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How to Eliminate Muda From Your Kanban System?

The main objectives of the Toyota Production system, which is one of the primary sources of inspiration for Kanban for knowledge work, were to get rid of overburden (muri) and inconsistency (mura), and eliminate waste (muda) from your system. Any system/ business process you are using to develop products or offer services will have a certain amount of waste generated. All the current Kanban products in the market including SwiftKanban have mapped most of the basic principles of Kanban like Limiting Work-in-Progress (WIP), visualization, flow and so on. However, very few of these products have helped identify and measure the waste in your process.

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Cycle Time goes Visual

Cycle time (or System Lead Time as some call it) is one of the most common metrics used to measure the effectiveness of a Kanban system. Cycle time is the time taken by a Kanban card to move from start to end on the board (or some part thereof). As you start using a Kanban system and implementing its principles, ideally the cycle time of the system should reduce. In David Anderson’s initial blogs “” he has clearly emphasized the importance of reducing the lead or cycle time of a Kanban system. Besides the obvious advantage of “faster-time-to-market” or faster delivery of value to customer, lead time reduction usually mean reduction of wait times in the overall workflow as the Kanban system helps to highlight and reduce different types of waste, including time between handoffs, blocked time due to waiting on external (or internal) dependencies, etc.

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Portfolio Lane: Revolutionizing Portfolio Kanban!!!!

Enterprise/ Portfolio Kanban has for some time provided a visual method of defining and managing portfolios in a much easier manner compared to traditional PPM tools.  Kanban Boards can be set up at different levels of the organization to track a portfolio of initiatives, programs, or product releases and their underlying projects or work items can be visualized and tracked far more easily than ever possible traditionally.  (To learn more about SwiftKanban’s existing Portfolio Kanban capability, please click here.)

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