In part one of Complex Lives, we set a Future in Progress (FIP) limit for Jessica, a busy and active single mom. Her goals were overwhelming her ability to get things done. So we reigned them in by giving her a FIP limit.
That was step one.
Step two is visualizing that FIP. Jessica was concerned because her triathlon regimen included both repetitive and non-repetitive tasks. She needed to consume the right amount of calories, be sure to take her meds, and of course work out. This would equate to three repetitive, monotonous tickets per day in Ready –> Doing –> Done.
Many tickets. Too little real information.
Getting the work done for the triathlon was of course, important, but Personal Kanban is built to be an information radiator. What was the real information she needed? This turned out to be:
- what workouts did I do
- when did I do them
- did my caloric intake match the workouts
- did I take my meds and, most important
- am I being consistent or missing anything?
So here we see Jessica’s board. She just had a little white board, so we worked with the walls in her home. Backlog and Done are both off the board (on the walls where the board hung). Her spontaneous tasks still work through a Ready –> Doing –> Done value stream, those tasks were color coded between work, family, studying and other tasks. But there’s more here than that.
There are two additional “swim lanes” on this board. A swim lane is another value stream or dedicated horizontal lane on our board for special tasks.
The first swim lane is Triathlon Training. We have several metrics here:
Diet: each day net calories, water, and meds are measured. Calories are a number, meds and water are a checkmark for done.
Workout: Type, severity, and subjective well being are noted here. “20” is a 20 minute cardio. On Wednesday you can see “10 mile ride.” E,M,H are easy, medium and hard workouts. Smilies measure how Jessica subjectively felt about the workout.
She can then take these metrics and not only see adherence and progress, but also plan for future workouts.
The second swim lane is Jessica Studying for her Section 65 Certification. She told me that she studies by creating a study plan for herself, studying, and then testing herself on what she just did. So we set up a swim lane with a WIP of one. At any point, she can only be working on one module.
So with this, we took Jessica’s overwhelming combination of things in progress and goals and made them visible and actionable. Take the time to critically look at the different projects you have in flight. In the end, you want to get the work done, but your real aim is to understand what you’re doing. To get those projects done right, Jessica needed some dedicated swim lanes.
I’m willing to bet she’s not alone.
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