You’ve probably heard about how Kanban is a great collaborative tool. But aside from managing tasks, what are the real benefits of Kanban?
Turns out, there are a lot of ways it can improve working conditions. From maximizing efficiency to reducing job-related stress, Kanban offers a number of benefits that ensure your projects run smoothly. Read on to learn more about the benefits of Kanban. But first, let’s look at some of the challenges it addresses.
4 Common Challenges That Organizations Face
Every organization is different. The goals and objectives for one business may be vastly different than another’s. As such, it’s impossible to conjure up a one-size-fits-all solution to project management that addresses all the pain points a company may face.
With that said, there are some common challenges that most organizations face when implementing and executing projects. These challenges often surround issues like communication and resources, and how teams track tasks through a project’s workflow. Below are four of the most common challenges organizations face when they aren’t using an effective project management strategy.
1. Ambiguity in the workflow
Without a visual system that tracks in the workflow, many projects are riddled with invisible processes that lead to confusion and ambiguity. This prevents team members from being able to visualize their processes. In other words, nobody knows who’s working on what. This, in turn, creates even more uncertainty around the quality and progress of tasks within a project.
For large organizations, where multiple departments and teams collaborate on a single project, ambiguity is especially dangerous. It makes it harder to communicate between teams, which hinders productivity and creates unnecessary delays—all of which end up costing the organization even more money.
2. There’s a lack of transparency
Workflow transparency is essential for delivering project success. Without it, managers have a harder time determining which tasks are being worked on, whether there are any issues that need to be addressed, and if all deadlines are being met. This causes project managers to micromanage their team members, which creates an uncomfortable working environment that prevents good collaboration.
3. Nothing gets accomplished
When your project is characterized by uncertainty and a lack of transparency, there’s a greater likelihood that tasks won’t be completed in their agreed-upon time-frame—or at all, in extreme cases. That’s because uncertainty creates confusion.
- Without transparency, managers can’t prioritize tasks.
- Teams lose track of their project goals and end up taking on too many tasks at once.
- The number of tasks in a queue continues to pile up, making it harder to start and complete tasks.
This creates a feeling of panic among team members, as they struggle to manage multiple tasks at once. This leads us to the final challenge.
4. People get overwhelmed
Poorly managed projects don’t just cost businesses money, they also create unnecessary stress for everyone involved. Most workers become overwhelmed at the thought of juggling multiple tasks at once. Not only does this make it harder to start and complete assignments, it’s a major source of burnout. And that has a negative impact on motivation and productivity.
The Benefits of Kanban in Addressing These Challenges
The good news is that Kanban can address many of these challenges, helping teams solve problems and collaborate more efficiently in the process. And this is all thanks to Kanban’s ability to present the workflow visually, in a way that’s easier for people to see and understand.
Kanban’s visual system removes any ambiguity in the workflow. Tasks become more explicit once they’re put on a Kanban board for everyone to see. What’s more, Kanban boards give team members a visual representation of the workflow. And best of all, this representation updates in real-time.
This makes it easier for managers to monitor progress and ensure teams are working on the right processes, and they can do it without micromanaging their workers.
But that’s not all. Other benefits of Kanban include:
- Improved information sharing: Kanban makes it easier for teams to discuss all project-related information. This creates a platform for teams to problem solve, help each other, and review the status of their projects.
- Less multitasking: Kanban lets you set work-in-progress (WIP) limits so teams don’t take on too many tasks at once. As a result, team members take their assignments all the way to completion before beginning another task. This guarantees that work moves smoothly through the pipeline—and when bottlenecks do form, they’re easier to identify and correct because the workflow isn’t bogged down with ongoing assignments.
- Greater accountability: The great thing about Kanban is that it’s clear to everyone who’s responsible for which tasks. Not only does this make it easier to track the progress of various assignments, it limits cases of micromanagement. Employees know what they’re supposed to do, giving them more autonomy so they don’t have to be constantly monitored by their managers. This creates a better work environment for all, while giving project managers time to focus on more important things like task prioritization and resource management.
- Skill-building opportunities: The purpose of Kanban is to minimize waste and improve efficiency—and one of the ways it improves efficiency is by helping team members improve. That’s because Kanban makes it easier to identify elements that lead to friction in the workflow. And a major part of skill building is being able to pinpoint and correct problems. This empowers workers by teaching them how to avoid similar setbacks in the future.
Ultimately, Kanban’s biggest value is bringing people together. It gives team members a platform where they can discuss blockers, go over strategies, and brainstorm ways to identify and overcome challenges as soon as they arrive.
Want to learn more about Kanban and how it can transform the way you and your team tackle projects? Then have a look at our webinar, “Benefits of using Kanban—boost efficiency, collaboration, and morale.”