Ever enjoyed the sight of a team of barista’s serving a huge amount of espresso in a matter of minutes? Not only your local macdonald’s has a great kanban system to learn from!
The typical old fashioned coffee bar features a cashier, a coffee maker and the barista to take the clients’ orders. The client first pays at the cashier for his order, gets a ticket to hand out to the barista. Then the barista puts the designated saucer and coffeespoon for either a ristretto, espresso, latte or americano in front of the client: A kanban (signal) for the coffee maker on where to deliver his next cup of freshly brewed coffee. No talking needed, fully poka yoke (mistake proof). Plus straight forward communication: No saucer means no need to make any coffee. When demand is low, the team may settle for other jobs: doing the dishes, cleaning the floor or even making other products: snacks or pastry to be sold seperately…
It’s a traditional old school European example of a lean kanban system – which is serving us greatly for ages -.
So, just see your kanban board as the counter. Then the clients’ calls or cards are the saucers and the work for your client is a great cup of coffee -to be enjoyed again and again-.