New Year’s Resolution

Planning Kanban Adoption for Home Task Management

New year. New decade. Cue the numerous social media posts outlining unachievable resolutions that people have absolutely no chance of keeping. The majority of my friends set typical goals such as new gym routines and healthier eating habits. However, the Richmond family have a more unconventional ambition in mind.

My reputation as an Agile advocate is well known across the team. Hence the Scrum notebook as a maternity present!
My reputation as an Agile advocate is well known across the team. Hence the Scrum notebook as a maternity present!

Business Never Personal

To ensure this is not yet another lost resolution that’s committed to the rubbish heap, it’s critical to outline the justification for using Kanban in this unorthodox setting. Our current home organisational model is flawed due to a simple lack of visibility. Myself and my husband currently use a generic TO DO app inspired by post-its. Features such as cross device collaboration and reminders are fantastic for small urgent items. When it comes to longer term items that require more effort and planning, they often become lost. Furthermore, progress made on these items is difficult to track. Especially over the last few months with the arrival of Baba and the resulting mutual sleep deprived baby brain.

This physical board has pride and place on my desk.
This physical board has pride and place on my desk.

We Need a Resolution

In committing to this resolution, there are a few setup considerations that we need to evaluate. Just like adoption of any Agile methodology within the software development domain, details of the adopted setup must be agreed by all parties using the process. In this case we’ll exclude Baba from discussions, mainly because he’s yet to speak. Nevertheless, all attributes of this model must have full backing of both Mr Richmond and myself.

  • Magnetic Story Cards
  • Whiteboard markers
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The board must be prominently and proudly displayed for all to see

Measure for Measure

As stated previously, adoption of Kanban is intended to address several challenges with organisation and execution of home tasks. In the spirit of continuous improvement, we must evaluate whether Kanban adoption successfully solves the aforementioned issues. Just as I found in adoption of Obstacle board by one of our squads back in 2019, that warm fuzzy feeling of subjective improvement is not enough. Even for personal adoption, establishing quantitative metrics is imperative for measuring progress.

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Even personal adoption of Kanban requires some measurement to assess effectiveness

The Adventure and the Resolution

The idea of Personal Kanban is certainly not novel. A simple Google search provides articles documenting usage for organisation of personal work tasks and home use. Learning from their experiences is indeed important. Nevertheless, what is novel is the assessment of whether it works for addressing my current home organisational trials. Personal Kanban is very personal in that regard.

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As with all resolutions, establishing a habit will prove challenging

Lead software engineer with a strong interest in Agile, UX and Usability. Lover of cooking, tea, photography and gin!

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