Getting Started
with Kanban

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Jumping into Kanban is easier than you think! Start by identifying the value you deliver and defining the stages of your workflow.

Create your board with columns that reflect these stages, such as To Do, In Progress, and Done, and add your tasks as cards to these columns.

By visualizing your workflow and limiting work in progress, you'll enhance efficiency and streamline your processes in no time.

Immediate Visibility and Improved Flow

Kanban is based on a few core principles and practices that are straightforward to understand. The method doesn't prescribe a detailed process but focuses on visualizing work, limiting work in progress, managing flow, making process policies explicit, and continuously improving.

Step One

Define Your Workflow

Map out each stage of the process your team uses to take a piece of work from initiation to completion. Once identified, visually represent these stages on a Kanban board, that will serve as a central tool for managing and visualizing your work.

Step Two

Create Workflow Policies

Define criteria for when a task is ready to move to the next stage and what conditions must be met for a task to be considered complete. Set your Service Level Expectation (SLE) based on past cycle time data so the team agrees how long it should take for tasks to move through the workflow stages.

Step Three

Set WIP Controls

Work-In-Progress (WIP) limits set the maximum number of tasks that can be in any given stage of your workflow at one time. To establish WIP limits, analyze your team's capacity, considering factors like team capacity, specialization of skills, and flow efficiency.

Step Four

Measure Flow Metrics and Refine

Regularly reviewing your flow metrics provides valuable insights into the efficiency and effectiveness of your workflow, highlighting areas for improvement. Use this data to make informed decisions about adjusting your workflow, policies, and WIP limits

Kanban Flow Metrics

The application of Kanban requires the collection and analysis of a minimum set of flow measures that reflect the Kanban system's current health and performance.

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01

Cycle Time

The amount of elapsed time between when a work item started and when it finished.

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02

Throughput

The number of work items finished per unit of time.

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03

Work In Progress

The number of items started but not yet finished.

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04

Work Item Age

The amount of elapsed time between when a work item started and the current time.

Simple to Start,
Simple to Master

Kanban is a compelling for many organizations because it does not require any changes to current roles or processes. This is an attractive option for teams looking to adopt agile practices without the steep learning curve and rigid structures associated with other frameworks. Kanban allows teams to understand, evaluate, and improve their workflow incrementally, making it a easier approach to grasp and excel at sooner.

Kanban’s approach of visualizing work, limiting work in progress, and continuously improving processes can be particularly beneficial for new teams. These practices enable teams to gain immediate insights into their workflow, identify bottlenecks, and make iterative improvements specific to their local context without the need for mastering complex agile events or time consuming ceremonies.

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