If you’ve watched our recent webinar, Taking Improvement Boards Digital: How Leading Companies are Improving Visual Management, or been reading our posts about the same, you would have heard the term “Kanban board” used. While it’s great to hear that KaiNexus software supports digital Kanban boards, it’s even better if you have a clear understanding what a Kanban board is, and how it can help you on your continuous improvement journey. Here’s the rundown:
What is Kanban?
We’ve written a longer primer on Kanban here, but the important thing to know is that it is a visual system for monitoring the flow of work from the start, as we build a backlog, move work into in-process (while hopefully limiting WIP), and complete this work.
Visualization works so well because our brains interpret visual information far faster than data or text. By reducing complex material down to visual components and putting them together, managers and staff can get an overview of the whole workflow system in seconds rather than the hours it might take to track down information in every area, work through it, and synthesize it down into conclusions that can be shared.
The term Kanban literally translates from Japanese to mean “signboard” or “visual signal," so one of the key components of Kanban is, of course, visualization, which is why Kanban boards are really the heart of Kanban in modern use.