How kanban can help you increase your team's capacity

Digital kanban board
A multi-phase kanban board. The numbers next to phase titles are Work-In-Progress (WIP) limits.
kanban is a pull system. You pull work only when there is capacity to handle it. This works well in a factory setting because you know exactly how much capacity you have. In knowledge work, however, it is likely that you do not really know what your team is capable of because:

If you want to know your team's capacity, you have to limit the number of tasks they work on at the same time. This is called a Work In Progress (WIP) limit in kanban. Once you limit WIP, several interesting things will happen:

The first two results are not very surprising because by introducing WIP limits, you have effectively eliminated multitasking, but how on earth, do tasks get finished faster?

kanban, with its pull-system and WIP limits, allows you to discover your team's true capacity, and the result is a team with better and sustainable performance.

Related Article: How kanban can help you measure productivity

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