Principles of Kanban

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Apr 15, 2024

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6 Core Kanban Principles

You may be wondering whether Kanban is suitable for your organization. You need not worry as you need not change anything in your organization to adopt Kanban principles. Enroll for Kanban training online at StarAgile and lift your career to great heights.

The basic rules that you need to make to adopt Kanban in your organization are as follows,

  • Keep doing things that you do now.

Keep the same roles and responsibility that is there in the organization.

Comprehend the processes that are followed currently

  • Keep the change evolutionary
  • Enhance leadership at all levels of the organization from individual contributors to managers.

Kanban values and principles help you to implement and adopt the Kanban system in your organization by increasing the value of the deliverables and meet the customer expectations in the project requirements. 


Kanabn Principles

Principles of Kanban

1. Visualization

Kanban system is a great tool for visualization of the projects in a single dashboard or board. You need to build a board that consists of a minimum of three columns such as "To Do" list, "Work-In-Progress" and "Work done" columns. The WIP can have more than 2 columns such as development, integration, and testing, etc. 

The Work done may have columns such as release and deployment etc. Ensure you have Kanban cards in each column that contains work details such as resource name, work name, word ID, duration, start, and end date, etc. Now once you put the cards in the columns and apply the Pull mechanism for the flow of the work from one column to another is nothing but a Kanban system. 

The visualization of the Kanban workflow provides the team the real-time progress and status of all the tasks. StarAgile institute provides Kanban training that covers in-depth these topics. To know more register and join the online Kanban training.

2. Work in Progress Limiting 

It is important to limit WIP as it prevents the burnout of the tasks and also results in higher cost, increases delivery time, reduces quality, and produces incomplete or half-done work. 

WIP limiting can is suitable for the Kanban system to shift from a push system to a pull system. WIP limiting also helps in optimizing the work tasks in the WIP and employs a pull system so that WIP is not bombarded by the work. Without WIP limiting the resources feel overwhelmed by a load of tasks and this results in work being of poor quality. WIP limiting enhances the efficient handling of the workload, tasks, and resources. Normally too much work in WIP is the result of poor workflow management and work stagnates in the same place without moving. 

To observe, limit the work and optimize is good for the success of the Kanban system that results in higher quality and higher delivery time. Enroll for the Kanban certification at StarAgile institute and learn these principles with real-world examples.

3. Flow Management 

The Kanban system on the board is an efficient flow management tool. You can easily visualize how the work is flowing from the left side to the right side with a pull system in place. The Kanban cards are employed which shows the real-time flow of the work across the board. This provides the earliest indication of any issues or bottlenecks in the flow. 

You can make a blocker card in red color for any issues in the flow and keep it in the blocker cards lists till the issues are resolved. The workflow in the Kanban system ensures early delivery to market and value delivery and increases predictability. We need to monitor the issues and the dependencies from the Kanban board and ensure the workflow is smooth and on time.

4. Transparent Process Policies 

As humans, we make so many decisions and do so many works individually and these need to be transparent and visible to all the team members. Especially many assumptions creep into the process of work that may be dangerous to the flow of work, to avoid these things the work process and policies such as WIP limiting, Definition of Done, and resource availability must be as transparent and visible to all the stakeholders. This ensures trust and confidence among the team members and other stakeholders. This also promotes real-time management and efficient addressing of the issues and problems and other blockages in the flow of the work. The transparent process policies promote the team to share their work, collaborate, communicate, and agree on their weaknesses and mistakes so that appropriate action can be taken immediately. Take up the Kanban course at StarAgile institute and become certified in the Kanban system and know more on how to implement Kanban in your organizations.

5. Feedback Looping

This is nothing but the reviews that take place in the Kanban system. As per the famous Kanban innovator David.J.Anderson, there are 7 Kanban ceremonies or Kanban cadences. These are as follows,

1.Risk Review - To comprehend the risks in the workflow and the projects.

2.Replenishment Meeting - The work allocation, resource allocation, and future needs of the projects.

3.Operations Review - The operational aspects such as the Kanban system, resources allocation, and flow management are discussed in this review.

4.Kanban Meeting - In the daily planning meeting the self-organization, the workflow, issues, and daily review of coordination are done here.

5.Strategy Review - How the Kanban project strategy is aligned to that of the organization. Whether the project is achievable and workable? Etc...

6.Delivery Planning Meeting - delivery planning and monitoring of the Kanban workflow and achievements of the requirements to the customer are discussed here.

7.Service Delivery Meeting - Effective and efficient balance of the workflow with the service offerings are discussed in this review.

This principle is fundamental and important in Kanban principles and practices as it guides the other 6 principles.

6. Continuous Improvement

Kanban is also about continuous improvement that is practiced and the improvement is achieved collaboratively. Kanban is an evolutionary process that takes advantage of continuous and incremental changes and improvements so that the Kanban system does not become extinct. 

The process involves dealing with the challenges, adhering to the best practices still showing improvement with the evolution of practices, increase the value to the customer in every project, learning from the Kanban system and the current project so that the same thing can be applied in the future projects. 

Also embracing the useful and critical changes and reversing the ineffective changes. This principle provides input to all the other principles discussed before. This is achieved by evaluating the Lean Kanban principles and systems with the help of Kanban metrics, practical models.

Conclusion – How to Start from Kanban Basic Principles

Not that you got some idea on 6 core principles from this article to learn more we recommend you to register for the Kanban management professional certification training at StarAgile. StarAgile is a training partner of Kanban University to deliver the KMP1 certification and KMP 2 certification training. Know the principles, concepts, and fundamentals of the Kanban system and how to implement Kanban in your organization. What are you waiting for? Register for the training at StarAgile and be a 1 among the certified Kanban professionals. Keep Learning!!!

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