Getting Started: Top 5 Kanban Resources

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The Kanban technique emerged in the late 1940s as Toyota’s reimagined approach to manufacturing and engineering. The system’s highly visual nature allowed teams to communicate more easily on what work needed to be done and when. It also standardized cues and refined processes, which helped to reduce waste and maximize value.

The application of Kanban to knowledge work — influenced not only by the Toyota Production System but also by Lean systems thinking — began as early as 2005. Kanban’s core principles are the same in industries like software development and human resource management as they are in manufacturing: visualize your work, make your policies explicit, limit your work in process, focus on flow, and practice continuous improvement.

Here are five of our most popular Kanban resources to help you get started with your team.

Top 5 Kanban Resources

1. Designing Your Kanban Board to Map Your Process [Webinar]

Need some practical advice on how to map your process? In this webinar recording, Chris Hefley, CEO of LeanKit, discusses how to design your Kanban board to visualize your workflow.

2. Kanban: Redefining the Importance of Process Policies

Find out why making policy decisions explicit and visible on your Kanban board helps teams understand the “rules of the road” and work together more effectively.

3. WIP Limits: How to Journey (Safely) Into the Unknown

Stephen Franklin, CTO of LeanKit, discusses the importance of limiting work in process (WIP), injecting a healthy dose of reality to explain why it’s not in our DNA to set WIP limits and what we can do about it.

4. What is Flow and Why it Matters

For effective teams, flow is everything. But what is flow? Why does it matter? What does “bad” flow look like — and how can you structure your Kanban board to improve it? LeanKit CEO Chris Hefley explains.

5. Kanban: How to Get Started with Continuous Improvement

Once your Kanban system is in place, it becomes the cornerstone for continuous improvement. Here are four simple metrics that any team can use to identify opportunities for eliminating waste, improving processes, and increasing efficiency.

Looking for more on Kanban?

Whether you’re just getting started or are looking for more advanced tips, check out the Kanban Learning Center for 70+ Kanban resources — including articles, eBooks, and webinar recordings.

Liz Llewellyn-Maxwell

Liz is the Corporate Communications Director at LeanKit, where she manages branding, communications and PR. A self-actualizing grammar nerd (and fan of rebellious design), Liz omits the Oxford comma about 92 percent of the time. Sometimes, she tweets at @lizzie6ls.