What is Kanban - Overview of the kanban project management

What is Kanban - Overview of the kanban project management

By M.Dan | 4 min read

Kanban is a modern management method that encourages evolutionary change and continuous and rapid adaptation to the ever-changing demands of the business environment. We can say about Kanban that it acts as a catalyst for the adaptability and flexibility of the organization.



Kanban is definitely NOT:

  • ONLY a project management tool, OR,
  • ONLY a software development tool.

It is true that the Kanban method has been successfully applied in project management and software development, especially when the development context presents elements of risk and uncertainty. However, this does not limit Kanban to project management.

What are the areas of business where the Kanban method is most often applied at this time? Professional services have benefited most from Kanban. By professional services we mean: project management services, software development, financial-banking services, systems integration, consulting, training, design services, marketing-sales services. Also, the Kanban application has produced positive effects in the management for the development of the organizational development projects (for example the implementation of the performance management system) and in the efficient management of the personal agendas.


One last mention is worth making, regarding the use of Kanban in production. Originally, Kanban was first developed and used by Toyota in car manufacturing. The Kanban method applied in professional services finds its roots in Toyota Kanban, but differs in many ways, through the developments brought by what is considered the parent of the Kanban method, David J. Anderson, developments that have made it possible to use Kanban and in other sectors of activity. This article refers to the Kanban method as it is applied in professional services. In a future article, I set out to talk about Kanban applied in production, logistics, supply chain.


What are the proven benefits of using Kanban:

  • Predictability in service delivery.
  • Workflow transparency, transparency of workflow issues and decisions.
  • Better risk management.
  • Policies, procedures and rules better adapted to the realities of the organization.
  • Agility and organizational flexibility, correlated to the demand in volume and variety of clients.


Why do we need Kanban in workflow management? Imagine for a moment, a river that represents the workflow in an organization. In an ideal world, a boat (metaphorically represents activities and knowledge) sails on a smooth river, without stopping. Those who make this possible are company employees, team organizations, departments, divisions, etc. In the real world, however, our river presents from time to time steep banks, involuntary thresholds, rocks under water, which slows down our boat and sometimes, if the team is inattentive, they can destroy it. The elements that hinder the smooth course of the boat in the world of organizations are the "silo" type thinking, the faulty communication, the specialization, the resistance to change, to name but a few elements.


Kanban is a system that allows us to deeply understand the present situation, to identify problems, to decide and to act in the sense of the higher development of the organization. Some of the Kanban components that make this possible are:

  • Visualizing the workflow and the evolution of the activities.
  • Limitation of Activities in Progress.
  • These are activities that started the work but have not been completed.
  • Workflow team management.


In the Atomyo Kanban Flow, you will find the principles and practices that govern the Kanban method that is applied in professional services. I considered that Atomyo will give you the opportunity to explore Kanban concepts, as opposed to just reading a text, which can often become tiresome.


M. Dan

Passionate about freelancing, programming, SEO, communities, blogging, trips and parties.

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