Thursday, April 7, 2016

From Automobiles to Software Development - An Introduction to Kanban

“The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.”
- Bill Gates
Efficiency Is a buzz word of today’s technology. The more we focus on this state better would be performance taking the business to greater heights.This is where Kanban, a lean approach to agile development has aided the users into better arena.
Fig 2 properties and effects of Kanban
“Why?” is the phrase used quite often whenever a new technology takes its first step into the real world. The answer to this “why??” is a set of value-added functions the system assures to provide. Transparency in their doings, removing the obstacle by scanning the holdups, enhancing team communication, empowering the team to handle the process and believing in team work are the functions accompanied with the topic of interest.

Fig 3 images of kanban card sourced from Seton

Working of the system in Industrial Division:
The developer Taiichi Ohno, industrial engineer at Toyota visualized the doings in the supermarket to the working of the productions sectors. The initiative was taken to setup self-stocking techniques in an industrial environment. A detailed survey of the customer demands is a key to bring the concept into play. A thought given to the survey report suggests the demand-forecast to be proposed for the working of the scheme. Once the demand number is finalized the count of cards to be used by each subdivision is calculated. This count remains a constant unless there is any variation in customer demand and helps preserve the upper limit of work-in-progress for that particular instant of time.
In the created demand-driven system the manual kanban card as portrayed in the fig 3 is made to travel through the supply chain.  The card signals the outcome of the former phase – depletion of products, part or inventory. This insufficiency testimony aids in restocking of the deficient. The kanban cards are physically attached before dispatching the part. This card is later collected and reused to keep a count on the cards of subdivision. This mechanism suggests next division in the process cycle to use the processed part when necessary. This is how the system is made useful in a manufacture and assembly section like automobile, inventory, transportation and essay to name a few.

Fig 4 image sourced from Crisp AB

Working of the system in software
A talk about the software or its products…differ every day, use of different functionalities leads to something new and dissimilar from the previous one.  Software development differs from any manufacturing unit in its creation. Production is an approach taken in software world which assures high chances of succeeding while development is an approach resulting in lower scale in the path of success. To bring the thought into play in the computer world, email notifications have replaced manual card-driven techniques. Indication of depletion of the component is followed by “kanban trigger” generated either manually or automatically by the system. The trigger message defines the predefined quantity with time interval to be posted to the supplier. An empty cart conveys the user to refill the cart.
“Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success”
- Henry Ford
One of the terms used in any project development is “Team work”. To proceed with the thought, the status of the project should be kept transparent from other players of the project. Many verbs attached to the status- in progress, tested, accepted, blocked etc. imparts better understanding of the outcome. Posting the status of the work as portrayed in the fig 4 helps in maintaining pace with each other.
“Divide each difficulty into as many parts as is feasible and necessary to resolve it”
- Rene Descartes
A project taken up is broken down into multiple tasks. The development uses karban in two levels. A project level depicts the user story and team level which represents the task to be undertaken. The pull string can be activated by enabling the downstream process to signal the upstream process to begin with it’s working.

Reaching the end of the study, technologies ascend with quality and performance has to be its measuring yardstick. To add values to the terms, gaining better control over the system acts as a key. The solution to wide spread process-control varying from manufacturing industrial sectors like automobiles to software development is keyed as “Kanban”. For anyone who is still finding it difficult to understand Kanban difficult there are always options like Information science assignment help, to make their life easier. The system aids the user in gaining better control over the process and providing the other players of the team a visual view of the process status. The system builds better team enhancing the communication among them and increasing the trust in one another.