This is a system that originated from the Japanese manufacturing system but can use it to achieve more work. The following are some ways through which Kanban can be used for better productivity.
1. Prepare Your Kanban Board
The first thing you have to do is to divide a whiteboard into three different columns. Consider getting one if you don’t have one presently, then try affixing it to your wall. The first column is for capturing items on the new To-Do List, the second for deciding what you are going to work on (work in progress), and lastly, which is the third section is for recording what you finished.
2. Work Using Kanban
To use Kanban, add items or cards to the To-Do column on your Kanban board using a marker. Use an action verb and write down the task in question. If you are moving a house, it could be something like hire a removal company. Alternatively, if you will be making a presentation, it could be source stock images.
Once you are about starting the work, drag the task from the To-Do column to the Doing section. It is sensible not to keep more than three items in the Doing section column. This limits the work in progress and helps visualize the project properly on the ground.
Once you are done with work on the Doing section, take or drag it to the Done section of the column. Then, to create a balance, pull another task from the To-Do section to the Doing section.
3. Review Your Board
As the work is in progress, you will surely drag tasks from the left to the right of your board. This simple step of dragging a task from a column to the next one forces you to prioritize. It also encourages regular reviews of your To-Do list.
This type of work encourages a state of flow. It feels gratifying to move cards from one section to another. You can easily see the tasks moving and those that take up a lot of time to accomplish. However, it is crucial to limit the work in progress as visualization may be difficult.
Another important thing is that once you are more comfortable with Kanban, try to add additional columns to your board. Just give it any name you think is suggestive of the task to be performed, and you are good to go.
To learn the Kanban 101 at team-level, enroll in the IBQMI® Approved Kanban Professional.
If you want to apply Kanban to any environment at an advanced coach level, you should enroll in the Certified Kanban Coach®.