Kanban is a highly efficient scheduling tool for manufacturers. It originates from the Toyota Manufacturing System. It ensures supplies are available when needed while removing the need to hold a lot of inventory. This lean method has 4 bases which are beginning with what is already in place, incremental changes, logical changes to what is already in place, and ensuring there is leadership in every base.
Below we look at the top 25 questions that you would expect to encounter in your interview on roles related to Kanban.
1. What Do You Understand By The Term Kanban?
“Kanbanmeans a Visible record in Japanese. It is a scheduling tool used by manufacturers to support lean production methods. It comprises all the tasks that need to be done in the particular project and their status update. It is a sort of to-do list, work in progress, and the done list.”
2. What Are The Different Types Of Kanban That You Are Aware Of?
“I am familiar with production, withdrawal, emergency, express, through, and supplier kanbans. I have also worked extensively with production, through, supplier, and emergency kanbans in managing production processes.”
3. What Is The Importance Of Kanban In The Manufacturing Process?
“Kanban will assist an organization in the quality control process by ensuring quality is maintained in every step. It will also ensure that costs are lowered by following lean production processes therefore not holding excess inventory. The organization will also realize the potential for the team and have the ability to respond to any changes quickly. It removes any laxity and laziness in the system and promotes a right first time approach.”
4. What Is Production Kanban?
“This comprises all the requirements to complete a process. It brings together all the resources, parts, and information needed to see the process to completion. It uses visual cues to keep a process flowing. It specifies the type and quantity of product that a preceding process should produce. This ensures that the production process is flawless and the outputs are of the required quality.”
5. What Is Withdrawal Kanban?
“Withdrawal Kanban specifies the quantity and kind of product that should be withdrawn from a preceding process. It passes the authorization of products from one process to another. It creates a cycle and conveys on when, what, where and how much to move.”
6. What Are The Principles Employed In The Kanban Production System?
“Kanban has 4 main principles. It begins with what is already in place and maintains the current workings of the process. It then makes small incremental changes in the processes so as not to create resistance with the team members. You then implement logical changes to what is already in place. Lastly, it ensures there is leadership in every base to create continuous improvement in the processes.Kanban recognizes that making drastic changes at once may not be successful as there may be higher resistance. Small incremental changes are sustainable and will experience little resistance.”
7. How Do You Utilize Kanban In Project Management?
“Kanbancan assist you to create projects and organize project teams from the work that needs to be done. You get to assemble the project teams and use the platform to share and collaborate on the work that needs to be done.Ince it is systemized, it removes guesswork on what is expected to be done next.”
8. In Kanban, There Is Cycle Time And Throughput, What Do You Understand By These Terms?
“Cycle time refers to the time the whole process takes to be complete. Productivity is normally measured in cycle times in Kanban. Throughput on the other hand is the sum of the outputs of the process at any given time.”
9. What Major Challenges Did You Face Implementing Kanban? How Did You Manage Them?
“The main challenge I faced in my previous role is dealing with an uncooperative team. The organization was introducing Kanban. We had to work with someone willing to support the team before everyone else comes on board. This was an issue as the project timelines would have to change as everyone was not fully on board. This process enabled me to get more creative in how I work and ensure that I make maximum use of the available resources. I can now improvise how I do certain processes in the absence of full support. These have developed my problem solving and analytical thinking ability. It also gave pointers on key issues to address before implementing Kanban. For example, it is important to share the correct information with staff members before you start implementation. This removes resistance from the system.”
10. Describe Briefly About Your Experience
“I have over 5 yearsof experienceimplementingKanban projects in the manufacturing industry. Over this period, I have worked on different projects. I have experience working with various teams in helping them design and implement processes. I also communicate policies to the staff and ensure they are compliant with the set procedures and have access to the required procedure manuals. The projects I have worked on have gained great success.”
11. What Is The Biggest Challenge That You Foresee In This Role?
“The biggest challenge I foresee is the organizational dynamics that I have to work with here. My main focus in the first few weeks will be getting accustomed to the new culture. The culture of an organization is unique and determines how its people behave. I believe that getting to understand the culture well will be instrumental in how the implementation process is designed. It will also ensure that the work is smooth going forward. This will foster team working and ensure successful implementation of projects. I will also want to understand in depth the processes the organization does so that I can be able to translate that into sequential processes to implement.”
12. Describe A Time When You Failed In The Implementation Of Kanban?
“In my first project, I focused so much on perfection that kept me from listening to the needs of the team. The team in the organization had some crucial information that I didn’t have but I was interested in handling issues my way that I failed to give them a listening ear. This made me realize that done is better than perfect. I also learnt to listen to the team that I am working with because they understand their processes better and can ensure the success of the project.”
13. What Three Attributes Would Your Colleagues Use To Describe You?
“My colleagues would say that I am a resilient problem-solver committed to seeing results and a hard worker. These attributes are as a result of hard work and commitment to continuous personal development.These attributes have been handy in the different projects I have worked on as it ensures that they are successful.”
14. Are You A Great Team Player?
“In the past, I have demonstrated great team skills as we worked on realizing different types of projects as per the organization’s objectives. I enjoy being part of a team as it gives me the chance to learn so much as the different team players come on board with different skills and knowledge that they get to share. Success in this field also involves teamwork. You cannot successfully deliver a project without the collaboration of project teams.”
15. Why Do You Feel You Are The Most Suited For This Role?
“My background places me as a great candidate for this role. I have over five years of experience in Kanban project implementation. In this role, I have provided training, advised accordingly, and helped organizations have the required tools to go ahead. I have also designed procedures and offered support to all the organizations that I have worked with.I am committed to continuous development and keep rebnewing my skills to ensure the organizations I work with get value for their money. I hope to use this experience and my eagerness to learn to excel in this role.”
16. What Do You Consider To Be The Key In Developing A Great Team?
“The key elements to successful teamwork are trust, communication, and effective leadership; a focus on common goals with a collective responsibility for both success and failure. However, without trust and communication, the team will have difficulty functioning effectively. In this role, I am expected to work with different teams to achieve smooth project implementation. It is essential to have great communication skills so that everyone is on the same page when it comes to a process.Kanban implementation relies heavily on teamwork as the projects are arranged in teams and each has to play their part.”
17. If Selected For This Role, What Would Be Your Strategy For The Next 90 Days?
“For the first 90 days, I plan to learn the culture organization and its processes. I will also learn how stuff is done around here. I will sit with the various teams to understand clearly their expectations of my role. I will seek any clarification from them about the project implementation deliverables. At the end of the 90 days, I plan to issue a status report for the project status. At this point, I should be able to come up with strategies for the maximum performance of the teams. I expect that at this point the project will have been implemented fully. The handover can be done as the organization should have the necessary tools to continue with the implementation.”
18. What Is Your Key Strength In Kanban Implementation?
“My strength lies in my planning and communication skills. I am also a great problem solver as my work involves removing any redundant processes to optimize the production cycle. I pay attention when clients share their problems before I start giving my point of view. With keen attention to detail, I always aim to deliver a comprehensive diagnosis of the issues highlighted. This has earned me repeat clients and referrals. I am o fully understand the organization’s processes to determine how they can be improved overtime.”
19. Tell Me About Your Favorite Supervisor And How They Have Been Instrumental In Your Career.
“My favorite supervisor was my immediate boss in my very first role in Kanban implementation. He accepted me into his team and taught me all the skills I know. Not only was he focused on helping me learn the technical skills, but he was also invested in me learning the soft skills as well. He taught me how to handle clients with different communication styles. I attribute my great skills to his great mentorship. He was able to mold me to get into a supervisory role when he was promoted. This has made me endeavor to train people under me to be excellent project implementers. The skills acquired at this point in my career have made me a great project manager who steers organizations to transform processes.”
20. What Does Quality Work Mean To You?
“I judge quality based on my client’s satisfaction. Each project is unique and each organization is unique in the way things are done. I aim to listen to the organization’s needs and deliver exactly how they have planned to work. I help them set up the project teams and outline the required process. I also give them the tools that will ensure that they keep the processes running after implementation is complete.”
21. How Do You Plan And Prioritize Your Work As A Kanban Project Manager?
“When I have been assigned a project, I focus to ensure that it has fully been implemented and that the organization is happy. I plan the project team and aim to understand the whole process beforehand. This ensures that the processes are aligned well for the whole project to be successful. I like to do a to-do list for each day when I am working on a project. At the and of the day I review how much I have been able to achieve.”
22. Do You Work Well Independently Or In A Group?
“I have worked in a group setting for a large organization and I enjoyed that type of arrangement. We could exchange shifts or duties conveniently if someone needed to take leave. I also have a verifiable record of working individually with no supervision. I would say that I can survive in any environment because I am prepared for it. Most projects we implement however involves close collaboration and teamwork. Whichever type of environment I find myself in, I give my all and deliver great results.”
23. How Did You Use Your Problem-Solving Skills To Handle Complex Situations?
“When faced with a complex issue, I like to brainstorm and come up with solutions. In my previous role, I was faced with issues with event dates as the stakeholders could not agree. I sat them down and listened to the various suggested dates they had in mind. I then suggested one day that would not inconvenience anyone. They approved the date and we went on with the event as planned.”
24. Have You Ever Dealt With A Challenging Stakeholder? What Did You Do In This Situation?
“When handling stakeholders, it’s good to determine whether they are primary, secondary, or key stakeholders. Once you have classified them in that category you can now handle their views. In my previous role, I encountered stakeholders with varying views. I had to separate them into three categories as above. It then became easy to handle them. I had to keep some satisfied, others informed, monitored some, and engaged closely and influenced actively the key stakeholders. This strategy enabled me to keep every stakeholder happy.”
25. Why Do You Feel You Are Ready For This Position?
“I have been working in this field over the years now and this is the area where my passion is. Having gone through the projectdescription I believe I am a suitable candidate for the role since I have a combination of skills and experience that make me stand out. This position will allow me to use my technical expertise for larger projects with higher impact. I’m eager to combine my artistic talents with my technical skills to create a sustainable project and improve the organization’s projects.”
As a Kanban Project Implementer, you have a combination of skills to succeed in an interview. You need to picture yourself and show expression in what it takes in giving great results. Both qualitative and quantitative techniques should be displayed. Have self-confidence and show the passion that the role belongs to you. Express your expertise to the interviewer using your experience and engagement. Ensure you leave a good impression on how you communicate and answer their questions. The above questions will give a great guide to ensure you are assigned the project.