The method, as formulated by David J. Anderson, is an approach
to incremental, evolutionary process and systems change for organizations.
Furthermore, it is a way for teams and organizations to visualize their work,
identify and eliminate bottlenecks and achieve dramatic operational
improvements in terms of throughput and quality!
In addition, it is a method to gradually improve whatever you do – whether
software development, IT/ Ops, Staffing, Recruitment, Marketing and Sales,
Procurement – in fact, almost any business function can benefit from
applying Kanban to bring about significant benefits such as reduced
lead time, increased throughput and much higher quality of products
or services delivered!
What does it come from?
Kanban, also spelt kamban, is a Japanese term for “signboard” or “Billboard”
that indicates “available capacity (to work)”. It is a concept related to
lean and just-in-time (JIT) production. It is a scheduling system that
tells you what to produce, when to produce it, and how much to produce.
At its simplest, it is a card with an inventory number that’s attached to a part.
Right before the part is installed, the kanban card is detached and sent up the supply
chain as a request for another part. A part is only manufactured (or ordered) if there is a kanban card for it.
There are six generally accepted rules:
1. Downstream processes may only withdraw items in the precise amounts specified on the kanban.
2. Upstream processes may only send items downstream in the precise amounts and sequences specified by the kanban.
3. No items are made or moved without a kanban.
4. A kanban must accompany each item at all times.
5. Defects and incorrect amounts are never sent to the next downstream process.
6. The number of kanbans should be monitored carefully to reveal problems and opportunities for improvement.