5 Principles of Kanban

Kanban is an approach to work that aligns with the agile framework. Principles surrounding the implementation of Kanban are as follows:

1. Make your work visible

The idea here is that the more visible work is, the more improved our estimates can be in terms of the time it takes to complete the work or the resources that will be required to complete each piece of work. Unplanned work can thus be spotted easily and managed to ensure delays are not introduced.

2. Reduce work in progress

This is all about ensuring the team has a mindset of finishing work that has already started before new ones are initiated.

3. Improve flow

This involves ensuring that work moves as expediently as possible, despite the existence of bottlenecks which tend to shift from one point in a process to another. Process review efforts should focus on improving the flow of work with a view to identifying and removing obstacles.

4. Make policies explicit

If people know which rules guide their work or processes, there will be less confusion over which direction to follow and work can thus, move more smoothly.

5. Improve collaboration

Cross-functional teams enjoy the benefits of having experts on ground to ensure work is not blocked. If a team has all the expertise it needs to deliver on project goals, it is less likely to rely on external teams while it’s pursuing its own goals.

Apart from Kanban framework, there are other methodologies that align to agile. Some examples are listed below:

  1. Design Thinking

  2. Prince2

  3. Disciplined Agile Consortium    

  4. Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)

  5. Scrum

  6. Less

  7. Extreme Programming

  8. DevOps

  9. Lean

 What has been your experience with Kanban?