Visual management and personal Kanban

A few days ago I was viewing some of the talks in Øredev 2010, and two of them dealing with agile methodologies fired my interest a bit.

The first is about visual management, and the interesting point for me was that the guy is applying it for any kind of project, including the birth of his daughter. Usually I regard agile with programming, but his approach is very interesting. The video is full of tips and practical ideas, and left me lingering for something similar in the office (even than we do Scrum, there are no white boards around us).

The second is about a personal kanban, and the ideas are simple and extremely practical. Even if the rest of the team is not applying them, there is nothing stopping me from using a similar process on my own. Some time later I was checking the Internet for small boards and stuff. The total cost should be around ten or twenty cents, which is not too bad for an experiment.

This morning I was thinking about implementation, and given than my philosophy is to not acquire anything until I go slower for not having the right tool, I decided to give it a go on the cheap. Here is the result:

A personal kanban for 20 cents

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5 thoughts on “Visual management and personal Kanban

  1. Magoo

    I have a similar system, and really works! I’m using index cards (3″x 5″) for log, postid for inbox task and a calendar for future task. It’s basic but “works for me” :)
    It’s closer to GTD and Autofocus than Kanban (perhaps because my knowledge of Kanban is null).
    I read some texts on Kanban before making any questions, but I’m impatient. :) In your picture, i can´t distinguish between Ready and Done groups.
    “In progress” is the actual task, “Done” are the tasks finished and “Ready” are the queued task to start.
    Is this correct? After a month of use, your system is working well or becomes complicated?

    Nos vemos
    Magoo

  2. Eduardo Post author

    I am not surprised, you are usually two steps ahead, and not realizing it :D
    Kanban is more about knowing very quickly what is going on, and showing it to the world. Instead of doing your weekly review of things to do, you just hang the reminder of those things on the wall.
    I started using a tab in Remember The Milk for the things going at the office, but quickly it became overflowed, there are too many things going on. Evernote keeps a copy, but given than I keep my notes there, when someone pop ups in my desktop it is messy to start searching.
    The three pages seems to be doing the trick, at least after a couple of days. I will tell you in a month or two, the thing is just new, and my theory is that I am going to keep the ‘Done’ page until the next scrum meeting, and then clean it, maybe briefing the results in Evernote again. One interesting concept that I took from Oredev is that all this methodologies are like design patterns, useful but not the answer to everything or the algorithm to make a good working program (I usually feel guilty of not doing ‘everything by the manual’ :))
    On the paper, ‘Ready’ means ready to start, but nothing stops you from having other pages (say, ‘Waiting for response’, or ‘Some day in Paradise’).
    There is a good video in Oredev, called ‘Kanban and Scrum, making the most of both‘, which might give you some other ideas without requiring to slow down the motorbike to read a book :D

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