Kanban is a simple and powerful tool created in the Toyota Production System. Kanban is a Japanese word, meaning signboard or billboard. It was develop in the 1950s by Taiichi Ohno for Toyota to manage production in an environment. Where blackboards couldn’t be use due to frequent power outages at the time.
It has since become known as one of the keys to success within Lean Manufacturing Methodologies. Particularly within CI (continuous improvement). The Kanban system allows people to visualize work that needs doing and then pull through necessary resources to complete it. For example, customers will put tickets into a workflow queue for processing. If they want something done (like their flights checked-in at an airline). These tickets are move along until they reach the front of the line.
At this point, a person with authority to move things along will pick up the ticket. And process it until it’s complete (the customer is check in). At that point, the work is do and they can choose another task to pull into their queue. Incrementally, individual workers are able to visualize what needs doing and then pull through the necessary resources to get it done – re-ordering work base on priority instead of arbitrarily handing down tasks from managers or supervisors.
One way Toyota distinguishes itself from its competitors within Lean Manufacturing Methodologies is by making sure all employees have access to equipment they need when they need them via an open flow between production areas . This means that inventory isn’t held anywhere except for maybe a few extra parts still on the assembly line, which are either waiting to be install or waiting to be switch out with another set of “fresh” parts that were just pull through the production area.
Toyota also has a solid understanding of what it means to pull material rather than push it (push would entail having an excess amount of raw materials. Or finished goods in storage so that any worker can access them at any time). When you push stuff through the system your workers have no way of knowing. whether they’re creating value for their customers – there’s no feedback loop , and therefore no incentive. For anyone within the system to really care about what they’re doing because there is no direct. Correlation between individual effort and customer value . Pulling forces every team to know exactly what it needs, and forces them to take responsibility for the quality of their output.
For example, if you imagine that you’re at an assembly line. Where each worker has an individual workstation with storage space below for parts. They are sitting in front of a blank automobile chassis (or any other item). Their job is to put together these car parts in order to create a finished automobile by attaching wheels, bumpers etc. Each worker has only one task – connect wheels. So they simply pull out wheels from under their desk when they need them or want to work on something.
This is how I work too, but you can only get so far this way. You’ll eventually run into problems if your production line isn’t scalable . For example, let’s say that the assembly line has 5 people and each worker follows the above behaviour. What happens when there are 50 people? Or 500?
So what would be a better approach? The assemblers must pull parts from storage instead of under their desk – which means there should be at least twice. As many storage areas placed next to each person on the assembly line (10 in total). It also means that whenever wheels don’t fit (or any part for that matter) someone. Must fetch larger storage bins or boxes – effectively doubling the amount of storage space required on the assembly line.
If you’ve done any research on this topic, you probably found it’s call Kanban. It’s an improvement over the traditional push system – where work is push to employees by other people (or other systems). Instead it can be said that Kanban pulls work to workers – which means that if workers run out of parts, they just pull more stuff off upstream and keep work.
Kanban streamlines the work flow in projects by breaking down. Complex jobs into simple steps then eliminates bottlenecks during the process. This will give new workers an idea about what’s going on in projects and they can easily understand what needs to be do next.
This tool will help you to sort out all your work. From different clients and organize them in a better way . Kanban also ensures the right person is doing the appropriate task at any point. The flow of tasks can be controll by managers, who have an eye on the overall progress of projects. They can easily see if there’s a problem or delay anywhere.Or whether team members are spending time on unnecessary things.
Kanban doesn’t have any deadlines but has a continuous improvement cycle. Which helps teams to deliver more valuable items with less effort. It not only saves time but also makes workers more productive. As they will know what’s going on at all times and thus work more efficiently.