How to improve workflow with Kanban

Allowing teams to analyze their current work can reveal bottlenecks that allow everyone to work more efficiently to complete projects.

If you, as a marketing team, are involved in a process that prevents you from getting started quickly, you may have an energy problem.

A flow problem occurs when internal processes of your business cause bottlenecks and start a lot of marketing work, but are interrupted at some point in the line, usually due to management dependency or due to regulations or other approvals.

Kanban is a flexible structure used by many marketing teams. Some of Kanban’s benefits for marketers include:

• Add value to customers faster.

• Promote team renewal and assignments.

• It is the easiest flexible structure to start with.

Start with what you know

The reason why Kanban is the simplest structure for traders to start with is that one of the principles is “start what you do now”. There is no need to discover new features for Kanban or reorganize people, at least not initially.

Kanban seeks to bring people closer to work to analyze their current way of working to find out where the bottlenecks are in the workflow.

A marketing team I worked with hired the marketing director to apply for the position. Delivery dates can only be a few days or weeks, depending on availability.

The team grouped different work items based on the type of flow to be measured. The different types of articles have been published in the press, social networks, and commercial promotions. They found that bidding was late and focused on removing the barriers.

Dedicated to evolutionary change

A lot of people think that Kanban has a ‘Kanban board’, but that’s only part of the structure. Most are the idea that people at all levels of the organization have the power to pursue evolutionary change.

Evolutionary change is a very powerful thing! It’s not just a team member who has an idea and expects management to do something about it.

Evolutionary change means that the team will not be satisfied with ‘this is the way we always work’. The organization must encourage and embrace the team to look for real and meaningful changes that significantly improve workflow progress.

The marketers I worked with were able to show the VP how work got stuck in the queue and ask what to do to gain their trust. Although he was unwilling to cancel everything right away, he wanted the team to reject less risky items.

For Kanban to work, the team must continue to demonstrate that it can improve flow by changing the current system. This may not happen overnight, but it does require the team and leaders to take that position.

Limit the work in progress

Most marketers I know have a lot of work to do. We are transforming our industry into ‘more is better and we are rewarded based on the amount of content we can produce, rather than the value each brings to our customers.

Kanban means constantly limiting work and doing things with quality instead of creating more and more projects.

A Kanban team determines the current work limit (WIP) based on the progress of the work. If the team’s WIP is more than two, team members can be inactive. However, it is very rare to find a team with a very low WIP. We usually have a lot of WIP! If a team sets WIP to 10, many objects can collapse. The team may then discover that 5 is the right number for them, enough to keep them busy, but most elements can quickly flow through the system.

By limiting the work in progress, marketers can focus on composing and responding to customer feedback.

If a team was responsible for social media, it’s common for them to work separately and start as many things as possible at the same time. With Kanban, the team is focused on doing it again, even if it means people doing things that aren’t normally their job.

When we realize that work doesn’t make sense until it’s in the hands of customers, we can focus on doing it instead of starting over.

Getting started with Kanban is easy! Make sure the leaders allow the team to pursue evolutionary change and focus on the final touches, rather than starting too many things.

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