Wrike Kanban Guide

A guide to Kanban teams, tools, and resources

Beginner’s Guide to Kanban Project Management

Kanban project management is an Agile framework used to visualize and improve workflows, reduce waste and inefficiency, and increase team focus by limiting work in progress. First developed by Toyota engineer Taiichi Ohno in the 1940s, Kanban comes from the Japanese word for “sign” or “visual board.” 

While Kanban has its origins in lean manufacturing, the framework has been widely adopted by IT, service delivery, project management, and operations teams across industries. 

Unlike Scrum, Kanban is not based around sprints, ceremonies, and roles. Instead, Kanban is flexible and adapts to existing roles and team structures by categorizing tasks on a Kanban board according to what production phase they are in (To-Do, In Progress, and Complete). 

In this Kanban guide, we’ll cover the principles and fundamentals of Kanban project management and how to use tools like a Kanban card and board for effective task management. In our FAQ sections, we’ll also cover topics like Kanban replenishment, Kanban in SaFe, and how to run a Kanban team.

Finally, look out for our Kanban glossary — a comprehensive overview of key terms and concepts for Kanban teams to know. 

Discover the benefits of Kanban task management and how to leverage this Agile framework for better delivery, production, and project management.