Using the Kanban method to improve your workflow

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Learn how this Japanese methodology will help you finish tasks in the most efficient way…

Have you ever had so many tasks that instead of finishing each one, you find yourself starting new ones? Traffic jams not only happen on the streets… We firmly believe that moving forward with your workflow becomes complicated (sometimes impossible) when everything is a “priority”.

This work overload is what the Kanban method seeks to avoid. It’s an agile methodology that was born in Japan, and it aims to manage work in a fluid and organized way. This methodology is completely visual, since it’s literally a board that divides tasks into 3 stages: To do, In progress and Done.

The Kanban’s visual representation allows you to know the stage of each of your tasks, so you can identify their status and avoid traffic jams (but on your desk).

How to build a Kanbam board.

Follow these tips:

  • Start by listing your tasks: you can do it daily or weekly. Ideally, divide the tasks by categories. For example: group all the things that have to do with a specific client.
  • Details are everything: regardless of whether you use a physical or virtual Kanban board, it’s important that you detail each task. For example: add every person involved, expiration date and material links. Remember that we all work as a team, so it’s vital that this information is visible to everyone (especially your boss!).
  • Get to work: whenever you start on a new task, don’t forget to move it from the To do column to the In Progress column. Devote your full attention to each one. Tip: do not saturate your In Progress column, then and there is where the problems begin… (4 tasks max).
  • If necessary, add another column: Since there are projects that need authorization or review, you can add a new column for them. After In Progress, add the Buffer column, and move every job that is already done but is waiting for a green light.
  • Pull, don’t push: don’t try to work on more that 2 tasks at once. Test your own rhythm and keep in mind that the most important thing is to complete tasks, not start new ones.

Are you ready to try the Kanban method with your team? Get a board, colored post-its and try it today!

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