As the world becomes more competitive, it is increasingly important to ensure that systems and improvement projects are well managed. Organizations will always be involved in activities geared towards gaining them a competitive advantage, and projects are the means via which this cutting or bleeding edge is accomplished.
Over time, various project management styles have evolved. We are now in the paradigm of the Lean Movement or methodologies that mimic elements of the process. This article will focus on the Agile Project Management methodology, and a suitable tracking tool that will make the process seamless across the organization.
Agile Project Management takes place in a very cyclic and iterative manner, due to the fact that the ultimate aim is to ensure that customers are being engaged with during product development, and any critical changes can be facilitated along the product life cycle.
As with all processes, the drive is always towards a digital alternative. The advantage of utilizing software as a project management tool is that the bigger picture of a project can easily be seen by the entire project team. Traditional Kanban project management is more a pen and paper, or marker and white board activity, which restricts access and visibility across the chain.
With software, as work flows are defined, the entire process can be visualized, and a seamless execution can be facilitated. Regardless of the industry, these virtual lean optimization tools are proving to be quite effective as overarching project management tools. Activity statuses can easily be tracked, regardless of location.
Kanban software systems allow improved auxiliary activities such as effective and instantaneous cross functional team communication. As with any lean system, the usual facilitated style enables tracking of the project activities.
Any thing that’s measured gets managed and the right software will enable feedback that facilitates the determination of actual project conditions to their targets. With the right parameters identified, the system can automatically pull the relevant data, or be linked to a system that does this, and have the data readily available for the team to assess, in real time.
The Kanban Software is built with lean in mind, and the expanded process-oriented focus is readily facilitated. As you work through the Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle, visualizing will be a breeze. Once the first phase is executed correctly, the rest of the process will flow seamlessly.
The Advantages of Kanban Software
While the traditional Kanban practice involves a lot of stationery usage, the Kanban software aims to computerize the process. The same activities practiced in a traditional sense are simply implemented in a digital medium. This makes the process more mobile, and easily trackable over time across the relevant cross functional teams. As the project activities are executed, various advantages can be accessed.
Process Analysis is the baseline of process decision making. Via integration of collected data with the Kanban software, process data can readily be accessed and analyzed. In the normal process management style, in an A3 manner, system data can be collated to gather a process background and current condition, as well as to help identify a target condition that can be worked towards.
Over time, as changes are made, the process can be assessed and any optimization opportunities identified. If there are any suitable action plans associated with a metric, teams will be able to easily see them, as well as their associated responsible person.
Team work makes the dream work. Manufacturing and service systems are linked streams of unit operations that work together to satisfy the customer. Across the supply chain, it will be important for there to be open communication across various customer and supplier boundaries.
If there any bottlenecks, they’ll be readily detected by the system and any critical communication between the relevant parties can be facilitated. As this communication is widespread, more alignment with the organization’s overall vision will be readily embraced. Virtual work becomes a seamless effort as all parties will have a central tracking tool that all persons can access.
Kanban Board Software
Many popular Kanban Software Boards such as Trello are used to track the progress of various organizational projects. Trello allows you to create multiple boards with a multitude of functionalities that enables project status to be assessed in real time. Additional tools exist, the list is by no means exhaustive and it is in the best interest of the organization to research the options that exist, in order to ensure that the right tool is being used for the projects at hand.
If your projects are simple, you’ll be better off using the simpler software, and if the needs are expansive, ensure that your provider can provide the relevant space that will capture all of your data. Many scalable Kanban tools exist, so explore the market.