Kanban: A Universe of Options for Life’s Planning & Organizing Challenges #5

Jim BensonFeatured2 Comments

This is the 5th post in a guest series, Kanban: A Universe of Options for Life’s Planning & Organizing Challenges by Nadja Schnetzler.

There are all kinds of kanban boards I have created and used in different situations. Here are a few images and short explanations:

Kanban for the summer

A kanban for summer

Project kanban on a window

A makeshift kanban board on a window for a team who had to prepare an event in short time and had no method to do it in a good way.

scrabble kanban

A kanban board made of scrabble tiles on the table of my living room.

new team kanban

A kanban board for a project team with people who have never worked together before and had to get organized in a few hours.

Digital vs. Analog

I am an incredibly digital person. I spend most of my day in front of a computer, tablet or smartphone, and I love to spend free time online, too, researching ideas, reading or just stumbling through the web. So, most people are somewhat perplex that I do not use an online kanban board. I have tried out several of the online kanban software available, and some of them are really good, but nothing, really nothing beats an analog kanban board made from paper and pencil or drawn on a blackboard or whiteboard. I think the reason is that the feeling of transporting the tasks through the board is never quite the same on an online board as on the “real” version.

Remote teams

I have done a fair amount of work with remote teams in the past and this is the only use case where an online board beats the offline version. It’s great to see how team members are collaborating over distance by using a digital kanban board, and it’s great to see postits move. Every meeting starts around the kanban board over skype, and the discussions are very similar to teams that stand in front of a «real» kanban.

All in all, my journey with kanban has been immensely beneficial so far, and I am looking forward to all the new things I will learn with kanban over the next years, in all contexts and aspects of life.

Nadja Schnetzler was born in Switzerland and spent her childhood in Mexico City. After graduating from High School, she was a founding member of BrainStore, the first Idea Factory in the world. She has a bachelors degree in journalism from renowned “Ringier School of Journalism”. Over the last 25 years, Nadja has led over 600 innovation projects for companies like Nestlé, Siemens, the Swiss Railways, Kraft Foods, BMW, Save the Children, the United Nations or Amnesty International. She is the author of the book “The Ideamachine” (Wiley) and a sought-after speaker and lecturer at various universities.

In 2012, Nadja founded «Word and Deed» with the aim at inspiring organisations, companies, teams and individuals. Word and Deed works in the areas of communication, innovation and collaboration. Kanban has become one of the most important agents of change for Nadja and her clients.

Nadja lives in Switzerland with her husband and her two teenage kids. She enjoys listening to and playing baroque music (with her violin) and has an open house for people from all walks of life.

This is the final post in the guest series by Nadja Schnetzler – Kanban: A Universe of Options for Life’s Planning & Organizing Challenges.  You can read the previous post here.

Jim BensonKanban: A Universe of Options for Life’s Planning & Organizing Challenges #5

2 Comments on “Kanban: A Universe of Options for Life’s Planning & Organizing Challenges #5”

  1. Anette L

    I really like your series, it is full of useful tips and information. 😉 I had begun my Kanban journey with a simple, paper board which I had been improving ever since. But a couple of months ago I decided to ‘transfer’ to its online version – Ka
    . It was a total on-a-whim decision, but I’ve grown fond of it very quickly. For me it was a matter of convenience – now I can have my to-do list with me everywhere I go. 🙂

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