What is kanban and how does it organize processes in companies?


What is kanban and how does it organize processes in companies?

Kanban System

The Kanban system is more present in our daily lives than you might think. You may not know it by that name, but you certainly benefit or have benefited from it.

A work routine demands organization – and you know it very well. If we ask you if you know what Kanban is, your answer would possibly be “no”, right?

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But what if we say you’re possibly looking at it pasted on your monitor screen?

The famous “post-its”, these little notebooks and sticky tape, are good examples of the Kanban system and its application. As long as it’s organized, obviously.

But, of course, it’s much bigger than a piece of paper – however useful it is.

Kanban is present in large projects, processes and also systems.

There is a methodology behind its concept and also its application.

And that’s what we’ll talk about from now on in this article.

Let’s check what it is?

Good reading!

What is Kanban and what is its origin?

Kanban is nothing more than an agile and also a visual system. Its purpose is to have complete management of the tasks that are carried out within the company – or in a specific sector.

That’s what it offers managers – get management fast. See the teams’ work rate and all relevant information.

Through it, it is possible to monitor deliveries, the workload that each employee has, for example.

Being visual, this tracking is much easier. After all, it works through a column and card layout.

These, by the way, the more colorful the better. As such, each color can signify either a specific task type or a different task status.

This makes it easier for anyone looking at one of these cards to understand. By the color, you will already know what it is about and what “foot” it is.

But, importantly: remember not to confuse Kanban with a “to do list”. After all, it tracks the status of tasks until they are delivered.

Okay, but where did this really come from?

How about a little history to understand the origin of this system?

The origin of the word Kanban is Japanese. Its meaning refers to “card”.

The automaker Toyota named it that way was responsible, obviously, for creating this methodology .

It emerged as a part of the Toyota Production System. This occurred after a need the company noticed.

How to control the stock of materials to a point that is not lacking or over raw material?

The search for balance between what was produced and what was stored led to the search for a solution.

For this, it was necessary to have visual control and in the most real-time possible.

From there, some colored cards organized in columns were developed. Each was a product or else a status of manufacture.

The colors, on the other hand, represented their level of urgency to produce – or else to restock.

How does Kanban work and where is it applied?

Now that you have a better understanding of this system, let’s go ahead.

We saw that its origins go back to the factory, but today its usefulness has broken through the barriers of the industry.

It is a powerful task management tool. It is often used with teams of sales, marketing, systems development, among many others.

It is often used by sales teams, where sales control is much easier to take place.

But to understand why it is used in so many segments, we need to understand how it works.

And their division is pretty simple actually. There is a division into 3 parts basically.

  1. Card – will bring the information relevant to the task. It can be the description of it, pure and simple, but we can go further and put responsible for it, priority level, delivery date, among others. Also, it is important to note that in many places it can be interesting to separate a color for each person on the team. That way, she will automatically know that activity is hers.
  2. Columns – is the representation of the status of the cards (read: tasks). In a basic separation, we can think of 3 types of columns: to be done, running and completed. Therefore, as the status changes, the cards must be moved column so that visually the control keeps working.
  3. Frame – this is nothing more than an object or space where the cards will be glued and where the columns will be drawn. A frame means a Kanban. Even so, if this system is applied in different sectors within the company, make a frame for each team.

Nice! And where is it applied?

As we mentioned before, although he was born in the industry, his application broke that limit.

Process management, let’s face it, is a necessity for any segment. Even, in reality, anyone.

If there is a process and if there are defined steps, then this system will possibly work for that mission.

No wonder it is common for Kanban to be present at the time of:

  • develop inbound marketing campaigns ;
  • control the sales funnel ;
  • software and product development;
  • provide services;
  • manage all types of internal processes;
  • between others.

What are the advantages of applying Kanban?

It can be in the office or even in the industry, it doesn’t matter.

The benefits of implementing this system follow the same path.

It serves to allow companies and employees to do more and better their activities – regardless of what they are.

Therefore, we have separated 4 benefits of its application.

Between them:

1 – Greater productivity

Adopting Kanban makes the right tasks prioritized. To do this, just match which color will represent the most urgent demand.

From there, the manager will be able to have much better control of what is being done.

The teams will focus on what is really needed and urgent, focusing efforts on this delivery.

2 – Cost reduction

Time is money. Okay. It’s a cliché, but it’s also true.

From the moment there is team autonomy and increased productivity, there is – obviously – a reduction in costs.

People will spend fewer hours doing the same activities and will be able to further qualify their delivery – especially by joining the 5S methodology at this time.

Doing more at the same time, delivering better, makes it much easier for any company to scale its growth, doesn’t it?

Expand the sector, hire more professionals… that’s what you want.

3 – Autonomy for those who do

Kanban is synonymous with autonomy

Knowing what needs to be done and when the delivery should take place, the employee automatically has more autonomy.

It will organize your day to day.

If we think about a sales routine, the salesperson can do self-management, knowing how many calls he needs to make, or sending emails, for example.

By being visual, those who are in the operational area are able to know the progress of their activities.

Still,  in the example of the commercial sector, this is essential for teams to know at what level their negotiations are going.

And this is essential to know the sales forecast for example.

4 – Collaborative spirit

Because it’s a visual system and also clear (it’s written what needs to be done and when), a collaborative spirit can appear in your teams.

That’s because everyone will have to look at the task board – this, of course, in companies that choose to leave it open for everyone.

One can help the other in carrying out tasks, meeting deadlines.

This empathy will end up bringing great gains to the organizational culture of companies.

Online Kanban in Sales: Agility and Productivity

Monitoring the sales process is one of the most sensitive “pains” that a sales manager can have.

Know the level of negotiations, control the volume of opportunities. Manage the sales team, pre-sales …

Knowing about businesses that are stagnant, or in follow-up stages … phew!

There are so many “tips” for this process, isn’t it?

That’s why pipeline management needs to take place within the kanban system. Only it will give the control, productivity and autonomy that companies need.

And when this happens online, it is much easier to have this real-time of everything that happens in the sales sector.

In this way, it is possible to have:

Centralized information

Everything that is relevant to the activity is there. Responsible, deadline, point of contact, urgency… whatever is necessary for it to be carried out in the best way possible.

More than that. Doing online, you don’t run “silly” risks like a card simply peeling off your board.

This way, the salesperson has a complete look of the sales funnel in kanban format and is able to work better on the opportunities that are open – both when selling and when qualifying the lead.

Full control over sales

The headache of not knowing what is being sold and how it happens within companies ends.

The area manager, with access to the funnel of all his managers, is able to know who is doing what – and at what pace.

This is essential for the ongoing qualification of the business process.

More than that, it is fundamental for decision making within sales strategies, helps in performance evaluation and gives insights at the time of feedback.

After all, companies need to focus on the customer – and this involves being able to control what and how it is sold.

Improvement that leads to productivity

How to identify bottlenecks within the commercial sector without having a system that is visual and informative?

An online pipeline, in kanban format, allows the director to identify where sales management is failing.

With constant monitoring, the improvement of salespeople within their day-to-day work – and even speech – will make more sales occur in less time.

If necessary, invest in sales training, in coaching. Everything needed to improve the way the company sells.

Which will lead to cost savings – as we talked about some topics above. Improve, produce more and do more with less.

That’s what a Kanban-style sales funnel does. Thus, with the digital transformation – and only in this way – it is possible to have commercial control of companies.

By opting for a sales system that has a pipeline in this way, along with automatic actions and integrations, what really matters within your company is much easier to happen: sell more and better.

So, how can we help you?

If you have any doubts about how the Kanban system is applied in conjunction with sales, talk to a consultant today.

Enjoy and read two articles that will help you better understand this content.

The first talks about what CRM is, how the Kanban system is applied to it and how it boosts sales in companies.

The second is actually a free eBook for you to structure your sales funnel in a practical and simple way.

Good sales!


The Kanban system is more present in our daily lives than you might think. You may not know it by that name, but you certainly benefit or have benefited from it. A work routine demands organization – and you know it very well. If we ask you if you know what Kanban is, your answer would possibly be “no”, right?…