International Scrum Institute Podcast

Scrum Institute, Kanban Framework Episode #12

Scrum Institute, Kanban Framework Episode #12

 
 
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Scrum Institute, Kanban Framework Episode #12 has been proudly brought to you by International Scrum Institute, https://www.scrum-institute.org

Limit Work In Progress (WIP) With Kanban

Why do we need a definition of Work In Progress (WIP) Limit in Kanban?

Because Kanban is a pull system. That means each step of the Kanban process pulls tasks for processing depending on their available capacity. In contrast, in a push system, the demand centers push tasks and initiate their starts.

This maximum available capacity of a Kanban team, which is responsible for a specific step, corresponds to Work In Progress (WIP) Limit in Kanban.

Limiting Work In Progress (WIP) comes from efficient lean manufacturing ideas. Kanban advocates the minimization of work in progress items at every step of the production phase. That enables quicker problem resolution, faster and more optimal stabilization of processes, and lower wastes.

Over the years, it has been proven that smaller batch sizes of work enabled by limiting Work In Progress (WIP) made various other benefits possible for Kanban teams such as building ownership of their work, system-thinking, and innovative mindsets.

Work In Progress (WIP) limit of Kanban provides two benefits in managing disorder.

Focus Of Kanban Team: WIP Limits restrict the number of tasks influenced by altering priorities and demands. That saves Kanban teams from abandoning their ongoing tasks.
Improvement Of Kanban Process: A Kanban team cannot finish its work quicker than its slowest step. Therefore WIP Limits can quickly show the Kanban team whether specific steps are bottlenecks or the other steps are overoptimized. This input can be rapidly turned into measures to improve the overall performance of the Kanban process.

Scrum Institute, Kanban Framework Episode #11

Scrum Institute, Kanban Framework Episode #11

 
 
00:00 / 6:03
 
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Scrum Institute, Kanban Framework Episode #11 has been proudly brought to you by International Scrum Institute, https://www.scrum-institute.org

What Are Key Kanban Practices?

Key Kanban practices introduced in this section are going to guide towards the optimal operations of the Kanban framework. Following six key Kanban practices (core Kanban practices) need to be leveraged to execute the Kanban framework successfully.

Visualize Your Workflow With Kanban: You can analyze, improve, and control your Kanban process by continually measuring it, and making it visible to your entire Kanban team and business stakeholders.
Limit Work In Progress (WIP) With Kanban: Limit the amount of work in progress at every step of your development and delivery processes. Thus, you continuously generate business value in shorter lead times and cycle times.
Make Kanban Policies Explicit: Rules and norms of your Kanban process need to be agreed in consensus, clearly defi ned, and publicized. When all Kanban team members are familiar with explicit principles and policies, and their joint business goals, then they can make decisions to bring your project in the correct direction.
Manage Kanban Workflow: Kanban focuses on managing the work processes to make the Kanban workflow robust, reliable, and fast, rather than focusing on keeping people busy.
Implement Kanban Feedback Loops: Feedback loops to measure outcomes of the Kanban process (macro-level feedback) and its associated steps (micro-level feedback), which lead to deliverables, will provide the required input for continuous improvement.
Improve Kanban Collaboratively, Evolve Kanban Experimentally: The Kanban process suggests a fact-based and collaborative approach in which everyone’s opinion is counted. Kanban team members have room to experiment, make mistakes, assess, and learn from them. They will excel in their process, and finally their business outcomes.

Visualize Your Workflow With Kanban

Let’s talk about the significance of visual components in our lives. Human beings love visual elements. Our brains capture more information from one single picture than multiple pages of text. Furthermore, we can process visual elements far faster than words.

30% of our brain neurons participate in the task of visual perception. In contrast, only 8% of brain neurons are active for hearing, and 3% of them are functioning for our touching sense.

Furthermore, when we look at visual components, our brains are able to process numerous pieces of information concurrently. Our brains can process visual elements around 60,000 times faster than it processes textual elements.

Visual data such as images, graphics, illustrations, infographics are a significant relief for our brain in information overload of our personal and business lives. The reason behind much faster and efficient visual processing is pretty simple. Threats in the ancient world were visible things, not memorandums, protocols or other documents.

The Kanban framework utilizes the Kanban board to make its workflow visible and transparent.

The way the Kanban board was set should enable proper planning, visualization, delivery of work, the continuous improvement of the workflow, and the individual performance of Kanban team members.

How You Visualize Your Kanban Workflow

Visualization of your workflow and processes can become quite a daunting task. That is especially true if your organization used to tolerate intransparent work among different silos of matrix organizational structure so far.

Some people can be quickly frustrated by the number of activities that goes into building your product or service. They may think that it’s not very easy to visualize their workflows in the first place, so they give up. Doing the work, but not being able to visualize it. Go and figure…

Nonetheless, the following four steps will help you visualize your workflow and build your first Kanban board.

Step 1: Identify the scope of your process you would like to visualize.
Step 2: List the steps that get into your process, which creates outcomes such as products and services.
Step 3: Transform steps of your process into lanes of your Kanban board.
Step 4: Get back to work, experiment with, visualize and improve your Kanban workflow.
During this process, bear in mind that your visualization should cover the following items:

Acceptance Criteria of business demands coming from the upstream work center before they can be taken into the Kanban workflow.
Explicit policies which are similar to Definition of Done’s (DoD). These will guide the Kanban team while their works flow from the left side to the right side of their Kanban board throughout various steps of development and delivery phase.
Explicit policies to limit Work In Progress (WIP)
Definition of Done (DoD) of Kanban team’s deliverables before they can be dispatched to the down-stream work center.

Scrum Institute, Kanban Framework Episode #10

Scrum Institute, Kanban Framework Episode #10

 
 
00:00 / 3:18
 
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Scrum Institute, Kanban Framework Episode #10 has been proudly brought to you by International Scrum Institute, https://www.scrum-institute.org

What Are Key Metrics To Manage A Kanban Workflow?

You can only improve what you are focusing on. Key Kanban metrics you choose to assess the performance of your Kanban workflow are not an exception to this critical rule.

It is essential that you know the key Kanban metrics to manage your Kanban workflow. So you can enhance the business throughput and reduce the wastes of your Kanban team in this process.

Here are some key Kanban metrics you should be continuously monitoring as part of your initiative to improve your Kanban workflow:

Team Throughput: The number of Kanban cards the Kanban team delivers in their Kanban workflow in a given unit time interval.
Work In Progress (WIP): The number of Kanban cards in work in progress state at different stages of development and delivery process (Kanban workflow).
Lead Time: The amount of time a Kanban card spends in Kanban workflow from the moment business stakeholders request it until it is successfully delivered.
Cycle Time: The amount of time a Kanban card spends in Kanban workflow from the moment the Kanban team starts working on it until the Kanban team finishes its tasks for the given card.
Cycle Time, Work In Progress (WIP), Team Throughput are interrelated by Little’s Law.

Little’s Law states that:

Cycle Time = Work In Progress (WIP) / Team Throughput

Little’s Law guides us to properly administer, set client expectations, and continuously improve the Kanban workflow.

Little’s Law shows the correlation between the three key Kanban workflow metrics. Changing one of these metrics will have an impact on the other two metrics.

For instance: To accomplish a reduction in cycle time, Work in Progress (WIP) must decrease, or the Team Throughput must increase.

Work Item Age:The amount of time a Kanban card in work in progress state spends in the Kanban workfl ow from the moment the Kanban team starts working it until the moment of measurement.
Problems (Impediments): The number of Kanban cards in the Kanban workflow that cannot be processed or delivered due to blocking dependencies, planning, or all other types of errors.
The excellent point about Kanban metrics is that you can determine the length of your feedback loop, based on how frequently you want to analyze your metrics and make changes in your Kanban workflow.

A long feedback loop indicates that your process improvement will be slow. A short feedback loop suggests that your process may not have sufficient time to stabilize between each change.

The length of the feedback loop in which you observe your metrics is one of the items you can experiment too.

Scrum Institute, Kanban Framework Episode #9

Scrum Institute, Kanban Framework Episode #9

 
 
00:00 / 1:47
 
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Scrum Institute, Kanban Framework Episode #9 has been proudly brought to you by International Scrum Institute, https://www.scrum-institute.org

What Is A Kanban Workflow? (Kanban Workflow Definition – Kanban Workflow Meaning)

All work a Kanban team performs and delivers from the conception of their product until the end of the product’s life cycle builds the Kanban team’s workflow. And yet, the reliability, repeatability, and improvement of any process are not only based on the actual work delivered. But also they are based on the agreed norms of how the work is performed. (How the work flows.)

Kanban Workflow Definition

A Kanban workflow defines explicit policies and principles, followed by the Kanban team. Its main objective is to represent the rules and procedures of work while the work is flowing across different stages of its development and delivery cycle.

It’s important to understand that the Kanban team cannot be imposed to use a specific workflow defined by their business stakeholders.

And yet, Kanban teams should bear in mind expectations from business units in upstream and downstream work centers to contribute the bottom line of their organizations

Therefore, the game plan to build and improve a Kanban workflow requires continuous collaboration between Kanban delivery teams and their associated counterparts at surrounding work centers.

The Kanban Framework administers, plans, and operates the Kanban workflow by using a Kanban board.

Thus, the work in progress (WIP) limits for development and delivery steps offer immediate feedback loops. These feedback loops enable a Kanban team to monitor, address, and follow up on issues of its Kanban workflow.

Scrum Institute, Kanban Framework Episode #8

Scrum Institute, Kanban Framework Episode #8

 
 
00:00 / 5:45
 
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Scrum Institute, Kanban Framework Episode #8 has been proudly brought to you by International Scrum Institute, https://www.scrum-institute.org

What Is A Kanban Certification?

Kanban certification has been granting tremendous advantages to millions of Kanban experts until today. Therefore, there is no reason that you won’t join these skillful men and women who promoted their careers and professional abilities with the help of the Kanban framework.

Kanban Certification Definition

A Kanban certification is the attestation of your proficiency in the Kanban operations management, as well as in the Kanban software development and delivery framework.

Kanban certification recognizes your expressed knowledge and distinguished expertise in the Kanban framework after an official multiplechoice test examination.

If you’re still curious, I would love to reassure you that you can no longer envision a flourishing career without holding a Kanban certification. It’sregardless of your position, power, and expertise in knowledge work and information technology ecosystems.

You even don’t need to be an IT expert anymore to know what Kanban is, how Kanban works, and get a Kanban certification. Regardless of what you are doing for a living, and regardless you belong to an IT department or not, there is an inherent and undeniable truth.

Your duties and acknowledged market power you’ve been offering for your business are reliant on and interrelated to information work, software, Kanban framework and Kanban principles.

Moreover, due to the transformation of conventional enterprise types into software as a service (SaaS) forced companies or so-called digitalization journey, it’s no longer a deliberate choice for any trained expert in or outside the IT department to get certified as a Kanban expert.

However, it’s a necessity now to get a Kanban certification.

What Is Certified Kanban Expert™ (Kanban-EXP™) Certification Program? And Why Is It Important For Your Career?

The primary function of a Certified Kanban Expert™ (Kanban-EXP™) is to ensure flawless foundation, adequate and sound development, and constant refinement of Kanban practices in a Kanban organization and its Kanban teams.

Hence, the proficiency and viewpoint of all team members in a Kanban system and how well they fit their Kanban teams are essential. These fundamental factors usually determine the maturity level and business throughput of a Kanban organization.

Whether you belong to a Kanban team or you cooperate and operate together with other Kanban organizations, you need to have a clear understanding of Kanban.

Certified Kanban Expert™ (Kanban-EXP™) Certification Program will teach you how and what makes the Kanban framework far more efficient to work with than many other operational management, software development, and delivery processes.

Accordingly, regardless you’re an IT, software, technology practitioner, leader, manager or not, every professional at this current digitalization age (when software and everything around it are kings) is highly recommended to become a Certified Kanban Expert™ (Kanban-EXP™).

What Is Certified Kanban Project Manager™ (Kanban-PM™) Certification Program? And Why Is It Important For Your Career?

Certified Kanban Project Manager™ (Kanban- PM™) is the person accountable for fulfilling the desired and declared project goals. Key responsibilities of a Kanban project manager involve building transparent and achievable project goals and facilitating the development of project requirements.

A Kanban project manager also manages the pressure of the project management triangle, which are the cost, the schedule, the scope to accomplish remarkable performance, and quality.

A Certified Kanban Project Manager™ (Kanban- PM™) is often a client representative. Kanban project manager needs to discover and aid the implementation of client requirements, based on expectations of the business stakeholders or the client he or she is representing. Kanban project manager is the bridging passage between the Kanban development/Kanban delivery teams and their business sponsors.

Thus, a Kanban project manager has a good knowledge of the industry he or she is navigating. That’s essential to understand and arbitrate the expectations, problems, and progress with both the Kanban delivery teams and clients.

Kanban project managers should possess the strength to adjust to the various internal procedures of the contracting parties. They form close collaboration with the nominated representatives of both business and technology stakeholders. That’s again essential in assuring that the critical issues related to expenses, plans, deliverables, and quality can be efficiently resolved. So that, the Kanban team can delight the business owner (client) with their throughput.

In summary, the title and name Certified Kanban Project Manager™ (Kanban-PM™) describes the person who is given the liability to complete a project. Kanban project managers are persons with full accountability for their projects. They have the required level of authority to deliver the planned project objectives within the project budget, on time, and with the highest possible quality.

Scrum Institute, Kanban Framework Episode #7

Scrum Institute, Kanban Framework Episode #7

 
 
00:00 / 1:49
 
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Scrum Institute, Kanban Framework Episode #7 has been proudly brought to you by International Scrum Institute, https://www.scrum-institute.org

What Is A Kanban Tool (Kanban Board Tool) for Project Management?

A Kanban board tool (Kanban tool) for project management is going to give you a fantastic clarity and transparency of the progress and bottlenecks of your projects.

Kanban cards, colors, swimlanes, tags, and due dates will assist you in composing your work on your digital Kanban board software. You will have the ability to analyze and continuously improve your processes to increase business effi ciency and reduce wastes.

Below are some of the Kanban board tools for project management. International Scrum Institute does not testify the fit or performance of any of these Kanban tools for your own project and business. However, we can confirm that we have a pleasant experience with Trello mentioned in this list.

Asana Boards,
Azure DevOps Server (to administer Kanban workflows among distributed teams),
CA Technologies Rally (to manage software projects with pull-based lean planning tools),
Jira Kanban Boards,
Meister Task Kanban Application,
Microsoft Planner (Part of Microsoft Office 365),
Notion App,
Projektron BCS (Kanban board and cards for software development and software maintenance teams),
Trello (Kanban board tool and electronic Kanban cards for project management)
Tuleap (Open source application for software engineering teams),
Twproject (project and program management software based on Kanban).

Scrum Institute, Kanban Framework Episode #6

Scrum Institute, Kanban Framework Episode #6

 
 
00:00 / 4:36
 
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Scrum Institute, Kanban Framework Episode #6 has been proudly brought to you by International Scrum Institute, https://www.scrum-institute.org

What Is A Kanban System – Kanban Development Methodology?

Kanban system (Kanban development methodology) is a framework that intends to implement the fl ow of work (workfl ow) through handling requirements along with available capacity.

Furthermore, Kanban development methodology aims to improve the operations of a workflow by removing system-level bottlenecks of the workflow.

In a Kanban system, Kanban board and Kanban cards provide Kanban team members and workflow stakeholders, an overview of work progress. As well as a guideline on how the work gets done from its beginning to its end. A Kanban card (work item) is only pulled as much as the work in progress limit (WIP limit) of a Kanban board column allows, instead of a Kanban card is arbitrarily pushed to the next phase of the Kanban system.

A Kanban system delivers a graphical process operations system to enable monitoring and increase decision-making capability about individual phases of the workflow. That is especially important for knowledge work and software development, which require ultimate transparency about what works well and what doesn’t, so Kanban teams identify where the bottlenecks are and how to fix them.

A Kanban system (Kanban development method) in software development and software engineering is frequently used in combination with other software development and delivery frameworks such as Scrum and DevOps.

Kanban systems are designed to manage all types of information works, not only workflows related to software development, software delivery and software teams.

Other business functions that frequently use Kanban development methodology are sales, marketing, human resources, recruitment, business strategy, executive leadership, organizational transformation and many others.

What Is A Kanban Software – Kanban Board Software?

Numerous producers have introduced Kanban software (Kanban board software) systems often described as e-Kanban systems. This Kanban software assists in removing typical issues such as manual entry mistakes, forgotten, and lost Kanban cards.

Kanban board software systems are usually incorporated into enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. That allows real-time requirement signaling throughout the supply chain and enhanced transparency of workflow.

Information pulled from E-Kanban systems are utilized to enhance stock levels. They enable much better tracking of provider lead and replenishment times.

Kanban software is a signaling system that utilizes a mix of innovation to set off the motion of workflow within a productionfacility or information work such as software engineering.

Electronic Kanban (e-Kanban) varies from conventional Kanban in using technology by substituting standard components like Kanban cards with barcodes, electronic Kanban cards, and electronic messages like e-mail or electronic information exchange.

Kanban software typically utilizes internet infrastructure as a medium to route messages.

Furthermore, most of the popular Kanban tools or Kanban board tools for project management do rely on Internet communication too. These Kanban tools or Kanban board tools are primarily managed Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions hosted and maintained by their respective vendors on public cloud computing systems.

They enable Kanban teams and their stakeholders to have real-time visibility of their inventory levels or status of their information work.

A Kanban board software system typically marks stock with barcodes or tasks with e-Kanban cards. Kanban team members can scan or manually move them at different phases of the production or the delivery of information work to signal use.

These scans or manual moves pass on messages to internal/external parties to make sure the restocking of items or bringing new work items into the workflow of information work.

Scrum Institute, Kanban Framework Episode #5

Scrum Institute, Kanban Framework Episode #5

 
 
00:00 / 3:41
 
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Scrum Institute, Kanban Framework Episode #5 has been proudly brought to you by International Scrum Institute, https://www.scrum-institute.org

What Is A Kanban Board With Kanban Board Example? (Kanban Board Template)

Kanban board is among the devices which are utilized to apply the Kanban process. Kanban board can be used to handle operations and matters in professional as well as in personal domains.

Kanban boards creatively illustrate operations at its several phases of the Kanban framework. It utilizes cards to instantiate task items and also columns to illustrate each stage of an operational Kanban process.

Kanban cards move from left to right on a Kanban board to help teams coordinate their workflow and visualize the progress of their tasks. A Kanban board might be separated into horizontally parallel “swimlanes” to divide various types of works performed by different teams.

Kanban boards are also utilized in knowledge works (software engineering, project management, program management) as well as in the manufacturing processes.

In the abstract level, a Kanban board has the following columns to demonstrate the phases of a Kanban card (work item).

Waiting (To-do)
In Progress (Doing)
Completed (Done)
The naming convention and other columns can be customized based on the stages of a given workflow operated by a Kanban team.

More comprehensive Kanban boards can be designed to partition “in progress (doing)” work into numerous other columns to depict the workflow across all units with are interacting with this work.

For instance, in a software engineering organization, “in progress” column can be roughly divided into “Analysis”, “Design”, “Development”, “Test” and “Delivery” columns.

Kanban boards, depending on the workflow for which they are utilized, can differ substantially.

A Kanban Board could visualize:

Various Types of Kanban Cards (features, user stories, defects),
Extra columns identifying workflow phases,
Explicit policies (regulations about how to use the Kanban board, and definition of done of phases),
Swimlanes (rows across multiple columns to group user stories by features or defects by products and components).
The primary goal is to make an entire workflow visible and understandable to all working participants and stakeholders of the workflow.

The Kanban board template depicted on the next page represents a software delivery process on a Kanban board.

Let’s pay attention to the following characteristics of this Kanban board example:

It highlights the tasks of the software development team including epics and user stories.
The values circled below column headings specify the maximum number of Kanban cards (Work In Progress Limit, WIP Limit) that can be simultaneously processed in a given phase.
Below certain columns, it specifies explicit policies, which are also known as done rules.
It encompasses a Kanban workflow management feature to divide certain columns as “Ready” and “In Progress”. The WIP limit applies to both sub-columns to ensure that the associated teams and workflow stages are not overwhelmed due to excessive number of tasks (Kanban cards) on a single column (phase of workflow).

Scrum Institute, Kanban Framework Episode #4

Scrum Institute, Kanban Framework Episode #4

 
 
00:00 / 2:36
 
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Scrum Institute, Kanban Framework Episode #4 has been proudly brought to you by International Scrum Institute, https://www.scrum-institute.org

What Are Kanban Cards With Kanban Card Example? (Kanban Card Template)

Kanban cards are an essential element of Kanban. In fact, translated from Japanese, a Kanban means a visual (kan) card (ban).

Kanban cards imply the requirement to move products within a production center or to move materials from an external provider into the production facility. Therefore, the Kanban card is a message that signals the depletion of an item, parts, or inventory.

When a Kanban card is obtained, the card (Kanban) activates replenishment of that product, part, or stock. So the consumption center drives demand for more production, and the Kanban card signals a request for more items. In summary, Kanban cards help produce a demand-driven system.

Supporters of lean movement extensively hold demand-driven systems result in much faster turnarounds in production and end-user delivery.

Lower stock levels help companies carry out these systems much more competitive. That enables companies to use their available resources optimally.

Most Kanban cards consist of a minimum of the following Kanban card template (Kanban card example), while the specific details included on a Kanban card example can differ from one system to another.

Part description,
Part / Item number,
Ani dentifying bar code or QR code,
The number of parts to be ordered, produced or transported,
Routing info (associated upstream and downstream processes),
Location information,
Lead time,
Supplier,
The accountable individual (mostly a coordinator),
The order date,
The due date,
Type of container,
Order of containers (for example, Kanban card 2 of 4).
Cards are usually fixed to a container, efficiently turning a bin into a Kanban. In other cases, a Kanban card is temporarily attached to shelves of bins.

These Kanban cards (signal cards) are an integral part of a Kanban system to manage inventory. A Kanban card must be treated like a highly regulated item. Losing one can quickly close down a production line and fully interrupt the production until the missing parts are again available.

Scrum Institute, Kanban Framework Episode #3

Scrum Institute, Kanban Framework Episode #3

 
 
00:00 / 5:55
 
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Scrum Institute, Kanban Framework Episode #3 has been proudly brought to you by International Scrum Institute, https://www.scrum-institute.org

What Are The Origins Of Kanban?

The three systems which historically build the origins of the Kanban framework have one significant common aspect. When it comes to production planning, they all have chosen “pull” modus operandi over “push”.

What is “push” modus operandi in production planning?

With “push” modus operandi, the supply center keeps on producing and delivering parts regardless of the moment the demand center consumes them.

What is “pull” modus operandi in production planning?

With “pull” modus operandi, the supply center produces and delivers parts based on requests coming from the demand center.

A crucial element of the success with a pushbased production scheduling is the competence of the demand-forecast. So that the supply center produces and delivers parts without causing under- or over-inventory in the demand center.

Kanban, on the contrary, establishes a method where the pull comes from the demand center, and products or components are Just-In-Time (JIT) manufactured based on demand. Production, delivery, resupply, and replenishment are all determined based on actual client needs.

Although it’s a challenge, done correctly, this approach optimizes the use of resources needed both in supply and demand centers, whereas it makes inventory management almost obsolete.

Now let’s discuss the origins of the Kanban framework, the three processes which constructed its foundation

Kanban Two-Bin System For Shelf-Stocking

“2-bin system” stems from the most basic visual stock replenishment signaling system, an empty box. Factories in the United Kingdom initially set up this process to produce Spitfires throughout the Second World War.

Toyota analyzed processes in supermarkets during the 1940s to identify diverse shelfstocking strategies for their own factory floor

In a supermarket, consumers typically buy what they require at the needed time with the desired quantities. Furthermore, a supermarket builds its stocks for what it anticipates to sell in a given timeframe. Clients usually only buy what they require since the future supply is ensured.

This observation led Toyota to see a process as a client of several preceding processes and to see the other preceding processes as a kind of store.

Kanban utilizes the rate of demand to control the rate of production, passing requirements from the consumer up through the series of production and delivery process. In 1953, Toyota applied this mechanism in their main plant factory.

Kanban aligns stock levels with real intake. A signal informs a supplier process to produce and provide a brand-new shipment when the consumer process takes in the material. This signal is leveraged during the entire replenishment cycle to bring clarity to both the supplier and customer.

Kanban Three-Bin System For Supply Chain Management

A “3-bin system” links various departments or various parts of work processes. Sometimes, it even links business to its outside suppliers.

A typical 3-bin system should work like this: The factory places one bin where items are manufactured. The shop places another bin where parts and materials are held. And the supplier places one more bin.

When the factory has no more parts of a specific type, it sends its empty bin to the shop to be refilled. The shop fills the bin and then dispatches its own freshly emptied bin to the supplier. The supplier then sends a full bin to the store.

The bins function as the signal to indicate that downstream processes need more of some parts. They also offer permission to move parts from one place to another. In Kanban, absolutely nothing moves without a demand signal from a demand center.

The majority of 3-bin systems also keep Kanban cards (or some other information sheet) in the bins specifying what the bin includes and in what quantity. When one of these bins is leaving its original center to be refilled by another party, cards help process participants to view the role of these bins.

Toyota’s Six Rules For Kanban

Toyota team has created six significant rules (Toyota’s Six Rules for Kanban) which guide Kanban practitioners from the past to today.

Each consumer process dispatches demands (bins and Kanban cards) to its supplier processes after it consumes its materials.
Each supplier process manufactures and delivers in association with the amount and sequence of incoming demands.
Items are neither manufactured nor delivered without a pending demand.
The request (Kanban card) related to an item (bin) is always connected to it.
Supplier processes must adhere to the highest standards of quality assurance to guarantee that the delivered products are defect-free.
Limiting the number of pending demands makes a process more delicate and reveals potential inefficiencies to be addressed.