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KANBAN in IT Operations

by Srinivas Saripalli

KANBAN in IT Operations – The techniques used by organisations from around the globe will be briefly explained today. I thought I would share how I have seen the working Kanban method.

I had attended a basic training course on “Understanding kanban” around 7 years ago, so my colleague from another department asked: “Why did you do that? Are you joining the production team? I told him “No, not at the moment. We’re using it ourselves.” Kanban is generally known as a method of production process control, so when you think of production and manufacturing, you think of Toyota and not IT.

KANBAN in IT Operations & how to use it to the advantage of the service lines.

KANBAN in IT Operations & how to use it to the advantage of the service lines.
KANBAN in IT Operations - BLUE AGILE

Kanban is also very effective for IT project development, and that’s what I will now explain in more detail.

Major IT projects are planned and controlled using project methods, and managed and visualised using appropriate software. This procedural approach could be over-dimensioned, as for example, there are no Milestones, and they are often – when analysed individually – not especially complex. However, there are multiple minor activities, so in the best-case scenario, these, too, will reduce throughput time.

The first step is to picture the existing process. For this, a presentation board with post-it notes or cards is utilised and the stations are depicted as columns, referred to as the kanban board. A task is represented by a card that moves from left to right.

Next, you’ll want to figure out the total number of tasks you must complete, known as the WIP limit (WIP = Work in Progress). Too many things get taken on in parallel, and nothing gets done. Concentrated work is assured, which helps them complete tasks more quickly. Tasks cannot be accepted until they are completed, freeing up the necessary capacity. Also, ensure that the completed task cannot be simply shifted to the next column – and thus sent to someone else. And thus here, as well, there are limits, and each task has to be “fetched” on the employee’s own responsibility.

Kanban’s goal is to consistently move in the process to help lower waiting times, resulting in higher throughput. Tasks can be seen on the board, as well as any bottlenecks that may exist. Continuous process improvement can be ensured by conducting regular analyses of the board.

We nearly overdosed on theory. And what happens in practise?

Information Management team members have been using a kanban board for 4 to 9 months then. The point of choosing the kanban board is to serve as an example for all the other boards. A weekly team meeting is held to review the Kanban board with all team members.

Monthly, board management and specialist department reps hold a review meeting using the board of KANBAN in IT Operations. This is where the fun begins. They discuss issues and priorities together. Only eight cards may be posted in the inbox, and it is evident that all issues are of critical importance. Rise of Change Planning of Change Development of Change End of Change Delays can be immediately recognized—whether it is the part of the development people, or when a task has been passed to a specialised department for testing and is not being processed. Also, occasionally, a card found in the middle of the process loses priority because of unforeseen circumstances. This card then moves down into the “graveyard” or to the “Trash” in this case.

Due to this coordination meeting, both sides, the client and the processor, know about the current status of the tasks at all times, thanks to the information management team. This transparency is a big step towards department specialty satisfaction, as before we could not see our processes with the previous methods. Additionally, the Logistics & Transport department influences which tasks are implemented first. Business processes must be clarified before prioritisation and prioritisation can only be accomplished with the proper authority.

Thus far, we’ve seen encouraging results with the kanban method, and we hope that it will help to cultivate a culture of continuous improvement using – KANBAN in IT Operations.

Recommended Reading: Compare : Backlog Management vs. Managing To Do (Kanban, Scrum)

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