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How to Measure Kanban Performance

Measuring Kanban performance is an essential part of ensuring your Kanban process is working for your team. There are several primary metrics of the Kanban system that will help you measure Kanban performance. From burndown charts to cumulative flow charts, keeping track of these metrics, especially for your Kanban retrospective meetings, will be critical in understanding where there are bottlenecks and how to avoid them in the future. 

The first primary metric of the Kanban system is the burndown chart, which gives a visual representation of the tasks planned and completed within a specific Kanban board. Project managers can use this information to estimate finish dates for particular tasks based on the team’s current pace. 

Another primary metric of the Kanban system is a lead and cycle time chart that shows the average number of days your tasks take to complete within a certain time. This primary metric is designed to show project efficiency, completion speed, and bottlenecks. 

The final primary metric of the Kanban system is the cumulative flow chart, which gives project managers a composite view of project cards, broken down into Backlog, WIP (work-in-progress), and Completed categories. The project manager can then get a visual understanding of how many tasks have been completed, what is currently being worked on, and the tasks that have yet to be started.

Cumulative flow charts are often used for planning purposes because they give project managers an understanding of which teams are better suited to certain types of tasks based on their performance history.

Further reading
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What Is Kanban?

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Kanban Principles and Practices

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What You Need to Know About Scrumban

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Kanban Project Template