Blog 4: Scheduling with KANBAN


Kanban basically means sign boards. Basically, it is a scheduling system for a lean manufacturing system. It is basically an inventory controlling system to control supply chain management. It was basically developed by Taiichi Ohno for increasing the efficiency of the manufacturing.

Kanban became of the most effective tool to be used. One of the best things about this tool was that it tells about the upper limit of the work in progress inventory, so we do not over load our inventory. It basically works based on signals that allows different people to communicate with each other. This communication may be of different type, like if a worker work in progress inventory is about to end he may give a signal, or if some workers machine stops working he may use this signal to tell the maintenance department where the problem occurs etc.

History of KANBAN:

In the late 1940s, A better engineering process found by a Toyota. They noticed that store members restocked their items by their stores inventory only when the item was near the sellout did the clerks order more. For rethink their methods delivery process JUST-IN –TIME sparked by Toyota engineers. The Kanban system would match their inventory with demands and achieve higher level of quality.

Kanban is Japanese for visual signal Toyota workers used a Kanban to signal steps in their manufacturing process. The system allows the worker to easily understand and communicate the overall process which helped to minimize waste.

How KANBAN works:

It starts your brain.

Kanban help you by using power of visual information to create a picture of your work.

Visualize Work:

Observe the flow of work by creating a visual model of your work through your Kanban system. By using blockers, bottlenecks and queues for making their work visible.

Limit work in progress:

You can minimize the time taken by item to travel through the Kanban system and u can also reduce the need to constantly reprioritize items.

Focus on Flow:

You can optimize the smooth flow of work by using work in process limits and team policies.

Continous Improvement:

Teams measure their effectiveness by flow of work, quality, lead time and more. Experiments can change the system to improve the team effectiveness.

KANBAN Example:

Time driven Example

Using Kanban board, you can easily prioritize your work and schedule it for next weeks, months and days. Time driven workflow is the perfect replacement of your calendar [47].

Benefits of KANBAN

  • Shorter cycle times can deliver features faster.
  • Responsiveness to Change:
  • When priorities change very frequently, it is ideal.
  • Balancing demand against throughput guarantees that most the customer-centric features are always being worked.
  • Requires fewer organization / room set-up changes to get started
  • Reducing waste and removing activities that do not add value to the team/department/organization
  • Rapid feedback loops improve the chances of more motivated, empowered and higher-performing team members

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