The pace at work has accelerated and it does not look like it is stopping anytime soon! My job is to help leaders and organizations get more done while focusing on what is most important. One of the workflow management tools I like is the Kanban system. The following core principles will help understand Kanban and why it’s important.
Principle 1: Start with What You Do Now
Kanban’s flexibility allows it to be used on existing workflows without disrupting what is already being done well. As you will see the process will help you highlight those areas that need to be improved.
Principle 2: Pursue Incremental (Iterative) Change
Because you are not changing anything, but simply mapping your workflow, there will be minimal resistance. As you optimize workflow, you will be able to implement incremental changes.
Principle 3: Respect Current Roles & Responsibilities
Very often roles and responsibilities are changed as work and departments go through restructuring. Kanban is applied to your current process and does not require any change in leadership roles and responsibilities. Changes may ultimately be recommended however, that is not the intention. Incremental change is easier to accept and can avoid the resistance that comes with big sweeping changes.
Principle 4: Empower Leadership at All Levels
This is a team process and encourages front line workers to have input into what happens. When everyone fosters a mindset of continuous improvement the department will more quickly reach optimal performance.
When everyone understands what needs to be done and when you synchronize the team’s efforts.
As you map your workflow, you quickly see what parts of the process get stuck or overloaded.
You can start using this tool immediately and apply this to any department without making any changes.
As change accelerates, this process helps your team change priorities, re-organize or switch focus.
As the team focuses on the tasks at hand, more gets done making collaboration more likely.