Kanban is a project development and planning framework that focuses on extreme efficiency and flexibility. It is essentially designed to help brands improve their development and product-generation process no matter the origin, whether it be software- or hardware-based.

What Are Kanban Planning Tools For?

Kanban — also called agile — has a variety of tools and software applications that can help make implementation and operation easier.

Kanbanize, for example, is a visualization tool for Kanban planning and project management that allows you to organize active tasks. Kanbanize and similar Kanban tools are primarily used to organize the Kanban process by allowing teams to visualize their projects and delegate manpower to each task.

In addition, this plays into the role of prioritization, which may or may not call for the reorganization of specific tasks.

Image via kanbanize.com

Image via kanbanize.com

For instance, if one task becomes more important due to a sudden change in plans, the entire team can switch focus to the new task and all of this can be facilitated through the Kanban planning software.

How Does Kanban Work?

It’s a fairly easy concept to grasp with several core elements that define the process. With Kanban, a development team is only ever focused on work that’s actively in progress. In other words, they don’t multitask and instead, they expend resources only on the current task. This enables management to streamline a flexible list of work that needs to be done, which can be reprioritized at any time.

In addition, Kanban also calls for the optimization and perfection of cycle time, the time it takes for work to be completed or a product to make it through the development process. The idea is to track development from the moment it starts to the precise moment a product ships, thus ending the entire cycle. By tracking cycle time and working to improve it, teams can speed up the development process considerably.

This remarkably efficient strategy allows brands and businesses to perfect just about any form of development, thus moving towards a continuous delivery process. Compared to traditional business and development practices, Kanban trims away a lot of the excess fat that can balloon such processes and extend how long they take.

Where Can Kanban Be Applied?

Kanban tools allow you to create a storyboard for the entire development process, which is decidedly referred to as Kanban planning. These tools have become increasingly more popular as the Kanban method has also grown in exposure.

Kanban planning tools can be applied to a number of business functions in order to make teams more efficient. These functions include:

  • IT support
  • Marketing
  • Software development
  • Inventory management
  • Manufacturing
  • Transportation (excluding shipping)
  • Operations

The most difficult part about implementation is identifying how Kanban should be used for your business. That’s not to say it’s difficult to activate — it’s just that no two businesses are alike in size and function. In other words, every brand or business will have different needs from the system. Since Kanban heavily relies on powerful analytics and tracking, task visualization, email and notification support and detailed strategy plans for different contingencies, it has to be tailored to each business separately.

That’s where Kanban planning tools come in handy. Kanban itself can help your business become much more productive and efficient, but Kanban planning tools can help you implement such a system properly.

The Kanban planning tools and related systems allow the teams to communicate about these changes and provide input based on their responsibilities. It also helps management teams analyze these changes and accurately predict how this will affect development.

In other words, Kanban planning tools are just as much about efficiency and productivity as the actual movement.

By implementing Kanban for your own teams, you’ll be boosting productivity and efficiency across the board, and honestly, who wouldn’t want that?

Image by Foundry