In my previous post, I wrote about the importance of sharing personal goals with those around you and how Personal Kanban helps to do that. By visualizing the things you’re working on – whether they are big dreams or small projects – you create opportunities for conversation and sharing that may otherwise never happen if you kept everything in your head, personal diary or a To Do list on your tablet.
One of the major challenges in our nuclear family’s life is staying in touch with our extended family. This is because my husband and I chose to relocate away from our respective families when we got married. I mean, who can resist the allure of Cape Town compared to Johannesburg or Bloemfontein? 😉
As we started raising our own family, and the pressures of life, work and parenting started mounting up, we found it’s all too easy for a week or two (or three …) to go by without a phone call or an e-mail to granny or grandpa. This has increasingly led to our feeling disconnected from the rest of the family and our boys knowing shockingly little about the rest of the family.
After the umpteenth recrimination from my mother, I decided to do something about this not-so-little problem.
Enter … The Family Tree Kanban
As you can see, it’s still a work in progress, but I wanted to share this as an example of an alternative (fun!) way of visualizing recurring personal tasks, rather than the typical linear Personal Kanban board.
The idea is to add pictures of each family member we want to stay in touch with regularly, with lines showing the relationship between them. I plan to make a mini-project of this with the boys, e.g. getting them to help me choose the pictures, and figure out the lines to use. Perhaps different color wool for different types of relationships – parent-child, sibling?
The second part, is to find a way to show when last we had contact with this particular family member. As with my small horizon exercise kanban, I simply want to see the last time we interacted with the particular family member, in a way that will trigger an action (the fundamental purpose of a “kanban” in the Toyota Production System) for us to contact them right now.
I’m mulling over a few options for this “interaction trigger”, but I’m not really sold on any of them yet. So if you have some bright ideas to share, please do so in the comments below!
Also, do you think this kind of playful, non-linear family Kanban could work for your family, or even for a school or work project you’re working on? I’d love to hear your thoughts.