Today I met with some of the workshop participants from last May’s Personal Kanban workshop. I was curious to see how people have been experimenting with Personal Kanban and learning about themselves in the process.
- High value in using Today / Waiting On columns to stay focused on what is important right now.
- Visualizing all the options saved missing some important deliverables on a number of occasions
- Using Pomodoro to get work done. Pomodoro helps with large tasks by breaking them down and forcing oneself to get up and take short breaks. Experimenting with putting a Pomodoro symbol on the office door and closing the door more often led to increased productivity. Use Outlook calendar to create Pomodoros.
- Using PK for individual work, haven’t tried for projects yet.
- Taking time at end of day to plan for next one.
- Focusing on limiting WIP. It’s easy to put up activity cards, harder to stop starting more tasks before finishing others.
- Taking time to reflect. Kanban being used mostly for deciding what to do, not about continuous improvement. This is unfortunate, as a Kanban board can teach us a lot about how we work.
- Options for tablet computing. The request was for something for Windows. I did some looking around, there aren’t a lot of options that work across multiple platforms. There are a couple of apps that have reasonable touch interfaces in the browser:
- Offline Kanban boards. Not much luck on this one, other than tools that require downloading source code. Dmitry Ivanov has a Windows tool that requires a simple download to use. All the pre-packaged tools seem to need an online connection. For myself, I use Evernote to jot down new items to add to my Kanban board later when I don’t have access to it.
- Team vs Personal Kanban. Team Kanban has more structure, more layers to support teams, though it can be kept simple like a Personal Kanban board. The workflow will be different, and the work items tend to be larger. The web site Everyday Kanban has a good summary of what the bigger K Kanban is all about – What is Kanban?, including 3 basic principles and 5 core properties. Henrik Kniberg created an example of a Kanban board for teams (image below):
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That is something different because it is not easy to put up activity cards, harder to stop starting more tasks before finishing others. So we must have the reasonable search in this project.
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