Saturday, September 26, 2009

Personal Taskboard: Evolution to Kanban

A few weeks ago I setup a personal taskboard at the wall next to my desk. It had three lanes like a Scrum task board: "open", "in progress", and "done". After one day there were lots of things in progress and two tasks were done already:

The major problem was the number of tasks in progress. There were just too many things ongoing so that control could easily get lost. Fortunately things were sorted out a few days later. Lots of things done and few things in progress:

After a while I recognized the repeating problem of too many thing in progress. After a short personal retrospective I decided to improve my focus on the "in progress" lane. It seemed obvious to limit the number of things to work on in parallel. I splitted the "in progress" lane in two parts:
a) an "on hold / wait" part for all the things that have been started but need external help
b) a "working on" part with focus on all the things in progress. This part now is a Kanban box with a limit of two tasks.

The positive effects of this change appeared instantly: things got their focus on the essence! Tasks were done in a much more sustaining pace than before.

I am curious about the next improvements of my personal task board. Let's see what my next retrospectives will expose.


  1. This was such a more organized way of keeping your daily tasks intact. My husband used to tell me about this thing before. After simulation trainings, they've already come up with putting task boards in their office; so cool!

  2. I've been doing this in the office for a while. I used a window divided into four sections ("backlog", "in progress", "deferred" and "completed", written using a whiteboard marker), and Post-it notes. I used the window since I like to reserve my whiteboards for scribbling and design. Furthermore, I like to prioritize the backlog items using red, blue and green dots in the corner of the Post-it notes

    I experience the same benefits as you: Focus on tasks at hand. I highly recommend this approach to organizing your personal work...