Learn How to Implement KANBAN In Your Company
Toyota’s famous production system has brought a number of new concepts to the market. One well-known part of the Toyota system was Kanban. Do you know what Kanban is? Do you know how to implement it? Did you know that Kanban can be used to manage office activities and is considered a lean office tool?
What is Kanban?
In 1950s Japan, Toyota, one of the country’s leading companies, was going through an extremely troubling time. Dealing with scarce resources and technological problems, the Japanese giant was having difficulty. Toyota sought to develop a new production system that would bring more profit with less waste. This effort created what would later be known as the Toyota production system.
Searching for profit through sustainability, Toyota’s philosophy led them to one of the pillars “Just in Time” that is often confused with Kanban.
Just in time, or JIT, is a technique that produces based on the needs of the market, eliminating the costs of maintaining inventory and producing on demand. While JIT is the process of manufacturing products in the right quantity and at the right time, the Kanban system is a tool created to administer JIT.
One of the basic concepts of this system is to produce in the smallest batch possible, ideally one item at a time. This concept can be applied in service companies to help manage the often chaotic scenario of various activities being performed at the same time. As a result, Kanban is a tool with great potential to increase productivity in transactional activities.
How the method works
In the literal translation of Japanese, the term Kanban means “card.” And that’s a great way to describe the Kanban system. The method consists of using cards (sometimes post-it notes) to indicate and visualize production progress or flow of the company. This system was famous for using very few resources, making it practical and easy to understand.
The Kanban system corresponds to a framework in which all the tasks of a particular project or sector of the company are arranged. The highly visual nature of Kanban enables employees to easily understand the deadlines and milestones that need to be met.
It is possible to organize this framework so that it is based on two main axes: one for tasks and one for stages. On the first axis are all the task cards that need to be performed. The second axis is composed of the different statuses, such as “in progress,” “finished,” “pending,” etc. In this layout, you simply insert the task card or post-it note in the axis corresponding to its status. It’s that easy!
It might seem simple and, compared to today’s technology, even outdated, but believe us, Kanban still works very well. Employees have access to all these new tools, but often the simple visualization of tasks helps best.
Textual information is not always well understood by all and it is often necessary to re-formulate it or even re-explain it entirely. The Kanban system, however, follows the famous saying that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” As such, it exploits the visual processing capabilities of our brains, which operates much faster than us just reading plain text.
By organizing the flow of activities for a project or company aspect and using a highly visual framework, you will help your employees see progress in a much easier way. This means that communication between those involved with pending tasks will be done in a simpler and more illustrative way.
Now comes the best part….with TEAMS you can manage your projects and tasks with Kanban methodology better than ever! TEAMS is revolutionizing the management of companies. Learn more about #TEAMS and how we can help your company.