Pros & Cons Of The Kanban Method In Project Management

Esther Cohen
November 2, 2022
2 minute read

With all things in life, nothing is perfect; everything comes with its advantages and disadvantages. So too, the kanban methodology is extremely beneficial for some projects, yet falls short due to its simplicity in more detailed and complex projects. Here we will highlight the advantages of kanban in project management, as well as the reasons why at times you might find the kanban methodology to be a disadvantage. You be the judge, and choose the project management methodology that will help you manage your project most efficiently.

 

4 Benefits of Kanban

1. Task Clarity

Laying out your project tasks on a kanban board makes it clear what the team needs to do to progress on the project. With kanban cards, you can give your team the details they need to take on their tasks.

 

When using project management kanban board tools like Workamajig, you can input a description of the task, subtasks (to-do list), deadline, progress status, and even conversations related to the task. This can equip team members with everything they need for individual progress.

 

2. Status Alignment

Seeing your team's status on your kanban board will minimize your need to look over their shoulders and pester them for status updates. At a glance, you can see which tasks are being worked on and which ones are finished.

As for your team members, they'll quickly know:

  • What progress have we made in the project?
  • What are my teammates doing?
  • What am I supposed to be doing?
  • What am I not supposed to be doing?

Ensuring everyone is aligned will help your team become more independent and self-initiating.

 

3. Improved Team Efficiency

The kanban project management helps you and your project team visualize your workflow, set clear priorities, and quickly spot bottlenecks. These will help you become more effective as a team because everyone's energies will be directed to the right things at the right time.


4. Better Focus And Avoid Burnout

High task visibility makes your team members worry less about forgetting important things. This will allow them to focus on their tasks at hand.

Managing team focus and attention are how the kanban approach in agile can help you avoid waste. Even if you don't deal with physical materials as engineers do in manufacturing, it's essential to acknowledge that time and energy are also finite resources. Burnouts can happen when not managed well, resulting in low output quality.

 

Disadvantages Of The Kanban Framework

 

1. Project Schedule Management

The kanban project management methodology is excellent because of its simplicity. However, with a lack of time frames and schedule details (unlike how it is with a Gantt chart), it might be difficult to predict when tasks are expected to be completed and when the whole project can be finished as a whole. Estimating will be challenging if your kanban board is your only tool to track your projects.

 

2. Complexity Limitations

Kanban boards are effective as long as they don't get too overwhelming for the team to use. When managing big projects using kanban in teams, consider using swimlanes to add layers of an organization to your kanban boards.

Without proper maintenance, your kanban board might become too complex and prove counterproductive for your team's efficiency.

 

3. Updates Are Essential

It would be best if you kept your boards up-to-date for the kanban methodology to work optimally. This will require discipline from you and your team members. Using a project management software like Workamajig will make updating your board easy and intuitive.

 

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