Kaizen and Kanban: The most Desirable Problem solving Methods of Agile


The business consists of many problems, and those problems are waiting to be solved. There are tons of methods and approaches to get rid of these. But finding a strategy that can solve the problems without sacrificing anything with enhancement in productivity is what challenging to achieve.

So, today, I would like to discuss the three methods of Lean-Agile that has got the acknowledgment of many leaders as first-rate models to control your work process as per the client needs. Read more to know the Agile Product Development with the Kaizen mindset and Kanban visualization method.

Kaizen (Kai = Change, Zen = Good)

The term "Kaizen" means Continuous Development in the course of change. Masaaki Imai officially introduced the practice in his book Kaizen: The Key to Japan's Competitive Success in 1986. Since then, it has been widely used in Agile for many years.

What is Constant Improvement?

The constant improvement means the flow of development of productivity in any circumstance. And the flow is from both sides of the organization, from one individual in a small team to the highest degree employee and vice versa.

The motive of Kaizen:

"Kaizen is a mindset that should evolve into an integrated part of your personality" -- Troels Richter

  • To create a better workplace to achieve a good result.
  • Awareness of the current scenario by being present "Gemba" (The real place) as a person.
  • Elimination of overburdened things that are impacting your employee's work life.
  • Developing people skills to innovate and adapt.
  • Waste (unnecessary extra preparation to do the work) reduction.
  • It is increasing productivity by analyzing problems up to the root.
  • We are gathering everyone under one Shared Vision by defining goals to all the working members.

To develop your actions for success, you don't always have to take significant steps. The Kaizen methodology is about doing little changes at a time. A group of change agents would supervise it. If necessary, they will give improvement suggestions, and the organization will adapt to those.

Unlike Kaizen, in the normal process, usually, organizations get stuck in the solving process even if they continuously monitor their improvement areas. Months after month, the repetition of this futile attempt gets carried out without any sign of change.

Kanban (The card you can see)

Toyota introduced the Kanban system in the 1950s. When Toyota's Taiichi Ohno was observing a store, where they were following the practice of Today's Kanban. In the store, only the needed amount of products came to the audience sight, not too much or too little. The store keepers would replace the product if the need changes or empty places appeared after selling. Toyota developed this mindset to the development process called "Just - In - Time" of product manufacturing.

In today's Agile, Kanban is the tool to fulfill customer's orders on time. Kanban used in different development sectors, to compress the amount of work in progress according to the team's capacity.

The motive of Kanban:

"It is said that improvement is eternal and infinite. It should be the duty of those working with Kanban to keep improving it with creativity and resourcefulness without allowing it to become fixed at any stage." -- Taiichi Ohno

  • Creating flexibility in people and work culture.
  • A balanced environment by doing one job at a time.
  • Prioritization of work in the backlog by the Product Owner.
  • You are optimizing the work process on a regular interval to keep up with the Client's needs.
  • You are making the team from outside impacts of change by moving the cards in between the columns.
  • Maximum and quicker value delivery by doing effective planning.
  • The Clear focus and continuous transparency through the product flow.
  • Grasp over current state affairs like - client needs, readjusting work by seeing the needs, visualization of the whole process at a time.



This is the usual scenario of the Product downstream. As you can see, the client comes in two stages. One is at the initial stage, and the second is the final stage of trials and Rating from the developers and testers. What will happen if something goes wrong here: Like the coders do wrong in programs, testers fail to do QA in time, the team misunderstood the requirements. The product owner arbitrarily gives work without a sense of urgency, and the client needs suddenly change.

What do you think will happen? The time delay in delivering, again readjusting, may be restarting. It may be possible that your client will not get much time to launch or advertise the Product in the market when the demand is at its peak.


Editor's Note: Original blog was published on: Jul 1, 2016

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