This blog will discuss the three most popular methods for tackling problems in a business: Kanban, Kaizen and Scrum. We’ll also discuss how you can use each of these tools to improve your team’s effectiveness and efficiency as well as solving tough challenges.
Scrum is a popular agile software development methodology that’s been around for over 30 years. It was created by the father of modern management, Dr. Hirotaro Honda. Scrum is composed of three key words: “Sprint”, “Planning Meeting” and “Daily Standup”.
Problem solving is a crucial aspect of company ownership. In fact, you might argue that business is a collection of issues that need to be resolved.
However, things get complex when it comes to determining the best strategy or procedure for addressing any of the hundreds of issues that contemporary businesses confront.
Today, I’d want to talk about three problem-solving techniques that have a track record in the business sector. These are significant concepts that have influenced a lot of businesses, big and small.
Kanban is a production control technique.
To get things started, we’ll look to Japan, a hardworking country. Kanban is a Japanese term that meaning “signboard” or “billboard,” and it’s a notion that’s most frequently used in “lean” or “just in time” manufacturing. Let’s look at the Toyota Corporation in 1940 as an illustration of how the system works.
[pullquote position=”right”]Kanban is a production scheduling system that allows for “just in time” delivery. It literally translates to “signboard” or “billboard” in Japanese.
In its quest to enhance operations, Toyota started searching for inspiration outside of the automobile sector throughout this decade. They soon narrowed their emphasis to supermarkets, particularly the methods used by supermarkets to analyze consumer behavior in order to improve shopping experiences.
Consumers and the shops they shopped in have a deceptively simple relationship: customers typically obtain only the goods they need when they need them, and companies stock just what customers need at any one moment. The ideal synergy. This is precisely what “just in time” manufacturing entails, and it’s critical in any sector that deals with perishable products.
That may seem to be an odd match for the car business, but Toyota realized a key truth: automobiles are perishable products in their own right. Older models are frequently replaced by newer versions, and unsold, obsolete vehicles are a costly burden to keep around.
Even if you’re not a grocery tycoon or a car magnate, the kanban mentality may be applied to almost every contemporary company or sector. Kanbanize CEO Dimitar Karaivanov eloquently explains the essence of kanban in a recent blog post:
“One of the key principles…is to eliminate bottlenecks by setting realistic limitations on how much work is in progress, how much work is requested, and how much work is put on hold. This is not only a good method to prioritize, but it also ensures that no one on your team is overworked.”
The necessity of putting order and priority on systems where the capriciousness of consumerism may cause unexpected twists and turns is what Karaivanov is referring to here.
Consider matching your inventory levels with your customer’s real usage if you’re searching for a way to regulate the pace at which you manufacture a product. Only provide what is required at the time it is required.
Kaizen is a method of continuously improving all operations and all workers.
The term kaizen literally means “improvement,” and it’s another term we’ve stolen from our Chinese and Japanese competitors. When applied to the workplace, kaizen refers to actions aimed at improving every individual function inside a firm, including the way each person operates, from the customer service representative to the CEO, until the whole organization runs like a well-oiled machine.
While it may seem combative, Kaizen promotes individual initiative, attention, and a culture of incremental progress. Amazon serves as an excellent illustration of kaizen in action. Although the retail behemoth has lately been chastised for its corporate culture, it can never be claimed that they are content to sit on their laurels.
Each department inside Amazon’s warehouses—or “fulfillment centers,” as Amazon refers to them—is always on the lookout for wasted or redundant labor and inefficient procedures, according to their interpretation of kaizen. One perceptive employee is all it takes to get the ball rolling, and soon a small group of hand-picked team members gathers to brainstorm—and ultimately test—new solutions to old issues.
To put it another way, kaizen emphasizes the significance of small-scale innovation inside a bigger corporation. It’s a method to humanize the workplace by enabling workers to find solutions to problems that impact not just the company’s financial line but also each employee’s ability to enjoy their work.
Scrum is a flexible approach to product development management.
Finally, consider scrum, a problem-solving methodology that is gaining traction, particularly in the technology industry.
Scrum was born in the realms of product and software development, where creative iteration and cooperation are critical.
Scrum, like kaizen, emphasizes the necessity of predicting and responding to the kind of changes that may stifle progress and cause inefficiency.
Ken Schwaber of Advanced Development Methods came up with the concept in the early 1900s, but it would take a little later for it to be known by its new name.
So, how does scrum in the contemporary workplace look? It usually starts with dividing a week’s worth of chores into smaller priorities. If you want to launch a new homepage on your website, break it down into smaller chunks: write a piece of code, generate pictures, write text, test it, and so on.
Instead of one large job, you’d break it down into smaller chunks, each with its own due date and team member, enabling you to go through the process more quickly and modify it more readily as needed.
Scrum allows us to create modular schedules that emphasize cooperation. It assists us in determining which of our priorities may, for example, play a significant role in the work of another department, as well as which are time-sensitive and which are not. Any kind of development must be able to respond to changes in real time as well as demand from other teams. In order to respond to such circumstances, you’ll need to create an agile schedule.
Finally, some ideas
If you think that free thinking must be repressed in the sake of order and efficiency as a result of studying these three problem-solving techniques, you’re mistaken.
If these approaches didn’t respect (and promote) innovation, they wouldn’t function as effectively as they do.
And who knows what may happen? By experimenting with one of these well-established methods, you may possibly discover a whole new solution.
You won’t know unless you try, as is frequently the case in business.
On the thirteenth edition of The Bcast, Bplan’s official podcast, Peter and Jonathan discuss Kanban, Kaizen, and Scrum. Subscribe to The Bcast on iTunes by clicking here »
Frequently Asked Questions
How will you solve the problem using kaizen?
A: We will use kaizen to improve the quality of our product.
What is the Toyota method for problem solving?
A: The Toyota method is a problem-solving technique that was developed by the Japanese automaker Toyota and has since been used in many other industries.