Getting "Personal" with Your Kanban

 

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So why call it “personal” if I can use it with my family, in the classroom, or with a team at the office?

In life and in business, we create value.  For Personal Kanban, “personal”  relates to  personal value.  Personal Kanban tracks and visualizes items of personal value – tasks, work, and goals.

Industrial-style kanban – as it was conceptualized by Taiichi Ohno and notably implemented at Toyota – tracks industrial objects of value (tasks) as they travel thru a production stream that is often predictable. These objects have primary value to the organization. This model, while flexible, still tracks relatively well-defined objects through a relatively well-defined value stream. Tracking a crank case over its assembly process is markedly different from tracking the workflow of your upcoming move or your daughter’s wedding.


In contrast, “Personal Kanban” tracks items of personal value as they travel thru a less predictable path. These objects are often smaller and more varied.


In Personal Kanban, even when tracking the tasks of a team, the object of value – and by extension the resultant epiphany about the nature of that work – is still connected primarily to the individual.


Small teams work better when using a group Personal Kanban because such epiphanies are not only shared, but they can likewise be distributed. A realization that something can be improved does not have to be limited to your individual work.


Photo by Tonianne


About Tonianne DeMaria

Tonianne is partner & principal consultant at Modus Cooperandi, co-author of the Shingo Research and Publication Award winning Personal Kanban: Mapping Work | Navigating Life, co-founder of Kaizen Camp™ and Modus Institute. Toni explores the relationship between performance, motivation, and neuroscience, is passionate about the roles intention, collaboration, value-creation, and happiness play in “the future of work,” and appreciative of the ways in which psychology, Lean, systems thinking, and the work of W. Edwards Deming can facilitate these ends. She enjoys Coltrane, shoots Nikon, butchers the Italian language (much to the embarrassment of her family), is a single malt enthusiast, and is head over heels in love with her adopted home, Seattle. Follow her on Twitter @Sprezzatura.
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