(Personal) Kanban in a Nutshell

Kanban is an agile software development methodology that does not time box work to be done, and has very few “rules”. In fact, there are only two:

  • Visualizing your workflow
  • Limiting your work in progress

Anything else beyond this really, is detail of particular approaches to or implementations of Kanban.

Kanban is more of a Lean approach really, than Agile. But I’m not going to bore you with theoretical nit-picking. For excellent resources on the theory and practices around Kanban in software projects, do visit David Anderson’s site.

At about the time I was looking for better ways to organize our lives, I stumbled across Jim Benson on Twitter. Jim had started writing about using Kanban for personal work management, and the concept of Personal Kanban was just starting to take off.

The rules of Personal Kanban are no different from Kanban. It’s just being applied in a personal context, with often exciting results. There are some  great stories on Twitter and the internet on the success people have had with this approach.

Our family is one of them. We’re not “gurus” or “ninjas” in Personal Kanban, but we’ve come a long way.  Please join me as I continue sharing my thoughts on how we are using it to manage our lives better.

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4 Responses to (Personal) Kanban in a Nutshell

  1. topsurf says:

    I’m excited to follow your journey!

    • maritzavdh says:

      Will keep you all posted. 😉 At my current rate, I’ll be able to keep up a post a week for some time to come still. Each week brings some new experiences or insights.

  2. Hi,

    Do you have any visual / example on how your personal kanban for the family looks like? I am interested to use it in my family as well.

    • Hi Josua,

      We’ve used a few different kanban designs over the years, depending on the specific context or problem we were trying to solve. This was one of the first ones we used with the kids a few years back:

      And here are a few others, all using different visuals and approaches:

      And this post summarizes how we use our main family board and additional task boards when we need to:

      Your question has helped me realize, though, that it’s probably about time to post an update of our current main board. It’s evolved a bit again since the picture in the last link above.


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