What Makes Kanban Effective?
Kanban, which was originally modeled after a Toyota Production System, means “billboard” or “signboard” in Japanese. Scheduling systems like Kanban help to eliminate wasted resources, help people make more efficient use of their time, build stronger and more robust businesses, and improve current designs. This way, future businesses are able to reap the reward of previous experiences, solutions, and expertise.
The answer to why Kanban is so effective in helping people and businesses DO THINGS BETTER actually has more than one part. We’ll be listing a few of these parts below.
Kanban Prevents Work Overload And Confusion
Establishing an upper limit to work in process, so that people can’t become overloaded, is a concept that has worked wonders. It functions on the same principle as the words of advice : “Don’t bite off more than you can chew”. Before the implementation of Kanban boards, businesses were much more prone to disorganization, wasted time, wasted money, and confusion from too many projects at once. But with their help, people and businesses have been able to completely streamline their operations, and finally have a way to cut down on losses.
Learning to work with these special “boards” can help prepare you for jobs that require the use of Kanban systems. Skill with Kanban also gives you the ability to apply these fundamentals into any area of your life you choose, and get amazing results/turn-outs that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.
Kanban Visual Process Solutions Provide “Up-To-The-Second” Management Ability
Kanban boards and systems provide nearly instant business management ability. For example, while current work is being completed and new work becomes available, electronic Kanban boards “feed” the constantly changing event information to management personnel. These management personnel then have the ability to pause/halt work orders, cancel orders, assign new orders to individuals or teams, switch orders between members, and more. In other words, the work is instantly updated in a dynamic environment.
Kanban systems and boards can be very complex. When used in computer software, they can include 3rd Party plug-ins, that “link up” to internet communication between many teams of members, and can access huge databases of information, and automatically update themselves, etc.
Kanban Isn’t Just For Business – It’s Also The Perfect Tool For Raising Kids, Planning Events, And More!
How you choose to use Kanban to manage activities is totally open-ended. You can choose to use it as part of a team-based collaboration, or use it for yourself. You can always choose to add custom additions to your personal/private Kanban system, or remove the parts of your system you don’t like.
Here’s a great example of Kanban cards in action.
Julie, a stay-at-home mother of 3, is always dealing with the challenge of her children wanting to try new things and keep themselves entertained. Julie uses Kanban cards to “stay on top” of the situation.
As soon as one of the children mentions a new activity, Julie adds it to her Kanban board with a blue card that denotes a need to review. From there, she can setup a time to supervise the activity, research safety issues, find ways to prevent possible injuries in advance, etc. If the activity is deemed to be dangerous, she adds it to a bright red Kanban card (meaning stop, not acceptable). If it’s an OK activity that isn’t dangerous and works out well, she adds it to a green Kanban card (meaning go ahead, this is a safe activity). She also adds helpful notes to the card when the activity is over, so the same activities can become more fun and safe.
Her collection of activity cards help Julie identify and “weed out” dangerous behavior, steer her children in the correct direction, plan future outings and adventures, and more. The collection of cards gives Julie additional insight into her kids lives. The recorded events on the cards are helping to “mold” them into who they are, and what they’re going to accomplish.
Kanban Can Be Used Solo Or As Part Of A Team!
A big part of Kanban’s effectiveness lies in it’s versatility and adaptability. Because it’s open-ended and open-source, you can feel free to mold Kanban into a “different animal” of your own creation, to accomplish goals as part of a team or on your own!
Especially when used for your own benefit, such as with household planning, you’ll find you will end up using less resources (food, utilities, money, time, energy), and end up with much more free time for yourself. Time you can also use to discover additional ways to better yourself, your surroundings, and expand your horizons.
Results People Are Getting From Kanban Are “Out Of This World” Amazing!
Think about it. If the mega car giant Toyota makes use of Kanban on a daily basis, then there must be SOMETHING pretty special about it. And the beauty is in the simplicity. Kanban requires that YOU learn to be the master in control, rather than rely on problem and solution methods someone else has developed.
Where are you considering adding Kanban boards to your work or personal life? Add your comments below…