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


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TonianneGetting “Personal” with Your Kanban

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