There are a lot of project management methodologies and approaches to choose from, but the Kanban system remains one of the most popular on the market. Introduced by Toyota as a way to streamline manufacturing lines, the Kanban system is now used to power projects of different sizes and scopes, including app development, marketing campaigns, product development, and even internal workflows of companies.
The Kanban system is inherently simple, which is why the approach is so usable in the first place. Unfortunately, implementing the Kanban system is not always as straightforward as you anticipated. There are obstacles to avoid and challenges to overcome as you begin managing projects using the Kanban methodology. Worry not, because these tips and tricks will help make the integration process easy to handle.
Know Your Needs
Before you go ahead and begin creating cards to represent the tasks in hand, you need to take a couple of steps back and review how the Kanban system can help your projects be more efficient. While the methodology is universal, the Kanban system does not always meet specific requirements; at least not without a few tweaks.
Take a look at the tasks you have in hand and review them. Are your tasks repetitive? What’s the timeframe of each task? How are resources allocated to tasks and projects? What metrics do you need to track as projects are completed? The answers to these questions let you cover the basics and decide whether the Kanban methodology is right.
Choose a Tool
Now that you know how Kanban can help you and the kind of tweaks you have to make, it is time to dig deeper into the more practical matters, starting with understanding these basics: what is Kanban? And how can it be implemented in your organization? These answers alone will let you know about just how flexible the system can be.
Kanbanize, a comprehensive digital Kanban tool currently dominating the project management landscape, implements the Kanban system with several additional tweaks. The online tool lets you manage projects while staying true to the 4 principles of the Kanban methodology. More importantly, it extends the flexibility of Kanban to a whole new level.
Define Details and Metrics
When you start setting up your digital Kanban board, you are given some options to customize cards, the board itself, and other aspects of the experience of using Kanban. With information about your specific needs and a better understanding of the Kanban tool you use, you will have no trouble at all adding details and monitoring metrics once the system is implemented.
Details matter. When adding a new card, for example, you want to make sure that the card has all the details about tasks that it represents, giving every team member access to the same level of information and making sure that all projects can be completed smoothly. Even those who are not directly involved can jump in and help when details are sufficiently documented.
Tasks on your Kanban board can be made dependent on one another. A task labeled “Post to Instagram” can be made dependent on content creation tasks, and the completion of the content creation task will greatly influence when that content can be posted. Since we can see things to do in any business process as tasks to complete, the system works really well with dependencies.
Dependencies are also handy for when you need certain tasks to run alongside other tasks to complete a bigger project. This lets you synchronize workflows, even across multiple departments, and allow everyone in the company to manage projects better. All it takes is a willingness to utilize the digital Kanban board fully.
That actually brings us to the next tip: you need everyone to commit to using the Kanban system. The system is only as good as details and information added to it – to the digital Kanban board you use, to be exact. This means you have to make sure that all team members are diligent enough to fill and update their Kanban cards with accurate and relevant information.
It will be difficult to implement the Kanban system in one go; resistance is more likely to be seen early in the implementation of the Kanban system. Resistance is normal. Don’t react to resistance to implement Kanban negatively. Instead, nurture and guide team members to the point when they see the true benefits of using Kanban and buy into the system.
The last thing to do is, well, get started. The Kanban system is really simple in its fundamentals, and you will be able to overcome any challenge you face with the help of a capable Kanban tool. With the system implemented, you can drive project management efficiency up by a substantial margin. Before you know it, you will start simplifying complex tasks.
Ella Woodward is an experienced entrepreneur dedicated to building her global reach. She loves to write content that inspires her fellow business owners and helps them to reach their full potential.