Personal Kanban & Some Goodies About Your Brain

Jim BensonFeatured, Neuroscience, Psychology2 Comments

Sharing some thoughts around my weekly homework from my neuroscience studies Knowledge work is all about attention. Unfortunately that is a scarce resource, easily high jacked by any distraction. Multitasking, i.e. using focused attention on two different targets basically does not exist. What you are able to do is to do a lot of things on autopilot (i.e. walking, breathing, … Read More

Jim BensonPersonal Kanban & Some Goodies About Your Brain

Clean Up Your Backlog

Jim BensonPrimers3 Comments

Does your READY column look like a junk drawer?   Do you have tasks in there that you are holding onto from six months ago that say “Urgent!” (and have since the day they were created)? Guess what? You’re learning something about your work. We have a lot of urgent tasks that strangely don’t get done and no one gets … Read More

Jim BensonClean Up Your Backlog

Categorizing Your Backlog

Jim BensonPrimers3 Comments

Your backlog is hope. Your backlog is pain.   Your backlog holds all the projects, tasks, demands, desires, and expectations you have and the world has for you. The problem is, today’s apparent emergencies are tomorrow’s waste-of-my-time. If we are focused on completion, we don’t want to complete tasks. We want to complete products. If you find you are completing … Read More

Jim BensonCategorizing Your Backlog

Are You Just Doing Things?

Jim BensonPrimers1 Comment

I’ll bet you have a lot of things to do.  Of course you do. We all do. A Personal Kanban anti-pattern that I’m seeing is that people are filling their kanbans with things to do and then…doing them. They are becoming productivity machines. And that’s…really bad. Look, there’s a limitless amount of things to do and you can become super … Read More

Jim BensonAre You Just Doing Things?

HOW TO: How to Limit WIP #2–Affinity Mapping

Jim BensonPrimers1 Comment

Does this look familiar? This is a problem, because an disorderly and frightening READY column is, in and of itself, a form of work-in-progress. Even if you are limiting your WIP, looking at that huge string of demanding post-its weighs us down just looking at it. When we limit our personal Work-in-progress, our ultimate goal is to provide a calm, … Read More

Jim BensonHOW TO: How to Limit WIP #2–Affinity Mapping

Planning is Indispensable. Personal Kanban Anti-patterns Series 1

Jim BensonDesignPatterns, ExpertLeave a Comment

In the early 2000s, people discovered how great pomegranate juice is. It’s filled with antioxidants that help us avoid colds and other maladies. Well, no one likes to be sick, so people started buying the juice by the case. Sure enough, they felt healthier. So they drank more and more until they started getting ulcers because they were repeatedly filling … Read More

Jim BensonPlanning is Indispensable. Personal Kanban Anti-patterns Series 1

Dependencies in Personal Kanban

Jim BensonDesignPatterns, Expert, Featured4 Comments

Dependencies are things that occur in succession. One thing happens, then another thing can happen. Ideally, on a kanban, the value stream will visualize these transitions. For a value stream like this: Analysis -> Creation -> Refinement -> Launch refinement is dependent on both analysis and creation. That neatly takes care of dependencies, but in our Personal Kanban we really … Read More

Jim BensonDependencies in Personal Kanban

Respect Your Backlog and Manage It

Jim BensonExpert, Featured1 Comment

Your backlog is bigger than it should be and it needs to be managed. Everyday people tell us how they are overwhelmed by their backlog, and cannot possibly manage it within a Personal Kanban because it could contain hundreds or thousands of tasks. Let’s examine this. On Stephen Smith’s blog, he describes using Personal Kanban to visualize his workflow with … Read More

Jim BensonRespect Your Backlog and Manage It