At my company we use a kanban in our software development process. I speak Chinese and I know the word in Chinese as 看板 (kànbǎn in pinyin), 看 meaning "look" and 板 meaning "board". Google tells me the word/idea is originally from Japanese, and also romanized like "kanban". I don't know much about Japanese but I thought usually kanji are different pronunciations than their sister Chinese characters - is it just a happy accident that the words 看 and 板 mean the same thing and are pronounced similarly in both Japanese and Chinese?
They just look identical in romanizations. A Japanese person and a Chinese person might understand each other with their native readings, but the real pronunciations have non-negligible differences. Chinese pinyin final n is always [n], where Japanese final n (as the transcription of ん) is called moraic nasal that changes into diverse sounds according to what comes next.
In short, they would respectively sound like:
- Chinese (Mandarin): kànbǎn [[kʰan˥˩.p(b)an˨˩˦]] (AmE approx. can-ban)
- Japanese: かんばん kanban [[kʰɐmbɐɴ]] (AmE approx. come-bun(gh))
As you may know, 看板 is not a Chinese Chinese word, merely a transliteration of the Japanese word meaning "signboard", in the kanban system context (ironically, the word is rarely written in kanji in Japanese as for this specific sense) or anime words like 看板娘.