The term “Kanban” is a Japanese word which means “signal-card” in English and it invented by Industrial engineer “Taiichi Ohno” in order to improve efficiency at Toyota.
In manufacturing environment, this card signals upstream process to produce more. The Kanban System used as a simple planning system, in which one can control and manage work and inventory at every stage of production optimally. Kanban is a concept identified with Lean and just-in-time (JIT), it is used in the planning which clearly tells you
- what to produce?
- when to produce it?
- how much to produce?
in a systematic way of approach, that will match inventory with demand and achieve higher levels of quality and throughput.
Application of this in knowledge work, especially in software engineering would enable a sustainable pace and find an approach to introduce changes with minimal resistance. Kanban System helps to change the focus from a push to meet demand forecasts to a pull generated by actual demand.
Book: “KANBAN A Successful Evolutionary Change for Your Technology Business” by David J Anderson