Kanban is Japanese for ‘visual signal’ or 'visual card'. It is definitely one of the favourite ways to manage processes and a widely used workflow management methodology.
Originating in manufacturing, it has now become a key part of software development teams with the development of agile.
Visual way to manage your workflow and watch it move through a process, increasing efficiency while enabling you to optimise the flow of work.
Kanban - ”Kan” meaning “visual” and “ban” meaning “signal”
Developed by Taiichi Ōno father of the kanban cards system. Industrial engineer at Toyota who incorporated it into Toyota's Lean Manufacturing in order to improve manufacturing efficiency. Toyota workers used a Kanban card to signal each step within the manufacturing process.
It was discovered his ultimate aim with the Kanban system, was to tap into people’s potential and help employees reach their full potential.
The system is very easy to adapt to various areas of your business and projects.
A very simple version of Kanban uses a billboard with three columns TO DO – DOING – DONE where you list down the processes.
It consists in limiting the inventory for all current business processes or tasks in DOING and is based on a very simple idea: you only activate the supply chain when there is a demand for it. You will not get fresh vegetables from the supermarket that you don’t plan to use in the next few days, and the supermarket will not display fresh vegetables that they don’t plan to sell in the next few days.
By limiting the tasks in DOING and carefully supplying them from TO DO you will improve the efficiency in DONE.
You can define the chain and identify the stages of your business process to test this tool and check if any cluttered areas are not obeying to the supply-demand rule of Kanban and therefore preventing efficiency.
Six Sigma methodology is not a mysterious magic solution but a well-studied and tested set of tools and techniques that aim to solve problems of inefficiency within your business or projects. These techniques consist of spotting and getting rid of all those faults cluttering your processes and stopping them from running as smoothly and effectively as possible.
Read More: Six Sigma Continuous Process Improvement
Six sigma, lean, and lean six sigma are all focused on improving processes to create more value to the customer.
Lean refers to removing waste in any process, while six sigma refers to optimizing a specific process. Lean focuses on reducing waste from a system, while six sigma’s goal is to improve quality.
Read More: Lean Six Sigma
Process Improvement Methodologies are a way to identify processes that are inefficient and can affect the performance of your business. These methodologies can be incorporated into your business to help increase its productivity and profits!
Read More: Process Improvement Methodologies
Lean methodology you are stripping back the wasteful aspects of your business, and either fine-tuning existing processes or replacing them entirely.
Toyota lean manufacturing production system has 13 core pillars that guide them in their decisions and continuous improvement.
Workers are central to the whole process and treated as a precious resource for the business