The principles of Kanban


Although the practices, principles and values originate from the Lean and Agile movement and were first applied in software development, they are also applicable to other industries. For this reason, we have written a summary of the principles that can apply to services and products of all kinds. Whether software, marketing or HR, these principles are a good foundation for modern organisations or teams to make their customers happier.

Kanban is an agile method that enables companies to continuously improve their work processes. Kanban University is one of the leading organizations in the Kanban community and has developed a list of six principles that help implement Kanban successfully. These principles are:

Start with what you are doing right now

This principle emphasizes the importance of working with what is already in place. Kanban teams should focus on improving existing processes rather than trying to completely replace them. Working on existing processes saves resources and ensures a smooth transition to using Kanban.

Connect workflows with feedback loops

The use of feedback loops enables teams to react quickly to changes in the work process and to identify errors at an early stage. Kanban promotes the implementation of feedback mechanisms to improve the efficiency and quality of work.

Limit the work in progress (WiP)

Limiting work in progress (WiP) is an important principle of Kanban. By limiting the number of tasks running simultaneously, the team can avoid bottlenecks in the process and improve efficiency.

Make process guidelines explicit

This principle requires that all process guidelines be made transparent. By clearly outlining the processes, teams can more easily identify problems and make improvements.

Implement feedback mechanisms

Implementing feedback mechanisms helps teams identify problems early and respond quickly. Kanban emphasizes the importance of continuous feedback to improve the quality and efficiency of work.

Improve together, experiment and learn

Kanban promotes a culture of continuous improvement. Teams should work together to make improvements in the work process. It is important to conduct experiments, learn from mistakes and use the experience to continuously improve the process.

In summary, we can say that the six principles of Kanban University enable teams to continuously improve work processes by focusing on transparency, feedback and a culture of continuous improvement. By following these principles, Kanban teams can continuously improve the work process and generate more value and benefits for the employees and the customers