Tag: pomodoro

Personal Kanban Sault College meetup notes

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.

Notes from session. Click image to view larger.

What’s worked:

  • 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.

What’s hard:

  • 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.

Other topics:

  • 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):
Kanban team example