“Kanban” is the Japanese word for “card” or “board”. In this agile framework, the name says it all. By using process visualization on a Kanban board, you create an overview of the individual tasks, which you can then analyze and implement improvements. Assuming you reach the correct conclusions. Optimally, you shorten the cycle time, increase quality and manage dependencies effectively. Kanban has many parallels to Scrum but uses a more relaxed organizational framework and doesn’t define how the development steps must be performed.

Where Can Kanban be Used in Your Organization?

To describe where Kanban can be applied, we differentiate three Flight Levels at which this framework can be implemented in an organization. You can implement Kanban at the operational level, which allows you to manage the tasks within teams. At the next level, the coordination level, Kanban can enable more effective interactions between teams. In addition, many companies use this framework at the strategic portfolio management level in order to maintain an overview of several projects and their dependencies.

The Principles of Kanban:

Start with what you are currently doing!

Pursue improvements that can evolve!

Encourage leadership at all levels of the organization!

The Advantages

Kanban is a light-weight framework that requires little change within the company and can therefore be a good introduction to agile working for traditionally organized teams. Since the Kanban flow requires self-organization, the framework creates a cross-department developmental process at the same time.