Bottlenecks can happen in any industry. It could happen in a truck company, restaurants, software industry, etc. You could pretty much run into a bottleneck situation in a number of scenarios.

Kanban board vector illustration for agile scrum management and teamwork process methodology. Team people hands sticking work business plan schedule and memo notes on chalkboard

In most cases, unfortunately, bottlenecks are identified only after its occurrence and cause some productivity loss. It’s not always easy to find or resolve once identified. In the article below, we’re going to try help you understand how you can identify and handle bottlenecks using Kanban view.

What is a bottleneck?

A bottleneck occurs when some element holds back the performance that could otherwise be achieved. In other words, even if the workflow function at its full potential, it still cannot complete all of the tasks quick enough without causing a delay.

This obstructs the flow of the work and causes delays across the production process. Typically, a bottleneck can be caused by a computer, a person, or a whole assembly line depending on the industry.

In a sales pipeline, a person could be the reason for the bottleneck.

How to identify bottlenecks in the sales pipeline?

With kanban view in place, identifying bottlenecks aren’t hard.

  • Visualizing

    Keeping track of your work in the form of task cards on a Kanban board makes it very easy to see where work items pile up, which is a strong sign of a problem, most likely a bottleneck.

  • Mapping Queues and Activities

    Separate queues and activities and map them on the Kanban board, we can see how much time our work sits waiting in a queue prior to a certain activity. If this queue grows significantly faster than the activity stage processes work, you have found your bottleneck.

  • Measuring Time per Task

    Measuring an average time for every task lets you build a time cycle diagram. Just a look at this diagram reveals the stages where cards spend the most time. If these workflow stages are queues too, those are probably your bottlenecks.

In other ways, if your sales team is continuously stressed, targets and dates are consistently missed, you might be better off performing a bottleneck analysis.

Every bottleneck situation is easier to solve when we identify who – or what – causes the bottleneck. With kanban view, it makes everything simpler. The reality is that everytime a workflow is set up in place it will get inevitably disturbed. You will have to examine and evaluate the workflow consistently for any new congestions to prevent any bottlenecks.


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