How Kanban boards can be useful for your business and personal life?

5 min read

In work and in the organization of personal projects people often use Kanban boards. Kanban is a set of rules for applying Ajail, a method of flexible process control. That is, Kanban boards are a tool for managing tasks and personal effectiveness.

Classic Kanban board

A classic Kanban board is divided into columns corresponding to the stages of work. Tasks are written on stickers. Then they are glued to the board in the column-stage to which the task corresponds. In the "Adjale for beginners" reference book, the author explains for whom Kanban boards could be useful:

Kanban has no restrictions in the application. It is used for planning weddings or personal projects. Small divisions at Microsoft use it to develop new programs and applications. In "Toyota" - to manage all the production of the corporation.

In modern times, boards are replaced by applications. But the principle is the same: stack with steps and task cards.

Personal projects

For personal projects, we will review the 3x3 system - three tasks for a year, three tasks for a month, three for a week. One supports the other. Instead of overloading oneself with tasks, one can define 3 results that one wants to achieve in a certain period of time.

Three goals per year. For each goal, one sets one task per month. In total, there are three tasks for every month. For each monthly task, one puts a subtask for a week. In total, there are three tasks per week. That is, every week there is one task that bring each of the annual goals closer.

The results of each level support each other, which allows us to consider the “forest among the trees”. The difference of the “three tasks” from the gradual planning for the year is that small tasks are set and adjusted in the process. Number three is an artificial limitation. When there are only three slots, you choose the most important. The point of time management is not that you learn to do everything, but to separate the important from the meaningless.

How you plan a quarter, month, week and day depends on what you have planned for the year. The more honest the feedback is, the greater is awareness and immersion. Feedback is a reflection at the end of each week: what is OK, what is not, what needs more attention. In this mode, even changing goals is not scary. When we are tightly immersed in reality, there can be no frustration.

Compliance with the “rule of 3 results” can teach to concentrate on the goal, not on the means to achieve it, in other words, to be flexible in your approach, but constantly to remember priorities.

Live without stress and focus on goals.

Workflows

For work tasks, we will break the board into 5 columns - tasks for a week, for a day, for tomorrow, completed and not urgent. This separation helps to manage the flow of tasks.

On Monday morning, at the RAM we discuss the tasks for the week. We write down everything in the week column. Immediately, we transfer the most urgent ones to the Today column. We take no more than six tasks. Empirically determined that more than six are hard to do. If there are more than six urgent tasks, then we transfer the less urgent ones to the Tomorrow column.

This is an important point. If you initially defined the tasks in “Tomorrow”, then today they are not as urgent. Now, if today you have done all the tasks, you can choose - either to do urgent tasks from “Tomorrow” or to take interesting ones from “Week”. The choice allows you to get a buzz from work.

It is not critical if you do not have time to do some tasks for the day. Just transfer them to tomorrow. The most important he is to re-agree with the "client" that the deadlines has moved. Life is not a marathon where you need to accumulate a certain amount of crossed out checkboxes.

If in the middle of the day an unexpected URGENT task appears, then we write it down in “Tomorrow”. The “make tomorrow” principle is a great way to live without stress.

Tasks with progress

Kanban boards are great for tasks where there are specific steps. For example, writing a book could be divided into stages for chapters: Draft, Illustrations, Draft layout, primary editing, secondary editing, Proofreading, and Final layout.

The kanban system was first implemented in the world by Toyota. In 1959, this company began experimenting with the kanban system, and in 1962 launched the process of transferring the entire production to this principle.

The appearance of the term kanban is associated with the enumeration of standard operations: the site masters listed the work performed on paper and posted them in a prominent place next to the same lists of masters from other sites.

As tasks progressed from one stage to another, they were transferred to the appropriate column.

Currently, the system is implemented in the form of online boards and is widely used in various industries, manufacturing, trade and finance.

Kanban board allows you to visualize the workflow, identify problems in the course of work in a timely manner, monitor and self-monitor, keep track of completed tasks, improve teamwork, keep track of customers, etc.

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