Agile Life: Personal Kanban Revisited

In my previous post on personal kanban, I showed how I used a simple piece of cardboard to implement the flow at work. Having accustomed myself to the method, I tried to give it a go also at home:

Nothing done yet!

The picture above depicts my bedroom door, and you might notice (I suppose it might not be obvious) that my Kanban flow is vertical and not horizontal. It doesn’t really matter though – I just thought that the three areas separated by the wood working and the visibility of the door made for a splendid Kanban board for my purposes.

There is nothing new here, the method is the same as the one I used at work, but I’d still like to point out two things.

I’ve actually tried this exact method on a couple of weekends. You know the feeling you get when you have a couple of days off (perhaps even a few weeks of vacation), and in the back of your head is a long backlog of various things you need to get done. BUT, instead of organizing these tasks in your mind and start ticking them off, you let them slip and you go watch a game of football or some other completely unrelated thing.

Now, with this extraordinarily simple method, I usually get 80-90% of the tasks done, which is a vast improvement over a “no method” approach and oddly enough, also an improvement over writing all these tasks down on a piece of paper! In addition, some of the tasks that I couldn’t complete were impossible, or very hard (because they required to be done on a weekday for a certain retailer to be open, or similar impediments), which makes the statistics even better.

The second thing is, again, transparency. I suspect the reason why this method is better than “no method” or “paper method”, is the visibility of the tasks glaring at me from the top row of the door. Not to mention my cohabitant’s reaction to having a part of our home filled with little, yellow, beautiful(?), post-it notes :-). She even took a picture and shared it on a particular social networking site… Furthermore, she was WELL aware that I hadn’t completed certain, “important” tasks on the list and kept bugging me about them.

Hmm, I guess there are “some” drawbacks of this method after all…

One thought on “Agile Life: Personal Kanban Revisited

  1. Pingback: Management Improvement Blog Carnival #192 » Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog

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