What is waste?
For personal kanban, the Five Somethings of Waste are:
- Something that reduces your performance
- Something someone else could do much more efficiently
- Something that takes more time than its worth
- Something that isn’t your strength
- Something you don’t like or want to do
What can you do about it?
- Identify it
- Understand it
- Re-orient yourself to it
- Outsource it
- Delegate it
- Automate it
- Eliminate it
Well, that’s easy. Except there needs to be a “how” part.
Identify It – Notice the Five Somethings as they occur.
Understand It – Watch for patterns in tasks that satisfy any of the “Five Somethings.”
Re-Orient Yourself To It – How do you and that piece of work relate to each other? Is it truly necessary? Do you have to do it? Can it be modified to not be waste? What’s causing the waste? Can you do any of the following to it?
Outsource It – Contractors are everywhere. Use them.
Delegate It – Inside your team, find someone else who is better-suited.
Automate It – Spend some time making sure that a machine does it right, and never do it again.
Eliminate It – Find a way to never need to have that work done in the first place.
Your time is sacred, you only have a finite amount of it. I am willing to pay bookkeepers to do even the smallest amount of work simply because I find bookkeeping a fate worse than death. Other people pay me to do things they aren’t good at. We all have our strengths and things that fulfill us. Let your personal kanban help you uncover the good, and get rid of the waste.
Photo by: Simen Svale Skogsr