Kanban, or “just in time”, has been a way to schedule work for many years now but has seen a resurgence in popularity as a method within the lean software development approach. People are now applying the kanban system to everything from designing software to managing their personal lives - read on to find out how kanban could help you manage your time.
Designed by Toyota in the 1940s, kanban originated as a way to make their inventory system more efficient. Inspired by how supermarket shelves were always stocked with just enough stock every day, Toyota designed kanban to help them deliver "only what is needed, when it is needed, and in the amount needed." While kanban originally applied to car parts, it’s also a great way to manage individual blocks of time or work.
If you find yourself having to regularly react to urgent new tasks or requests, then kanban could be the key to keeping on top of your priority list - while saving yourself vital time. Check out how live streaming music service Spotify did this when they introduced their first kanban system, and how they allocated one team member to act as a “goalkeeper” to filter all of the reactive tasks that their operations team received.
How remote workers use kanban to schedule work
Kanban systems are becoming increasingly popular in team projects; even when team members are separated by great distances. A simple Kanban board can enable remote coders across the world to work more efficiently on projects, while providing greater visibility for their work to their co-workers. Tools such as Trello or LeanKit are great examples of online kanban systems that you can try in your own business.
Multitasking might make you feel like you’re accomplishing a lot, but research suggests the exact opposite - that multitasking makes it harder for us to switch between tasks. This article from Venture Beat explains how kanban could be a good solution to limiting your multitasking. The kanban approach limits the amount of work-in-progress you have at any one time - enabling you to concentrate on the important tasks and not start anything new until they’re finished.
Do you use kanban in your daily routine or your work life? Hit us up on twitter or leave a comment to let us know how. Have a great weekend!