Jim Benson Speaking at Oredev in Malmo, Sweden, 2010

Jim spoke at Oredev in Malmo, Sweden, in November 2010 on The Psychology of Kanban and Personal Kanban and the Individual Coder. Click on the links below to see the video. Clarity Means Completion: The Psychology of Kanban:

Clarity Means Completion: The Psychology of Kanban - Jim Benson

Personal Kanban and the Individual Coder: Personal Kanban: Optimizing the Individual Coder - Jim Benson

Working with the United Nations

Over the last six months, Modus Cooperandi has had the good fortune to participate in three United Nations projects. The UN's missions lend themselves well not only to collaborative management, but to lean and social media, too. While the UN will be quick to admit they aren't early adopters of the last two methods, they are nevertheless appreciative of the power of lean and social media, and are ready to begin implementing them in earnest. It's been exciting and rewarding to watch, and we feel privileged to be a part of this work. Our three projects so far have been:

Collaboration eLearning Packages

UN Food and Agricultural Organization - Rome, Italy

Modus Cooperandi worked with a team of 20+ authors, editors, and eLearning specialists to build a comprehensive set of lessons around collaboration, community, and team building. Jim and Tonianne helped devise a group writing system using a variety of online tools to facilitate communication and collaboration. Additionally, we were principle authors on three sections of the eLearning package itself. Once complete, the system will be translated into six languages, and made available to UN staff and those interested worldwide.

OzonAction's 2010 Social Media Plan

United Nations Environmental Programme, OzonAction Unit - Paris, France

OzonAction is the UNEP's group which, with the ambitious goal date of 2010, helped phase out the manufacturing of ozone depleting substances (ODS) such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Now, in its second phase, two additional ozone-depleting chemicals are on the chopping block: hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and MethylBromide. While OzonAction could certainly use their existing and successful methods to meet their deadline for the removal of these two compounds, they've chosen to incorporate social media to eradicate them ahead of schedule. Their success in the past has not made them complacent, and Modus Cooperandi is helping to create a social media plan that will provide the organization with actionable steps that won't overtax their budget or their staff. The goal here is to provide the maximum benefit for OzonAction without getting caught up in the fads or hype of the social media movement.  OzonAction's goals are serious, and so their use of social media should be directed in a way to reflect that sense of gravitas.

2010 Human Development Report for Vietnam

United Nations Development Programme - Hanoi, Vietnam

Over the past two decades, with the rise of globalization, Vietnam has experienced unprecedented economic growth. With one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, Vietnam has graduated to a mid-tier economic power. For this nation in transition, the current global economic downturn has left Vietnam with both options and opportunities. Countries in the United Nations need to provide a Human Development Report (HDR) to guide policy and funding both internally and externally. In many cases, the HDR can be several years between issues, and Vietnam is no different. For this project, UNDP and the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS) have gathered researchers and scientists from several different agencies within and outside Vietnam to create the HDR. The goal of this project is to have a full-fledge HDR, with detailed and directed recommendations, ready for the Vietnamese General Congress in October. Modus Cooperandi is facilitating this effort by implementing a collaborative management system, coaching researchers on collaboration as the document is authored. Rather than merely having a document constructed of distinct sections authored by independent researchers, the goal here is to bring all the researchers together and inform the sections with one voice, and in real-time. This should result in an end-product that makes consistent points throughout, as opposed to individual points in each section. Recommendations will then be bolstered by coherent arguments threaded throughout the entire document.

iKan - Personal Kanban for the iPhone - Launches

You asked for it, and we listened. Today we are proud to announce the launch of the first Personal Kanban iPhone app, iKan.

When we set out to build it, we decided to focus on a few key things:

1. Small Screen Many Tasks -  We wanted to make the best use of the screen real estate on the iPhone, so we built the app vertically.

2. KISS - We wanted the initial release to be extremely basic. In future updates we will respond to YOUR needs, and additional features will be based on YOUR input. So please keep us posted as to the direction you'd like to see iKan take. We already have a long list of upgrades in our pipeline, but are primarily interested in how you are actually using the app.

3. Use Your Data - Integration with other popular time- and backlog-management tools. In the first version, we have importation from Zen.  (But we can only import your data). If you import a project from Zen, you will bring that project's value stream with it.

4. Start with Basics then Build to Suit - Each iKan starts with an entry-level Personal Kanban value stream with Ready / Doing / Done sections. You can however, create your own column headings and set your own WIP limits.

In the coming weeks, we'll have a series of short tutorial videos for iKan - so stay tuned!

Special thanks to Jeremy Lightsmith, Gary Bernhardt and Corey Ladas who were all vital in making iKan a reality.

Get your copy of iKan at the iTunes Store.

For more information on Personal Kanban, see the Personal Kanban web site.

Jim Benson on 3 Podcasts Talking Lean and Personal Kanban

Conversation Creates Knowledge Over the last few months, I've had the good fortune to be a featured guest on three different podcasts discussing Personal Kanban. In the Yi-Tan calls, we discussed Personal Kanban and Personal Kanban for teams. In the Social Media Breakfast Seattle Podcast, we explored the relationships between Lean thinking and social media. Of course, Personal Kanban comes up there as well.

Yi-Tan Call #261 - Personal Kanban With Jerry Michalski's group, I discuss Personal Kanban, how it started, and how it works.

Yi-Tan Call #268 - Personal Kanban for Teams Again with Jerry's virtual roundtable, I discuss how Personal Kanban and other kanban applications work for teams, groups, and organizations.

For Social Media Breakfast Seattle Lean Management and the CIA Heidi Miller interviews me about lean management, social media, Personal Kanban, and what's happening in the Intelligence Community.

Later this month I'll be featured on the Business 901 podcast, talking even more about Personal Kanban, but this time interviewed by Joe Dager, who focuses on marketing and lean principles.

Jim Benson to Speak Feb 2, 2010 at SeaSPIN on Personal Kanban and Software Development

Tonight Jim Benson will be Speaking at SeaSpin. This talk goes through a project his team did in early 2007 that used a hybrid XP / Personal Kanban approach to managing a widely distributed team and what they learned in "the early days." Here is the write up from the SeaSPIN site.

February 2 Meeting

Construx Software, 10900 NE 8th St Suite 1350, Bellevue, WA

Food & networking from 5:45 to 6:45 (pizza, salad, soda ) Announcements from 6:45 to 6:55 Presentation from 6:55 to 7:55 Doors close at 8:30

Personal Kanban and Kanban for Distributed Teams presented by Jim Benson

Kanban is rapidly gaining popularity in software development. How are teams and programmers migrating from straight agile to Kanban, or to hybrids like Scrumban or Scrow? How has this worked in the past? How do distributed teams make this more challenging? How can managers and teams best apply these new methodologies?

Jim Benson describes introducing both Agile and Kanban to development teams, focusing on a team he led in 2007 which built a complex transportation management prototype using nascent technologies and a team of cowboys – none of whom had used agile or been particularly collaborative before. How did he do this?

The answer: Subversion!

Let Jim take you on a journey of mystery and intrigue as he tells you how he fooled a bunch of programming malcontents into being a Lean, collaborative, highly effective work force.  It’s like the A-Team, but with Skype.

Supercharge People, Teams and Organizations.

If you've optimized your team, but not your people, you're not really optimized. At Modus Cooperandi, we work with individuals, teams and the organization to make sure that everyone is communicating and working effectively. We use:

  • Personal Kanban - for individuals and teams
  • Agile Practices - for teams
  • Lean Methods - for teams and organizations

We focus on coaching at the individual, team and organizational levels to create sustainable and competitive teams.

Collaborating with the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

The Food and Agricultural Office of the United Nations (Photo by FAO) Modus Cooperandi has begun a project to help the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) create on-line training courses in distributed collaboration.  Modus joins thought leaders and experts from around the world in building a curriculum that will help workers from FAO and other organizations collaborate from a distance.  The project's aim is to provide knowledge of patterns, practices and tools that facilitate distributed collaboration and knowledge sharing - making remote locations no longer isolated , and providing expertise more quickly and at much lower cost. The resulting materials will be made available in seven languages and is scheduled for public use by the Summer of 2010.

InfoPak 2 - Personal Kanban 101: How to Build Your First Personal Kanban

View more presentations from Jim Benson.

Modus Cooperandi is pleased to announce the release of its second Personal Kanban InfoPak. In Personal Kanban 101: Achieving Focus & Clarity with Your First Personal Kanban we discuss the essentials for getting your board started. Topics addressed include how to establish value stream, backlog and WIP, and why there are only two hard rules to implementing this productivity tool.

As always, please feel free to download, distribute, comment and let us know what you think.

Personal Kanban at the World Bank: Modus Cooperandi Info Pak 1 Released

This is the first in a series of Modus Cooperandi's InfoPaks. They are downloadable, and work like a narrative whitepaper. Think of them like graphic novels for business.

In InfoPak One: Personal Kanban at the World Bank, we discuss the experience we had leading a rapid development project at the World Bank, specifically, how visual controls work with small groups, and why they are preferable to traditional team management.

This InfoPak is best read by clicking the “Full” button above. It’s also designed to be downloaded to distribute to others. Over the next few weeks, we will post more InfoPaks on Personal Kanban. Please feel free to comment and let us know what you think.

Gov 2.0 University Launches in Washington, DC

JimBenson_01 Sep. 16 07.52 Gov 2.0 University begins on September 29th & 30th at LMI in Tyson's Corner, Virginia.  Modus Cooperandi has been working with Hinchcliffe & Company and LMI to create a cutting-edge curriculum that focuses on how to employ 2.0 technologies, patterns, and practices. Courses are already scheduled into 2010. The university includes personal briefings for high ranking officials, two day managers' seminars, and five day practitioner courses.

Personal Kanban and the World Bank

World Bank in Washington DC Modus Cooperandi is excited to announce our upcoming personal kanban project, where we will use our Personal Kanban techniques in a directed exercise with knowledge workers from around the world.  From the 21st through the 25th of September, Jim Benson and Tonianne DeMaria Barry will be working with The World Agroforestry Centre and the World Bank to lead their Capacity Building Program on the Opportunity Costs of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Land Use Change (OpCost) Writeshop, at the World Bank Institute in Washington D.C. The intent of this directed exercise is to create a comprehensive technical document. As small working groups and as a unified team, participants will use personal kanban to maintain project coherence and track completion. The project is expected to achieve rapid release of a highly technical product by knowledge workers from around the world.  The multi-lingual, multi-disciplinary group will benefit from personal kanban's visual controls and work flow.

We will be blogging and tweeting about the event as it unfolds.

Photo: Brixton

Jim Benson to Teach Enterprise 2.0 in Zurich - Nov 2, 2009

Enterprise 2.0 in Zurich On the 2nd of November, 2009, Jim Benson will be teaching Enterprise 2.0 as part of Somesso's Leveraging Corporate Social Media in the Finance Sector event in Zurich, Switzerland. The Enterprise 2.0 track is part of our on-going strategic partnership with Dion Hinchcliffe and Web 2.0 University.  Using Dion's courseware, Jim will be teaming with a German counterpart to tailor the materials to the European financial community.

Photo: BeatKüng