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PERSONAL KANBAN

notes from the book by jim benson and tonianne deMaria barry


kanban - two rules
- visualize work
- limit work in progress


setup
- backlog of everything
- notice patterns, clusters, priorities
- define value stream(s) of options - “ready/wip/done” or “ready/today/wip/pen/done/retro” - (pen is waiting for response from OTHERS, not a parking lot for procrastinations)
- set WIP limits, e.g. 3-4 tasks
- pull work


alternatives
- swim lanes - use extra-/sub-value stream(s) for large projects, parallel horizontal flows
- sequester recurring tasks - use checkboxes instead of stickies to make recurring tasks visible, minimize stickies, conserve real estate, or use separate board
- emergency response - task / begun / assembling / assembled / active / completed - this approach relaxes wip limit and details progress through wip, when many tasks MUST proceed at once, system overwhelmed, ongoing triage
- time capsule - take a bunch of small tasks and timebox them as one task - only for purpose of getting them all done right now, e.g. 30 mins.
- balanced throughput - set wip limit to 2 large tasks and 3 small tasks, but work finish ALL and then refill, not a route for smalls to continually bypass large roadblocking task(s)
- pomodoro - 25 mins sprints/focus, 5 mins rest, repeat. for immersion in complex task, to focus and move.  use with caution, special situations, don’t blow yourself up.
- manila folder - makes excellent traveling kanban board


shift from list mind to flow mind
- context and changes in context of the work
- space and relationships on the board
- kinesthetic feedback - learning, patterns
- relieve fear/anxiety, existential overhead
- pull/inviting/listening/ease vs push/demand/assume/force
- narratives emerge as flows of work
- reflect: quality of work?  feel good?  difficult tasks?  right tasks done?  value provided?
- flow vs capacity - need to leave free time (space)(slack) for flow
- focus on slack, cadence, flow, pull

learning vs reacting
creating vs producing
evolving vs stagnating
inviting vs forcing
listening/discovering vs insisting/driving


clarity (vision/transparency)
- KANBAN increases clarity, decreases fear
- what doing and why doing it
- understand decision-making, context, relevence, patterns, options
- dispels existential overhead, anxiety
- creates/created by meaningful actionable info
- raises the bar for normal (non-hero) workers to decrease dependence on heroes
- KAIZEN analyzes situation, determines level of clarity, seeks best path to completion, innovation, or more clarity


balance 
- productivity - via limiting work in progress
- efficiency - focus on value stream increases results w/ decreasing effort
- effectiveness - make options explicit, make informed decisions, make the right stuff

-- lays the groundwork for peak experiences
-- effectiveness is worth more than productivity, and feels better
-- productivity w/o effectiveness is waste
-- push happens all the time, need to balance with emphasis on PULL


small tasks
- FIRST focus on limiting wip and getting things done (establish flow, cadence) THEN move to smaller tasks to increase flow/output
- breakdown tasks at the last responsible moment or when no other choice but to start 
- don’t waste time planning time when best info is not yet available
- let “planning” become a natural part of the work


prioritization

1) importance/urgency matrix, riffing on covey/eisenhower

           ^^ important ^^
                      |
   kaizen         |   emergencies  
                      |
---------------------------- >> urgent >>
                      |
   inspiration   |    obligations
    future         |    investments

- emergencies - pk should minimize via dedication to kaizen, prevention, monitoring
- kaizen - learning, improvement, adaptation, doing what’s important before it’s urgent
- inspiration - mucking about, finding gems, new possibilities/patterns/potentials
- obligations - go through the social motions, bulk processing, grows portfolio of options


2) priority filters (series of ready buckets, with decreasing task limits) - priority 1, 2, 3, wip...  w/ limits (5) (5) (3) (3)

3) GTD david allen - files and folders w/ disciplined review creates “wine cellar” of ideas that can be mined/moved to kanban for processing

4) color/shape - highlight biggest procrastination tasks


metrics - should reflect context AND show something that matters
- gut/impulse/intuition/sense - situational knowledge is important
- process lab - use today/wip to track completion rate.  look for ways to make delays/obstactles/waste visible and measurable
- subjective well-being (swb) box - how do tasks make you feel?  annotate tasks w/ smilies at done, collect in “box” for review in retro.  look for patterns/causes/adaptations.
- time - how long to do tasks?  are estimates/expectations accurate?

retrospectives
- add a column before/after done to collect tasks for retro
- look for patterns, use five why’s when things go wrong (or other inquiry methods)
- use pop-up “teachable moment” retros to address urgent/conflict issues (“stop the line”)
- pay attention to cognitive AND emotional decision-making drivers

learnings
- we have cognitive and emotional reactions to maps, narratives, clarity, options, flow
- large upfront planning wastes time and destroys options
- context drives decisions about what to do next
- retrospectives increase understanding of work, passions, and futures
- best decisions require clarity
- life is complex but accessible, explorable, discoverable
- respect natural variation, change and ourselves as not separate from that
- kanban is productive, efficient, effective map of work and life


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Last edited November 5, 2017 11:41 am CentralTimeUSA by MichaelHerman
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© 1998-2017 Michael Herman and www.michaelherman.com, unless signed by another author or organization. Please do not reprint or distribute for commercial purposes without permission and full attribution, including web address and this copyright notice. Permission has always been granted gladly to those who contact me and say something about themselves, their work, and their use of these materials. Thank you and good luck! - Michael