What is Kanban?
Kanban (Japanese for a signboard or billboard) is a scheduling system for lean and just-in-time production. It is also a framework to support Agile methodology. Kanban controls the logistical chain from a production point of view.
In product management, Kanban functions as a series of visual workflow boards. These boards help product managers confirm if releases are under or over capacity. Ultimately, the goal of Kanban is to help product managers prioritize their work to focus on building what matters most right now.
Kanban was developed by Taiichi Ohno at Toyota in the 1940s. At the time, Toyota wanted to overhaul its engineering process. They sought a system to improve and maintain a high level of production.
Ohno modeled Kanban after the approach that supermarkets used to stock their shelves. Upon observation, he realized that supermarkets were matching inventory levels with consumption patterns. They achieved this by stocking just enough products to meet consumer demand. The result was an optimized product flow between supermarkets and their consumers.
When Ohno brought this approach to Toyota, his goal was to help engineers visualize their workflows. He achieved this by introducing cards, or kanbans, to his team. If the team was over capacity on a project, they could deliver kanbans to other teams. These kanbans confirmed excess capacity and the need for more materials.
The Kanban methodology was later added to as an approach to incremental, evolutionary process improvement for organizations. It was then applied to help guide to software development and product management. The ultimate goal was to streamline workflow between these teams.
Agile product teams often use Kanban to focus only on work that is actively in progress. Once a specific feature has been shipped, the product owner will pull another from the backlog. When working under the Kanban framework, the product owner maintains control over this backlog and is free to re-prioritize as needed.
- Introduction to product management
- What is the role of a product manager?
- What is a product?
- Which tools do product managers use?
- What skills are required to be a product manager
- What makes up the product team?
- What are some product management job titles?
- What is a typical product manager salary?
- Are you a new product manager?
- What does a product manager do each day?
- How can I learn to be a product manager?
- What are some interview questions for product managers?
- What is user experience design?
- How should product managers use wireframes?
- What is the difference: Wireframe vs. Mockup vs. Prototype?
- Introduction to product strategy
- What is product vision?
- What are product goals and initiatives?
- What is product positioning?
- What is product differentiation?
- How should I price my product?
- How should product managers research competitors?
- How should product managers define customer personas?
- What are some examples of a business model?
- What is enterprise transformation?
- What is digital transformation?
- What are the types of business transformation?
- What is customer experience?
- Introduction to product roadmaps
- What is a product roadmap?
- How do product roadmap tools work?
- What is a product portfolio roadmap?
- What is a technology or IT roadmap?
- How do product managers build an agile roadmap?
- What product roadmap presentation templates do product managers use?
- How do product managers build the right roadmap?