GTD & Kanban: Series Overview

For a long time I have been a Getting Things Done (GTD) advocate in both my personal and professional life, starting from the basics and working my way up to a full blown implementation in various paper and electronic forms over the years.  GTD has been a huge help, yet I have always felt there is something missing in my … Read More

modusGTD & Kanban: Series Overview

On Time Sheets: Personal Kanban and Life’s Little Annoyances

Some managers have to resort to public humiliation to get employees to submit their time sheets. “Where is your time sheet?” “I’ll get it to you.” “But it was due two hours ago.’” “Look, I’m really busy, okay, and I just don’t have time to figure out all that I did the past week.” “Do you want to get paid?” … Read More

modusOn Time Sheets: Personal Kanban and Life’s Little Annoyances

One Kid’z Kanban Board

Sometimes I tell my 6-year old daughter to clean her room. Then she argues, maybe runs to the next room, or she starts to clean up but gets bored, overwhelmed or distracted. Pretty soon she is playing or reading a book. The nagging starts again. This cycle is not fun for either of us. There are plenty of “chore charts” … Read More

modusOne Kid’z Kanban Board

Making Waste Explicit

Reducing waste can save more than time. Noticing waste serves no purpose. Understanding it does. Whether we seek to manage waste or attempt to eliminate it entirely, we need to know how much of it exists and what form it takes – what’s its volume, its shape, its weight.  So we monitor it. We watch it. We learn from how it … Read More

modusMaking Waste Explicit

Recognizing Waste – Pattern Recognition and Outliers

The patterns of the game govern. Kanban’s primary weapon: visualization Kanban’s primary tool: limiting WIP Kanban’s primary goal: reducing waste By visualizing our workload, we limit work-in-progress and focus our resources.  We reduce waste by having a more efficient and effective work experience through understanding and prioritizing our work better, and selecting tasks better. Personal kanban is like the ancient Chinese board game … Read More

modusRecognizing Waste – Pattern Recognition and Outliers

Why Retrospectives?

Small adjustments can make all the difference. In both Agile and Lean management there are points called “retrospectives,” regular and ritualized moments where a team stops to reflect. Checking processes for only a few minutes lets you re-orient the course of your work. These retrospectives allow a team the opportunity not only to celebrate or bemoan accomplishments or setbacks, but likewise to … Read More

modusWhy Retrospectives?

Why Limit Work in Progress?

Too many things in the air at once can be dangerous. Posts about WIP. You have two hands. You can only juggle so many things at a time. The more you add, the more likely it is that you will drop something. When we promise work – we agree to juggle it.  When we start it – we start juggling. … Read More

modusWhy Limit Work in Progress?

Combating Existential Overhead

Overload is Overhead Existential Overhead – the cost in distraction and stress of uncompleted tasks. A few years back I started shopping around the concept of existential overhead. The concept is fairly straightforward.  There simply is no such thing as out of sight, out of mind. When you have a workload, you are always thinking about the individual elements of … Read More

modusCombating Existential Overhead

Building Your First Personal Kanban

The basic kanban: Waiting, Working, Done A quick trip through personal kanban design patterns demonstrates how they can be created using any number of materials. This tutorial illustrates how to build the most common personal kanban. Step One: Establish Your Value Stream Value Stream (vly strm): The flow of work from the moment you start to when it is finished. The … Read More

modusBuilding Your First Personal Kanban

What is a Kanban?

A kanban is a tool to visualize, organize, and complete work. The first official use of kanban can be traced to Taiichi Ohno’s work at Toyota. He needed a way to quickly communicate to all workers how much work was being done, in what state it was, and how the work was being done. His goal was to make work … Read More

modusWhat is a Kanban?