Don’t spend all your time chasing information. The answer to so many questions can be found on Kanban boards!
Kanban boards offer a way to visually manage your work. If you have ever used a sticky note to remind yourself to do something, you’ve used visual management. Visual management allows teams to see work in progress and understand complex information like processes, task relationships, and risks related to a team’s ability to complete work on time.
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Widely used by IT managers and software development teams, Kanban boards are also being adopted by business managers and project teams to work smarter. With Kanban boards, you can:
- Visually see work in progress
- Instantly understand impediments and take steps to remove them
- Improve communication between yourself and your team
- Empower teams to self-manage visual processes and workflows
- Inspire team collaboration
Kanban Boards Are Visual, Flexible, and Easy to Use
Humans are visual creatures. It is easier for us to process information with a visual aid than without. For this reason, a Kanban board is the perfect tool to help teams instantly “see” and understand every part of a project. This is a concept known as visual management.
Visual management helps project managers and team members sort through moving parts and pieces by providing visual cues for the team members doing the work.
Because Kanban boards are visual, users don’t need to muddle through a correspondence thread to find the piece of information they need to get started on a task. You don’t have to decipher the information on a massive spreadsheet to determine whether a task or project has been started or completed. The answer to many questions will be “It’s on the board!”
Above all else, Kanban boards are flexible. Using a Kanban board is as easy as writing a sticky note and pasting it to a whiteboard, so anyone can use them for just about any purpose.
The Kanban method provides guidelines for how to use a Kanban board; however, many people who use them do not follow this methodology. There are many advantages to fully adopting the methodology, especially when scaling Kanban across teams and projects.
In the meantime, the flexibility of Kanban boards may require some extra help before getting started.
If you have ever used sticky notes on a whiteboard to plan and prioritize work, you can hit the ground running with an online Kanban board. They can be configured any way to mirror a specific project. Cards can be created in seconds and moved around the board by dragging and dropping them to the desired locations.
Improving Collaboration, Increasing Efficiency, and Reducing Waste
- Help teams collaborate
- Increase efficiency
- Reduce waste
Anyone who has ever managed a project can appreciate the effectiveness of using a Kanban board as the best way to collaborate. Project managers can spend less time communicating status updates because the boards create transparency. Team members, either onsite or remote, can see the status of a project in real time. Instead of spending hours per day liaising, project managers can focus on top-priority items.
Kanban boards are also an excellent solution for managers who need to reduce waste and improve overall efficiency. Waste can take on several forms, including:
- Non-value-added processing
- Under-utilizing people
Kanban Boards Lead to Increased Productivity
Kanban boards are effective at helping teams become more productive while reducing the amount of workload stress many project managers, developers, and team members feel during a project lifecycle.
Why do products seem to stall at certain points? Why do some people seem to have too much work, while others always seem to be idle? Kanban boards allow you to visually see the work in progress and identify when and where workflow blockages happen.
Studies show that people are more efficient at getting tasks done if they can focus on only a few tasks at once, as opposed to being forced to task-switch throughout the day.
Team members using a Kanban board can have an infinite number of tasks in a backlog, while each person is only focusing on several tasks at a time.