There has been a lot written about personal Kanban and it’s use to help prioritise, focus and make visible the important work that we do day to day.
How often have we grumbled that we have been too busy in meetings to actually do anything or that we have hundreds of emails to read.
These are organisational warning signs that the way we communicate and organise ourselves could stand to have some continuous improvement.
Say for example we write down all the things we plan to do for the week. We know that humans cannot multi task (we really can’t we can only context switch), in fact it leads to being more error prone and less focused. It eats away at our creativity and eventually our motivation. No one likes doing a bad job.
So in the spirit of practising what I preach and also due to the fact my good lady wife says she doesn’t have enough visibility of what i’m planning to do at the weekends…….I created a Kanban board at home
And here she is…
As you can see, apart from the fact my ideas column has been cruelly vandalised, the tasks we have are visible. I can clearly show what is in progress. I can only do one thing at a time. The order of the to-do can be changed at any time and the top item will be the next thing I pull. Items I cannot complete, in this case as I do not have the tool to “fix the back gate”, I put on hold so as not to affect my flow.
We are using Agile to enable us to focus and deliver value. So rather than 5 jobs 20% done, we have 1 job 100% done with higher quality baked in; it was also potentially faster than doing all 5 at once. Boy does that second coat of paint on the bedroom ceiling look good.
We even used Agile for the tasks within those items of work. For painting the walls in a room each needed 3 coats. We coated each wall with 3 coats one wall at a time. This meant that each time we had one wall completely done, rather than the whole room only having one coat. There was no value in that and to be honest I felt more achievement getting one wall at a time completely finished so that I could stand back and marvel at the timeless.
This Agile thing really is good for focus and quality. There was even some time for inspect and adapt. Based on what I learnt painting the walls I decided to use a roller for the ceiling as the finish was better and it was easy to paint an uneven surface (artex). I also had a better idea of how much paint was needed so could commit to buying more paint in bulk.
There was also a buy one get one free offer on Dulux in Homebase……winner.
This blog post was also done the Agile way. Published whilst still being amended. The content reached an agreed minimum viable blog post and was released. I have then improved some of the paragraphs for your reading pleasure.