板 (Kanban) and 改善 (Kaizen ) are my two favorite words in the Japanese language. Granted, I don’t know all that many Japanese words, but these two hold a special place in my heart in both my work and home life. And when used correctly in any IT operations or application development scenarios, they can be a game changer.

Kanban, one of many Agile software development methodologies, translates to sign or billboard. It is a visual representation of the tasks, functionality and ideas to be delivered on a continuous basis. Simply put, it is a prioritized to-do list so you or your team can pull the highest priority task from the top of the list. Not to be confused with first in, first out (FIFO), the to-do list or backlog is dynamic. The priorities constantly shift to meet the ebb and flow of demands.

I use the old-school, post-it Kanban method for home remodel projects. My husband and I would argue about who was going to do what or in some cases we would finish something and not realize there was another task ready to start. By prioritizing our to-do list on an accessible visual task board, we don’t have to argue about who is going to do what. Pulling from the top of the list keeps it fair.

Are you using Scrum today, but have ever-changing priorities? Are you tired of hearing, the sprint is locked from your development team? Are you continuously delivering new functionality for your product? Do you have a home remodel project to manage? The Kanban method could be right for you.

Did you know you can create personal and team Kanban boards in ServiceNow? Check out ServiceNow Visual Task Boards for more information.

In my next blog, I’ll share details about my other love, Kaizen.