Kanban originated in the manufacturing industry and the system controls the value chain from where it begins, most likely with the supplier, all the way through until it reaches the consumer. By doing this, Kanban systems help companies avoid supply disruptions, overstocking and bottlenecks in the supply chain. With constant monitoring, a Kanban system can help achieve lower delivery lead times.
Since its inception, Kanban has expanded from the manufacturing industry to include other production systems, such as software development. With continuous monitoring, developers can control the supply chain from development to production with visual representation of the workflow. The end goal for Kanban in software development is to achieve more efficient delivery times and to avoid disruptions in production.
Working with already established processes can be difficult, so these principles are designed to help blend and integrate change in a non-intrusive way.
Start with what is already happening
The first principle of managing change is starting with what’s already known. Kanban is designed to be integrated without overhauling the current processes. Instead, this principle is about recognising the value of existing processes, roles and responsibilities and preserving what works well with each of these. Starting with what is known will highlight what issues are there as well.
Agree to pursue incremental, evolutionary change
Implementing Kanban is supposed to be non-intrusive. To make that happen, changes need to be incremental. Changes in Kanban are made alongside gathering feedback and by implementing collaboration. Large, sweeping changes and overhauls can be met with resistance, which is why it’s ideal to move forward with evolutionary change that’s done in small increments.
Encourage acts of leadership at all levels
Leadership is a part of implementation of Kanban and changing processes. But the act of leadership can’t be something only for high-level management. Encouraging leadership at all levels helps everyone have a continuous improvement mindset that will work alongside Kanban to move the company forward.
Kanban is a framework that helps companies develop a service-oriented approach. To effectively use Kanban, it is necessary to have a deep understanding of the customer’s needs, with processes continuously improving to meet those needs.
Focus on customer needs and expectations
The central goal for any successful organisation is to deliver a high-quality product or service to the customer. Understanding a customer’s needs and expectations should be at the heart of Kanban and company processes.
Manage the work
Instead of worrying about micromanaging, managing the work is about ensuring that a network of services and work to be done is properly organised and taken care of. Everyone knows what needs to be done and when it needs to be done.
Regularly review the service networks
Kanban encourages the improvement of the results a company delivers to the customer. Reviewing current service networks provides an opportunity to improve results and to evaluate how processes are working towards the ultimate goal of delivering high-quality results.
There are many benefits to using Kanban with any kind of product or software development. Kanban can lead to:
Kanban is a change management system that can help teams make incremental improvements that can lead to better customer experiences. The key to Kanban is that it should be met with little to no resistance because of how seamlessly the incremental changes can be integrated.
The first step of Kanban is to visualise the workflow. Most people visualise the workflow with a Kanban board. The board can be a whiteboard or bulletin board of some kind (or even a digital board) with sticky notes or cards representing each task that needs to be done. Typically, the board is divided into three categories: to do, in progress and done. The “to do” column shows what hasn’t been started yet; the “in progress” column shows what team members are actively working on; and the “done” column shows all the completed tasks.
Simple visualisation helps boost transparency, as well as the distribution of work. Kanban boards can show elaborate workflows if needed and the visualised Kanban workflow can help bottlenecks become apparent and help teams eliminate them.
Kanban includes the principles of:
While Scrum includes the principles of:
The Kanban process has team-level cadences and service-oriented cadences while Scrum has:
Kanban requires no predetermined roles, but some companies use the Service Delivery Manager and Service Request Manager. Scrum has three predefined roles:
To use the Kanban method, companies need a board to visualise the workflow. The ServiceNow Visual Task Board is an effortless way to visualise the processes you work with to identify and fix bottlenecks, move work items through the process and show the work transparently.
A digital board like this is designed to help organisations use Kanban in a modern and fast-paced environment. With remote work bringing with it more changes than ever, companies need a digital task board to make the most of Kanban. The Visual Task Board gives you the power of project visualisation, so you can easily begin implementing Kanban within your organisation without having to worry about set-up. Learn more about the Visual Task Board from ServiceNow to begin using the Kanban method.