Category Archives: DesignPatterns

Dealing with Cans of Worms

We are all cursed with “surprises” at work. We come in, sit down, get ready for the day. We select a task to start on and about half way through, it explodes on us. The seemingly simple task now has … Continue reading

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Sleep: Your Workflow’s Most Important Form of Slack

  It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it. ~ John Steinbeck In Personal Kanban, Jim and I discuss how workflow should be optimized for … Continue reading

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On Working Intentionally: The “Thinking Ticket”

  The quality of art is that it makes people who are otherwise always looking outward, turn inward. ~ the Dalai Lama   There’s a certain irony in the fact that knowledge workers are often afforded little time to do what it … Continue reading

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Pattern Matching: Use Your Personal Kanban to See What is Really Happening

I see people setting up their Personal Kanban with one color of post it note and then finding it hard to select their next task or figure out what they’ve done at the end of the week. The strength of … Continue reading

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Getting MicroTasks Done: On Nitpicking

MicroTasks. You know, that one email or refilling the coffee maker or asking Susan if she got ahold of your new client? Those are little interruptions we put upon ourselves. We’ll be working along and somewhere in the back of … Continue reading

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READY COLUMN: Breaking Out Projects

Lots of tickets in our READY column make a jumbled mess. We’re not sure how close we are to completion or what ticket to pull next, Breaking your work into projects in the READY column lets you see both. You … Continue reading

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READY COLUMN: Ticket Aging

In our last post, we discussed a NEW STUFF column. In this post, we are being even more explicit, noting in our Personal Kanban how old tickets on the board are. We have seen, even on our own boards, that … Continue reading

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THE NEW STUFF COLUMN: What’s Just Come in?

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 … Continue reading

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PROMISES COLUMN: Make Good on Your Promises

When we get overloaded, it is very easy to promise people work and then under-deliver. Promises are tricky, they bring with them social costs as well as costs for time and effort. When I promise something to you personally, I … Continue reading

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DONE COLUMN: Daily / Weekly Review

“When do I get tickets out of my DONE column?” People often allow their DONE column to get so full of work that it becomes useless – a huge pile of completed work. There are so many tickets in there, … Continue reading

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