why use kanban

Kanban started as a scheduling system developed by Taiichi Ohno that revolutionized the automotive industry and was the foundation of the Toyota production system. Later, David Anderson defined Kanban for knowledge work application, and it gained massive popularity across the software sector, IT operations, engineering, marketing, etc. Businesses of all types are using it.

We, at Kanbanize, have always been searching to answer the question “Why do more and more companies use Kanban?” Not just because we want to satisfy our curiosity, but because we want to find a rational explanation. So, we decided to dig deeper and try to discover the main reasons behind the method’s popularity.

Why Use Kanban?  

In fact, companies that use Kanban manage to increase their overall performance. We’ve personally heard this so many times. It improves productivity, efficiency, and so on. 

However, there are very few statistical facts that tell us “Why Kanban?”.  

Until 2021.  

This year marks the 1st State of Kanban Report, a report based on an extensive survey that received more than 1000 responses from across the globe.   

Without any further ado, let’s see what the data tells us.  

Note: The following data were derived from the official 1st State of Kanban Report. Results are based on more than 1000 received responses. 

Top reasons why companies want to use Kanban. /Expectations/ 

  • Improve visibility of Work – 78% 
  • Continuous improvement – 56 %  
  • Increase delivery speed/throughput – 44% 
  • Improve lead time – 42%  
  • Improve Responsiveness to Business Needs – 40%  
  • Improve Predictability or Reduce Risk – 32% 

Main benefits of adopting Kanban. /Reality/ 

  • Increased visibility of flow – 78% 
  • Improved delivery speed/throughput – 52%  
  • Alignment between business OKRs and delivery work – 45%  
  • Improved predictability – 42%  
  • Improved ability to manage scale and dependencies – 28%  
  • Improved quality – 27%  

Is Kanban more effective compared to other methods/frameworks that you used? 

  • More effective – 42% 
  • Much more effective – 34%  
  • Somewhat the same – 13% 
  • I am not sure – 10 %  
  • Less effective – 1%  

Additionally, we made this infographic below that summarizes the top reasons why companies consider using Kanban and the main benefits they see after implementing it. We hope you will find it helpful.  

But if you want to find more detailed information about the 1st State of Kanban Report, like Top industries that use Kanban; Is Kanban training important? and more, download the full report now.  

why use kanban infographic

(click on the infographic to enlarge)

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This post has been updated by our editors. It was originally published on the Kanbanize blog in January 2018. 

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