to task without delivering results. Kanban WIP limits stop too many tasks from getting stuck in the “Doing” stage – and get more Done. Apply them to your Kanban board to improve team focus, reduce cycle times and increase customer satisfaction. What are Kanban WIP limits? Work In…

Kanban swimlanes
Process Improvement, Project Management

Improve Task Organisation: Kanban Swimlanes

Teams turn to the Kanban method to streamline workflows and improve process efficiency. With large teams and complex projects, however, a common issue occurs – the Kanban board becomes cluttered and hard to read. Kanban swimlanes are used to tame this visual clutter and improve task organisation. What are Kanban swimlanes? In large projects, different team members often need to focus on different work items. Your developers and your customer service aren’t going to have any overlap, and your team…

Kanban meetings
Process Improvement, Project Management

The Rhythm of Success: Kanban Meetings

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. In the same way that the Kanban method uses analysis and feedback loops to improve workflow efficiency, Kanban meetings aim to improve the efficiency of the whole organisation. From quick daily check-ins within a team to big-picture strategy reviews with senior executives, Kanban meetings keep interconnected Kanban systems operating efficiently, identify problem areas and assess overall customer satisfaction. David J Anderson, a key figure in modern Kanban history, identifies 7 essential Kanban meetings…

Kanban classes of service
Process Improvement, Project Management

Prioritising Work Efficiently: Kanban Classes of Service

Many project managers appreciate the efficiency and productivity benefits of Kanban, but don’t know how best to prioritise tasks. How do you deal with an emergency? How are deadlines and milestones taken into account? When are maintenance tasks carried out? That’s where Kanban Classes of Service come in. Classes of Service allow you to set up parallel streams within your workflow for different types of task – keeping your projects on track without disturbing the standard flow and speeding up…

Kanban team
Project Management, Team Performance

Productive Project Management: Kanban Team

A smooth, efficient workflow is essential to a successful project. The Kanban Method has exploded in popularity as a way to optimise processes in all kinds of teams, especially in Agile software development. But what is Kanban and what makes a Kanban team? What is Kanban? Kanban – sometimes translated as “signboard”, “billboard” or “visual signal” – is a workflow management method with a long history. Invented in the 1940s as a way to improve manufacturing productivity, it has since…

Kanban cycle time
Project Management, Team Performance

Maximise Customer Satisfaction: Kanban Cycle Time

The one question that project managers hate to hear – “How long will this take?”. Being able to estimate how much time is needed for a team using the Kanban method to complete a client request lets project managers plan ahead and inspires client confidence. Kanban cycle time tracks the average time taken and the probability to complete any type of task within a project. While cycle time can be used to assess your team’s efficiency, it can also be used…

Histogram diagram
Process Improvement, Project Management

Frequency Distribution: Histogram Diagram

Histograms are a great way to visualise data and track key performance indicators because they are so clear and simple to read. They are the preferred method of presenting large amounts of data in a simple straightforward manner. What is a histogram and how does it help you analyse your data? What is a histogram diagram? The histogram is a graph that is often used in mathematics and statistics. Histograms are used to measure how frequently values or value ranges…

Kanban throughput
Process Improvement, Team Performance

Boost Team Performance: Kanban Throughput

As a project manager, improving your team performance is always at the forefront of your mind. Without knowing how fast your team is working, it’s impossible to evaluate your performance and give accurate delivery estimates to your customers. Kanban throughput measures your team’s capacity to deliver and enables you to make data-driven decisions about your future performance. What is throughput? Throughput in Kanban refers to the amount of work delivered over a certain period. No matter how many work items your…

Kanban metrics
Process Improvement, Team Performance

What to Measure and Why: Metrics in Kanban

You might have heard the saying “what gets measured gets managed”. Monitoring progress and measuring performance is a key component of Kanban – both for tracking your project and making your process more efficient over time. Here we will explain the specific metrics & analytics in Kanban that you should be using to monitor your team performance and your process efficiency and delivery times, as well as the red flags to watch for that signal trouble ahead. Average cycle times Kanban…