In today’s fast-paced business world, efficient project management methodologies are essential for success. Kanban is a proven methodology that involves visualizing workflows and streamlining processes to enhance productivity and optimize the flow of tasks to completion. Kanban has been adopted by many global brands, including Nike, Pixar, Jaguar, Spotify and Zara.
In this article, we demonstrate how Meetingbox’s Project Workflow Management (PWM) serves as the perfect companion to Kanban to elevate your project management game to new heights. Given its focus on visualizing tasks, promoting accountability, and facilitating continuous improvement, Meetingbox’s PWM module offers a powerful tool for both client-facing projects and internal team workflows.
Understanding Kanban and its Core Principles
Kanban originated in Japan as a system for Toyota automotive manufacturing in the 1940s. Over time, it has evolved into a versatile project management methodology applicable to a variety of industries. At its core, Kanban involves creating a visual representation of the workflow, breaking down tasks into manageable units, and ensuring a smooth flow of work from start to completion.
The six core principles of Kanban are:
1.Start with what you are already doing: Kanban emphasizes understanding existing processes and workflows before implementing improvements.
2.Agree to pursue continuous evolutionary change: Instead of sudden transformations, Kanban advocates small, incremental improvements over time.
3.Encourage acts of leadership at all levels: Kanban empowers everyone in the team to use their initiative and suggest improvements.
4.Focus on customer needs and expectations: Understanding customer requirements is crucial for delivering value and quality.
5.Manage the work, not the workers: Kanban respects individual roles and encourages self-organization around tasks.
6.Regularly review the network of services: Collaborative reviews allow teams to share feedback and identify areas for improvement.
Meetingbox’s PWM module aligns seamlessly with Kanban’s principles, enabling teams to harness the power of visual information and optimize workflow. The Task Board in the PWM is a key component that organizes tasks based on the Kanban management system. By reducing work in progress (WIP), the Task Board minimizes multi-tasking and encourages focused completion of tasks, leading to an improved flow overall.
Key Features of Meetingbox’s PWM Task Board:
1.Visual Kanban Board: The PWM Task Board serves as the project plan, presenting project information in columns and cards.
2.Workflow Status: Each column represents a different status, such as ‘To Do’, ‘In Progress’ and ‘Done’, providing a clear view of task progress.
3.Task Cards: Task Cards hold individual work items, encouraging the breakdown of tasks into small, achievable units.
4.Status Tracking: Tasks move through different stages, such as ‘Requested’, ‘In Progress’ and ‘Done’, offering real-time visibility into project status.
5.User-Centric Calendar Integration: Tasks created on the Task Board are synchronized with individual user calendars, fostering seamless collaboration.
Time Tracking & Efficiency Analysis:
One unique feature of Meetingbox's PWM Task Board is its capability to time track based on project tasks. This not only gives a transparent view of the time invested in individual tasks but also enables management to assess efficiency on a project-based level. Through this, managers can pinpoint which tasks consume disproportionate time and resources, thereby providing insights for process optimization.
The most common types of status for tasks are ‘Requested’, ‘In Progress’ and ‘Done’. However, the table below includes additional types of status, which are sometimes useful.
In Meetingbox’s PWM, existing task templates in the Task Board can be readily used for the quick creation of tasks that are used on a regular basis. These templates are customizable and allow for streamlined task creation with predefined details, such as task name, due dates, category, status, priority, and milestones.
The fields are:
Meetingbox’s PWM supports essential Kanban practices for successful implementation:
1. Visual Management: The PWM Task Board is based on the Kanban management system. Kanban is a visual management method that uses a board with columns to represent different stages of work. In Meetingbox, the Task Board represents the flow of tasks from start to completion, and it uses columns, such as ‘Requested’, ‘In Progress’ and ‘Done’ to visualize the progress of tasks.
2. Limit WIP: By using the Task Board, Meetingbox helps in reducing multi-tasking and encourages completing one task before commencing a new one. Limiting WIP improves flow and ensures that team members focus on completing tasks efficiently.
3. Flow Management: The Task Board shows all tasks logged by team members for a particular project. It allows users to track time and progress during different stages of project execution, such as creating payments, invoices, and additional tasks. This supports effective management of the flow of work.
4. Explicit Policies: Meetingbox allows users to set explicit policies for task management, which might include guidelines for assigning tasks, defining task priorities, and managing due dates, for example.
5. Feedback Loops: The ‘Notification System’ in Meetingbox provides feedback loops for users. When a task is created, commented on, or assigned to a user, users receive notifications via the system and email. This facilitates quick communication and updates within the team.
6. Continuous Improvement: Meetingbox enables users to analyze and monitor project progress through various modules like Reports, Finances, Presentations, etc. By using the Kanban system and monitoring task progress, teams can identify areas for improvement and make necessary adjustments.
By incorporating these essential Kanban practices, Meetingbox’s PWM provides a user-friendly and efficient way for event companies to plan, manage, and execute projects, ensuring smoother project workflows and successful implementation.
Here is a simple cheat sheet for you to start elevating your project management skills using Kanban through Meetingbox.