Kanban has gained immense popularity as an agile project management tool. But when it comes to categorizing it as a method, methodology, or framework, there seems to be a lot of confusion. In this blog post, we will explore what Kanban is and what category it fits into.
Kanban: What is it?
Kanban is a Japanese term that means “visual signal.” It originated in the manufacturing industry in Japan in the 1940s, where it was used to improve production efficiency. The Kanban method involves visualizing work, limiting work in progress, and managing flow.
The Kanban method is used to manage and optimize workflows by visualizing the work, limiting work in progress, and maximizing efficiency. The goal is to make sure that work is completed at a steady and predictable pace, and that there is no waste or overproduction.
Is Kanban a Method?
Kanban is often referred to as a method because it provides a specific set of practices that can be followed to implement the Kanban method effectively. These practices include visualizing the work, limiting work in progress, managing flow, making process policies explicit, implementing feedback loops, and improving collaboratively and evolving experimentally.
However, the Kanban method is not prescriptive. It is a flexible approach that can be adapted to suit the specific needs of different teams and organizations. This means that the Kanban method can be customized and adapted to suit different situations and contexts.
Is Kanban a Methodology?
A methodology is a more comprehensive and structured approach to project management. It typically includes a set of practices, procedures, and guidelines that are designed to be followed in a specific order to achieve a specific outcome.
Kanban, on the other hand, is not a comprehensive methodology. It is a simple and flexible approach to managing workflows. Kanban does not prescribe a specific set of practices or procedures that must be followed. Instead, it provides a set of principles and practices that can be adapted to suit different contexts.
Is Kanban a Framework?
A framework is a set of guidelines or standards that provide a structure for organizing and executing work. Frameworks typically provide a set of best practices that can be followed to achieve a specific outcome.
Kanban can be considered a framework because it provides a set of principles and practices that can be used to organize and execute work. The Kanban framework provides guidelines for visualizing work, limiting work in progress, managing flow, making process policies explicit, implementing feedback loops, and improving collaboratively and evolving experimentally.
Kanban is also a flexible framework that can be adapted to suit different contexts. This means that teams can use Kanban as a starting point and then customize it to suit their specific needs and circumstances.
In conclusion, Kanban can be categorized as a method, framework, or approach depending on the context. While it provides a set of practices that can be followed to implement the Kanban method effectively, it is not prescriptive and can be customized to suit different contexts. Kanban provides a flexible and simple approach to managing workflows that can be adapted to suit different teams and organizations. Ultimately, the categorization of Kanban is less important than understanding the principles and practices that it provides and using them to improve workflow management.