By Nader Talai • April 25, 2018

Why leaders need to learn the Kanban Method?

The Kanban Method or Kanban for short, provides a lens through which leaders can ensure that the organisation is working on the most important work and know what to improve that leads to improved value flow across the value stream.

This is why leaders need to learn the kanban method, Kanban Method enables you to answer the following questions and gain the insight you need to make better decisions.

Kanban is not about boards and post-its on a wall, Kanban Method allows you to answer the following questions:

  • How are we serving the customer?
  • Are we working on the most important work item?
  • Where should we focus the improvements to improve our organisational value flow?
  • Do we know when we can deliver a given type of work?
  • Do we know how many you can deliver?

The value flow is a chain-linked system and unless the improvements are target at what is the constraint the improvement efforts result in additional expense without the expenditure leading to improved value flow. Kanban Method enables you to visualise the value flow, and measure your delivery capability and flow efficiency to target your improvement efforts.


Get your free value stream mapping guide!

Kanban Method Agendas provides the ability to look at your organisation in terms of

  • Sustainability, balance, looking inward and creating a pull-based system of work that balances the demand with the available capacity without overburdening of staff
  • Service Orientation, fitness for customer purpose, looking outwards ensure that the services that you deliver meet the customer purpose
  • Survivability, fitness for future market, looking ahead and ensuring that the organisation is not complacent with its current competencies and is building new ones

Kanban is not about boards and post-its on a wall, Kanban Method allows you to answer the following questions:

How do i get visibility of the work
Kanban Method has many strengths one of them being the ability to make the invisible knowledge work visible.  Do you want to learn how to visualise your knowledge work, get our free guide here:  Kanban System Mapping Dialogue


Are we working on the most important thing

Successful organisations will have more demand that they can fulfil and knowing the organisations delivery capability is the key to making better decisions on how to invest the organisation's funds.

Knowing the organisation delivery capability enables the leadership team to know what the completion capability of the organisation is and they can make the hard decision of what work should be started and what should be delayed. Limiting 

Focusing on the completion leads to faster, predictable delivery which enables the organisation to select the most valuable work. 

When can we deliver


Kanban Method creates a pull-based system of work for knowledge work which leads to a predictable system of work. Kanban Method uses the replenishment meeting to select what should be done next.

Find out if your service delivery is predictable, here 


When should we start the next thing

Default behaviour of starting work as soon as it arrives based on our thinking that the sooner we start the sooner we finish leads to more work that is in-flight and less that gets done. 

Want to do more? Start less to finish more, read this post on when should we start


How do we balance demand with our capability


Kanban Method enables the organisation to balance the demand with capability, here's a blog post describing one way to achieve balance 


what should we change grey

A kanban system is a living system the visualisation of the flow of work and the capability measures enable the organisation to see how work is flowing, where it is waiting and where it is moving this information enables us to carry out purposeful change by changing our system of work and measure the impact of our changes.

These improvement work items flow through our Kanban system like any other type of work and we can use our capacity allocation policy to decide how much of the capacity goes towards improvement of our system. Kanban Method enables better decision making based on flow and capability measures.

Want to know what is really slowing your organisation and how to improve? read this post 

What is flow efficiency and how it impacts your organisations capability? read this post


Kanban Management Professionals are experts in visualising and improving the system of work. 


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Related blogs

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Value Streams

Flow Efficiency