The ProblemBefore we offer a solution it is worthwhile exploring what problem we are trying to solve. Teams and the people who work on them are very busy and over worked. They have too much to do in the normal work week. This causes them to work many additional hours just to keep their heads above water.
We are faced with so may things to do, we often do not know what to work on next. This causes teams to work on items that may not be that important. Our items get lost in a blizzard of work and we feel lost. This causes a lot of waste.
We are so busy, that we often do not take the time to improve. We feel we are so busy this is not possible. This causes us to get mired down in our same old way of working.
As teams move toward an end goal the progress is also lost in this blizzard. Like a blinding snow storm,there is not transparency into what the team is doing and how it is progressing toward a goal.
It very competitive out there. It is critical for teams to work at peak efficiency. They need to know What is needed and when it is needed. They need to eliminate waste, have a transparent process that helps teams know what is going on and have a way to learn and adapt in a way that does not take lots of time.
The Kanban Solution
It is best to have a card identify an outcome that has value. This is better that a set of tasks. For example Desk ready to ship is better that Order Desk.A Constraint identifies the maximum number of cards allowed in a column. In our example, we only allow 3 cards in the doing column.
It is very easy to setup a Kanban board. A good place to start is a whiteboard and post it notes. There is also free software that can easily setup Kanban boards, Please see our Agile Tools for Delivery section for details.
Why Do This
For an working example please see the Process Improvement with Kanban section of our Roadmap to Agile.