Is your READY column filling up with tasks? Is it hard to figure out what’s new, what’s important, and what’s aging?
One option to deal with this is a NEW STUFF column. This column holds exactly what it says: New work that has come in over the last few days. As new work comes in, simply place those tickets in the NEW STUFF column.
One recommendation would be that at the end of the day or perhaps every Friday you move incomplete tasks into READY – keeping the NEW STUFF as fresh as possible. Once a month, you would look at your READY column and see what tickets have become stale.
What we’ve noticed is that many tasks that wind up on our Personal Kanban are never actually completed, but they stay in READY for months on end. It becomes harder and harder to make sense of the work in the READY column because some of it is fresh and some is nearly moldy.
My favorite example of this was I visited a team using PK and they showed me their board. They pointed at the blue, yellow, and pink tickets and told me what each meant.
I asked, “What does the white tickets mean?”
They told me there were no white tickets.
I pointed at one.
They laughed. It was a yellow ticket that was on the board long enough to be sun bleached!
This is important, the goal of the NEW STUFF column isn’t to merely focus on new tasks, it is to help us see what tasks are fresh and when to clean things off the board.
This is the fourth post in the Personal Kanban Tips series. You can read the previous post – PROMISES COLUMN: Make Good on Your Promises here.