Personal Kanban for a Well Oiled Machine

Jim BensonApplicationsLeave a Comment

It is no small secret that you can’t do everything yourself. A machine’s gears only work well with all the parts of the machine when they are well oiled. I like to think that my family works in this way. Why? Because we use Personal Kanban to keep our well-oiled machine running.

Here are a few ways my family has used Personal Kanban.
When I am entertaining, making a special recipe or meal, getting ready for an event, or going on a trip, I will make a kitchen counter kanban.

Personal Kanban on the kitchen counterWhen cooking or baking, as I add an ingredient to my dish I will move the post-it into the appropriate column. Often when I am baking, I easily lose track of what I have added to the recipe, this helps me not to lose track.  I have also added tasks corresponding with the meal, such as setting the table, chilling the wine, etc.  When we are getting ready to travel I will put everything right on the counter that I need to do both for myself and my family in regards to packing, confirming reservations and acquiring tickets.

When using a Kanban that involves my whole family when setting it up I take this approach –  I ask each member of my family what color post-it’s they want their tasks to be on. This is because I wanted each of them to be able to take one glance at the board and know exactly what each of us is doing at any given time, and I wanted them to be a color that makes them happy.  In the past I have liked to use the refrigerator, but the post-its sometimes wouldn’t stick to the door, so I decided on the cabinet that is most used, the dish cabinet. (No one can eat without going into this cabinet!)

Kitchen Cabinet Personal Kanban

My husband chose the blue, my daughter the purple and I was the pink color.  I added the color post-it each of us chose with our names at the top above the waiting lanes.  This worked out great because I didn’t need to add names to the individual tasks, just what each task was, and we all knew immediately whose task it was. I even decided to add the day the task was going on, that way when I filled the waiting lane I could put every task up in chronological order, it made it easier to wade through.

Family Kanban workflow on the kitchen cabinetBy Tuesday we were already in a good flow. What I love most about doing a family kanban is the fact that it involves everyone. While I was away my daughter and husband moved their tasks and kept each other in check. It’s like I have a safety net in place, it ensures that we are working together as a family (even if one of us is traveling). I’m not worried that my daughter won’t get to her activities on time. I know it’s getting accomplished.

Each time we use a new kanban in our home we learn and evolve as a family.  It adds to our family happiness factor.  In the past my daughter has even left her appreciation for our family Kanban right in the middle of the board.

Family Kanban showing happiness

I sleep better at night when I’m traveling knowing my family members have the visual reminders of important tasks that can’t get overlooked. This is also something that even though we are busy, going in all different directions, we work on together as a family all week long. Each kanban board is a direct reflection of our family, where we are all at together in our lives, and it brings us closer together.

This post originally appeared on the Nothing is Out of Reach Blog.

Jim BensonPersonal Kanban for a Well Oiled Machine

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