Core Kanban Principles

You may or may not have heard of the Japanese Kanban principles, but chances are you have or will use them in your business. So, what are the core Kanban principles and how can they help your business?

Kanban Principles – or “what you need to know about Kanban”

Kanban originated from the Toyota company who noticed that grocery stores often did not re-stock their shelves until an item was almost completely out of stock. This, of course, was regardless of whether or not the vendor had the items ready and available. This made Toyota rethink its mass production process for a more “low stock” approach, leading to the development of a smarter do business, when they created the Kanban system.

The Kanban system uses a card (Kanban is Japanese for “card” or “visual signal”) as a visual cue to communicate between departments making it easier to signal what work needs to be done and when. Toyota developed the system to help their line workers identify the different steps in the manufacturing process, thereby making them more efficient reducing waste and maximizing profits.

What are the main steps in Kanban? Visualize Work is the very first step. By making the work mainly visually oriented, employees are able to follow a visual workflow model that is easy to navigate.

Next is to limit the work that is in progress. This gets rid of micromanaging that often leads to time consumption and loss of profit.

Thirdly, you need to focus on the flow, the workflow that is. The Kanban principle allows you to better manage team driven policies to smooth out confusion and unnecessary tasks in your workflow.

Last, but certainly not least is to always strive for continued improvement! Once you learn how to implement the Kanban system in your workplace, take a look at how you can improve different aspects such as quality, lead time, and over-all flow to make it even more efficient in the future!


Give Kanban a Try with Pipefy!

Pipefy is an intuitive, simple to use, workflow software. We allow businesses to run all their processes in a single platform, ensuring efficiency and solid execution.

Pipefy works as an online Kanban system where tasks move laterally through the multiple phases of your process. Each of your process’ phases can have its own set of work rules, triggers and, if needed, a designated owner.

Don’t lose any more time, try Pipefy!

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Written by Isabelle Salemme, Product content manager at Pipefy. She uses her extensive Pipefy knowledge to write informative pieces teaching users to make the best of Pipefy. Besides being responsible for all product-related content, she's an avid reader, a coffee lover and a professional photographer.