Kanban is an Agile project management and workflow visualization technique that helps teams manage and optimize their work more effectively.

Originally developed in the manufacturing sector by Toyota, Kanban has since been adapted for knowledge work, particularly in software development and other industries where teams collaborate on complex projects.

Kanban focuses on visualizing work, limiting work in progress (WIP), and continuously improving the flow of work through a system.

A typical Kanban board consists of columns representing different stages of the work process, and cards representing individual tasks or work items. These cards move from one column to another as the work progresses through the system.

The core principles of Kanban include:

  1. Visualize work: By creating a visual representation of the workflow, team members can easily see the status of tasks, identify bottlenecks, and understand the flow of work within the system.
  2. Limit work in progress (WIP): Kanban encourages teams to limit the number of tasks being worked on simultaneously. This helps teams focus on completing tasks efficiently, reduces multitasking, and minimizes context switching.
  3. Manage flow: The goal of Kanban is to optimize the flow of work through the system, ensuring that tasks are completed efficiently and without delay. Teams should monitor and adjust their workflow as necessary to address bottlenecks and improve overall efficiency.
  4. Make process policies explicit: Clearly defining the policies and rules governing the workflow helps ensure that everyone on the team understands how work should be managed, which contributes to smoother and more efficient operations.
  5. Implement feedback Loops: Regularly reviewing the system and gathering feedback from team members helps identify areas for improvement and enables continuous process refinement.
  6. Improve collaboratively and evolve experimentally: Kanban encourages teams to work together to identify issues, experiment with potential solutions, and iteratively refine their processes to improve overall performance.

Kanban is a flexible and adaptable approach that can be used in conjunction with other Agile methodologies or on its own. Its focus on visualization, limiting work in progress, and continuous improvement can help teams optimize their workflow and deliver high-quality products and services more efficiently.


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