Apply Strategic Planning with Kanban to revolutionize your company’s delivery capacity

Several methods and tools have been developed so that activities, in all sectors of a company, are carried out more effectively.

Having a well-designed Action Plan and an efficient method of execution, such as Kanban, is undoubtedly one of the ways most used by many companies to ensure productivity.

In this post, you will see the bond between good strategic planning with Kanban boards.  Let’s see, below, how Kanban can help to realize your company’s Action Plan.

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Why is it important to define an Action Plan?

Since we’re talking about productivity, all you can’t do is start the day facing many activities that must be performed, without a minimum order of which to perform first.

An Action Plan is a guideline of which activity must be carried out at any given time so that an objective can be reached, in the shortest period of time and avoiding waste of resources.

A well-defined Action Plan is created in 4 steps:

1. Initiation

It is the definition of goals. What results do we intend to archieve.

2. Planning

In this step, the order of execution of the activities is defined and all the resources and knowledge that will be involved in the full execution of the necessary actions are listed.

3. Monitoring

It is the follow-up of the actions that are being carried out and also the verification of the results of the activities already carried out. Important to validate an action or if there is a need for any adjustment.

4. Closing

It is in this phase that all the records of the learning obtained about the executed plan are made. These records will serve as a basis for defining other Action Plans necessary for the development of the business.

The execution of the Action Plan

As we have seen, one of the steps of an Action Plan is execution and this is the step we want to develop in this post.

It is in the execution that the planned activities come out of the paper. There is a method that aims to increase the efficiency of carrying out the most varied activities of a company. We are talking about kanban. Based on visual references, it is a system that has helped many managers to implement their Action Plans.

4 reasons to use SWOT analysis in strategic planning

1. Understand the market and your position in it

SWOT analysis is a key to the success of Strategic Planning. Those who do not use it or who do not perceive such protagonism are likely to analyze at some point but did not take it into account when it mattered most to be effective when identifying threats and opportunities, and strengths and weaknesses, you need to consider them when defining your objectives, actions, and goals; in many cases, the raison d’être of an objective, a goal, or an action is the point identified in the SWOT.

The lack of an adequate – collaborative SWOT analysis, and of a critical and realistic look at everything that is identified in it, sums up the problem well.

The fact is, this exercise is very important as it helps to establish a more solid starting point – which guarantees more effective action taken, path management, ent, and, consequently, more effective final results.

2. Recognize the processes that need improvement

Internally, SWOT analysis is very useful to identify bottlenecks in processes. This is considering that bottlenecks are those problems that often do not surface. They are there, hampering the progress of the operation but go unnoticed in the day-to-day business.

This perception is possible due to the identification of weaknesses in the SWOT analysis. You can, for example, identify in the analysis that you have a specific strength; but if your competitors have it too, or if they are even better than you, then that strength gives you no competitive advantage.

Likewise, you may have a weakness that represents the equivalence of strength, meaning your strength is being nullified.

By identifying all of these, it is much easier to create action plans for differentiation. In this way, your strategic planning will be much more aligned with a business expansion approach.

3. Detect and retain threats

With the ever-changing market, many threats are not easily or fully measurable.

SWOT analysis can help you detect these risks and threats, making you reflect on context and impacts. From this, it will be easier to insert the necessary actions in the strategic planning and to set up a task force to work around or solve the problems and keep advancing.

4. Identify real opportunities

Opportunities can also be hidden. As mentioned earlier, SWOT analysis is also an exercise in detecting evolution points; how to sell more, how to be more profitable, what new markets to enter, etc.

With opportunities as a guide, strategic planning is no longer based on assumptions or beliefs and becomes more focused on real results.

Kanban and cash management

The great advantage of Kanban is that, with this method, it is possible to see the processes, tasks, and actions happening. Each task or action is identified by a color and placed on a board according to its occurrence. As we’ve already mentioned, an action can be in one of these three situations:

To do – When you wait for another action to finish so it can be started. It is for this reason that bottlenecks can be identified.
Running – The card of the task being performed is moved to the “running” column of the Kanban board. In addition to identifying the task, the person responsible and the deadlines for execution provided for in the Action Plan are also identified.
Completed – When the task is completed, its respective card is moved to the “completed” column with notes such as time and date of completion of the action.
The colors used on the cards associated with each activity, sector, or person in charge, further increase the visibility of the status of each task. Cards can have a variety of formats as well.

Flexible and Scalable

Which forces them to re-evaluate their goals, and rearrange their priorities. Making it challenging to align the daily activities and strategic initiatives with the changing objectives.

The traditional strategic planning approaches suggest generating a thorough list of strategic initiatives, connected with their budgets and detailed plans. This type of execution implies the way forward is clear and the only variable is how efficiently you get the work done.

And it’s effective if you are doing something you’ve done before and performing repetitive work in a stable environment. But in today’s business world, this concept of straightforward execution is most likely to fail.

Kanban and the company’s Action Plan

Elaborating on an Action Plan is essential for a company’s tasks to be carried out more effectively. And it is in the execution where everything that was planned starts to happen.

It is, without doubt, the most important step in a plan. Kanban plays an essential role in the execution of actions.

With this method, not only can you follow the tasks being performed, but it is also possible to visually manage the fluidity as they occur.

If necessary, adjustments can be made at the exact moment a problem occurs. Kanban, without a doubt, is a method that can help a lot to materialize your company’s Action Plan.

Full Alignment

Keep in mind that connecting the overall strategy to day-to-day work is a two-way process that does not end with your work breakdown and board creation.

Occasionally, you need to have a top-down look and check whether boundaries and teams’ focus areas are still in place. The focus areas should be derived from the business plan and overarching business strategy.

They should also be accompanied by clearly defined and measurable end goals. Then, looking bottom-up, you need to ensure individuals understand their work, and how and to which goals and objectives the tasks they perform contribute.

If there are any misunderstandings about what should be done and why there might be a lack of focus or a misalignment of the goals. Either way, you should go back to the Kanban boards and adjust them accordingly.

Benefits of Kanban as a Management Control Tool

Kanban not only brings gains in management effectiveness and efficiency, but it can also stimulate teams. Among several benefits that the adoption of the Kanban method brings to the strategy, we identified some very relevant:

  • Reduction of time spent for the execution of processes, with actions in sequence and attention to key items in progress;
  • Your employees are less idle because they visualize their work, understand deadlines, and seek satisfaction by recording the tasks performed on their “wall”;
  • It does not generate resistance in its application as it is simple and objective to implement
  • Focus on the quality of work, with attention from task to task;
  • It eliminates bottlenecks and wasted efforts and inputs, as it naturally highlights activities that do not generate value to the organization;
  • Visual workflow with headlamps that bring notions of priority;
  • Allows you to limit ongoing and planned items;
  • Assists feedbacks, results in analysis meetings, and decision making, as they can be made based on the accumulated tasks in the Kanban columns;
  • Standardization of workflows, regardless of the process;
  • Guaranteed continuous learning from small changes.

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