Optimizing Productivity for The Modern Workforce with Kanban Tools
The primary goal of any organization is to efficiently reduce the backlog of various tasks and bring them on track towards completion. This requires regular prompts, updates, and alerts for teams to be aware of what needs to be done. These updates are mostly sent in the form of texts, which are quite ineffective in keeping team members aware of completion of deadlines, as they’re not always in front of them. Teams need real-time information to stay on their toes and work efficiently.
Enter Visual Workflows!
Kanban (a Japanese word), meaning visual signage, is a methodology developed in the 1940s, that visualizes a workflow and segregates it into various stages. The stages flow from left to right, with the extreme right being the final action.
The core idea behind this methodology is that the human brain is wired for visuals. It can grasp and retain visual indications far better than any other kind of cues. Kanban visualizes entire workflows using the lean or just-in-time (JIT) methodology, which is an evolutionary, non-disruptive process where a particular type of work moves through one stage of its process to another. The main goal of Kanban is to increase productivity, avoid bottlenecks, and ensure a smooth workflow.
How to use Kanban for Teams?
Kanban is ideally visualized on a whiteboard, which is termed as a Kanban Board. This board depicts the visual flow for all tasks at hand, segregated into three main stages; To-do, In-process, and Finished. The ‘in-process’ stage can be broken down into various sub-stages, as per specific requirements.
Another way to utilize the Kanban methodology is by using Kanban Cards. These cards contain detailed information about a specific process, telling the viewer how to proceed to the next step. When big tasks are divided into smaller sub-tasks, these cards act as dedicated information hubs. They contain valuable information like task name, due-date, action required, etc. written on both sides. Members can pick up the cards and start working on them, as per their placement on the Kanban Board.
Kanban Principles for Maximum Effectiveness
Kanban is highly recognized for its unmatched efficiency, with some of the best task management tools in the world being based on Kanban. It is based on three simple principles that help teams achieve desired results.
- Visualize tasks at hand: The first principle is to visualize everything at hand to get a better understanding of what’s what, and then letting the team get a sense of the pending workload.
- Limit work-in-progress (WIP): This applies to the second stage of the Kanban workflow, which is the ‘in-process’ stage. The principle demands the number of tasks in the ‘in-process’ stage be limited in order to avoid bottlenecks and resource exhaustion. So, it’s imperative to selectively move tasks from the ‘to-do’ stage to the ‘in-process’ stage.
- Enhance Workflow: The final principle is to enhance flows by bringing in more tasks from the backlog (to-do) section to the ‘in-process’ section as soon as an opportunity opens. This ensures maximum productivity and timely completion of tasks.
Using Kanban in Today’s Digital Times
At present, the Kanban methodology is used via digital tools and platforms. These can be dedicated Kanban tools or platforms known as E-Kanban, which allow full-fledged visualization of workflows and achieve optimum productivity, also known as Kanban Productivity. But what makes for a great Kanban tool is the intuitive UI that makes real-time data visualization very easy, integrating a variety of features that further enhance the outcomes of the Kanban methodology, such as powerful data analytics, feedback cycles, and customizable dashboards with burndown charts. All these features packaged together form an ideal Kanban tool for the modern workforce.
Tools like Zippi by PeopleStrong further enhance the Kanban experience, serving as a holistic work management tool that brings task management, collaboration, and AI-driven decision making, into one platform. Zippi combines the best of dedicated and standalone tools like Trello, Dynamics 365, Slack and Zendesk, into one multi-device ecosystem, that transcends the conventional benefits of a Kanban-based daily task tracker tool and serves as the ultimate productivity enabler.
In conclusion, the scope of using Kanban is only limited by an organization’s capability of exploiting it via sophisticated platforms, like Zippi task management, and third-party integrations, that provide organizations with an edge in terms of leveraging Kanban methodology to the fullest.
Zippi by PeopleStrong is an intelligent collaborative work management platform that helps organizations in executing plans faster, drive productivity and enable remote teamwork seamlessly. It does so by bringing the power to plan and execute goals and tasks collaboratively. Supported by AI chatbot called Jinie, which nudges users at the right time to get the right work done.
It is used by over 350,000 users across the globe and supports 175+ customers drive revenue growth and productivity. Zippi’s customer base includes leading brands across the Automotive Manufacturing, Internet Business, Internet Technology, Retail, Manufacturing, Financial Service industries and many more.
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