Do you struggle with project management? Kanban to the rescue! This system has helped companies of every size improves their processes and deliver products and services with ease and efficiency. As a project manager, I love it! Here’s how to use it for your business.
Kanban is an awesome system that was, I believe, developed by the Japanese, but don’t hold me to that. I’m pretty sure that it was. It is a method of organizing your workflow within a team to help understand where bottlenecks are in efficiency.
Much of what I do in my business at this point is project management. That means rather than turning many of the buttons myself whenever we’re getting a website built, much of what I’m doing is actually managing the team who is doing that. I still do a lot of the design work myself but when it comes to updating things, etc. I let my team handle that and I am managing them. Kanban is a way for me to see where efficiency is lacking.
If we wanted to go back a couple of episodes ago and look at the deliver phase of the ACDC, then this is where something like Kanban is going to come in to help improve your workflow and your processes.
Think of a board with four stacks, four lists, one right next to the other one. One is to do, the next one is in progress, the next one review and the next one completed. Traditional Kanban is actually to do, in progress and completed. I like to add that third step in there for review because in the work that I do, there is a phase where I need to review the work and then I also need to send the client the work to get their approval as well, in many cases at least. There are actually two review phases but they all fit into one for me. I think adding that review phase really helps in your workflow to see where things are.
To do is everything that needs to be done.
In progress is where tasks get moved when the team begins working on the task.
Review is where it goes whenever the team feels that they have completed the task.
Completed is where it goes whenever I’m confident and the client has approved the completion of the task, if applicable.
The goal with this is it helps to identify where bottlenecks are very simply because you have a quick visual representation of where everything is going on for a particular project on the team and it begins to quickly help you solve problems like, do I need to hire more people. That’s really the main thing. Do we need to be charging more for projects. Again, these systems help answer so many more questions. Do we need to be charging more per project so that I can afford more people on the team for these projects so that we can be moving them through faster? It turns out we’re getting more business than we have time to fill the orders. What does that mean? How do we adjust for that?
So that’s it. Super simple, Kanban, but it’s so much better than just a to do list and then marking as complete. It really is, because you have so much visibility into the workflow of your team and you can make some great decisions from there.
Thank you so much for being a listener to the Faith-Full Business podcast. I enjoy doing these podcasts, especially about these simple systems. We have a few more to go before we’re totally done with this series. Thank you so much for paying attention and having fun with us during this series over these past couple of months.