What I found most fascinating about this process of production that it coordinates

A decent-sized group of specialists dispersed across the globe to achieve

the complex task of releasing high-quality multimedia content

demands for a demanding schedule every day, without any unscheduled event.

Email or instant message. Not one of the know-how workers

In this way, one never requires to fill up an inbox or browse any document

messenger channel. Nearly all of the time they spend on this channel is devoted to

performing the tasks they’ve been instructed to do doing the work, and then when they’re finished

functioning, they’re done, there’s no need to look anything up, and no urgent issues

The request for a response is required.

To be honest media production is a regulated process. There is a wealth of information

Instead, workers are confronted with a fluid and continuously changing collection of

demands. It is important to understand how these attempts can be managed, it is important to understand

processes and processes, I processes, I Johnson to guide me through the typical day for one of the

the top managers of his company — someone who is responsible for overseeing

diverse one-time projects and also create a unique methods on a regular

basis. Based on what Johnson explained the manager involved is on a schedule which is a

Every day begins each day with three consecutive hours of work prior to he

is given “even an or a single.” It is the time reserved for the manager to

be awed by his ideas, making educated decisions about how to

move forward, where to go next, what should be improved, and what not to do.

Only when this morning’s block has ended the manager will focus his attention to the evening block.

to manage the projects that he oversees. to make project management easier

more organized, Optimize deploys an online collaboration tool known as Flow.

In its most basic form, Flow lets you to keep track of tasks that are associated with

projects. The task itself is presented by cards that can be assigned to specific

People and given a deadline. Information and files that are related to the job are available to

connected to the card and discussion tools permit people working on the project to

Chat directly through the virtual card, in the forum format.

Then, the cards can be moved and organized into various

columns, and every column has a label to denote the various categories of

Task or status.

Similar to the way Devesh’s marketing firm utilized Trello as part of the study

The last chapter of the book the virtual cards that were arranged on virtual boards

They are the central point in which the process of completing projects is carried out. Instead of having every

communications for all work flows by way of a general-purpose inbox

You can now select your preferred channel to start working on certain project by clicking on the channel.

Checking in on the page and completing the tasks you’ve been given. This is precisely

What our Optimize manager does when his work block has ended:

Checks in on the projects each one at a time, and joins the conversation centered on cards

If needed and looking at where things are currently.

After having a look at these projects using Flow The manager usually will

One-on-one FaceTime meetings with his different team members

supervises. These discussions are utilized to discuss new initiatives or

solve issues related to ongoing tasks. Many projects also have a scheduled

Each week, a meeting is scheduled to ensure that everyone’s efforts are coordinated and

effectively solve group problems. Managers are involved in these meetings and helps to solve group issues.

Update the relevant pages of the project as required to reflect any changes

The work is discussed. Like many Optimize workers, the workday is over with a pause

Between 4:00 and 5:00 p.m. Johnson is insistent in imposing the concept of a “digital sunset” for

the company: He wants his employees to finish their work day in a reasonable manner.

one hour to spend time with your family and recharge. Since there is no email

Inboxes to be checked our manager’s inboxes. Our manager, along the other employees of Optimize inboxes to check, will

Actually, you will be unemployed up to the next day.

Here are some other random things I’ve found out about Optimize’s

processes. While they do not allow internal email however, they use emails to

interact with our external partners. Their interactions with these email inboxes,

However, the process is highly organized. Johnson states that the people accountable for the structure of these

External-facing email addresses come with “discrete blocks” where they verify

for messages, usually every day. To manage customer service, optimize

employs a program known as Intercom that simplifies response

The most frequently requested requests , and stops an overflow of unclear emails from

customers. Optimize is also a host for a company-wide meeting on Mondays

(using software for teleconferencing) to coordinate efforts.

Most interesting of all, and was a complete shock when first I heard of it

–Optimize does use Slack. According to Johnson explained However, it’s not a good fit for the software.

The way you interact with this tool is very different from the cliché of

constantly conversation in the hive mind. Since almost all interactions are necessary to be conducted

Optimize’s main work activities are already being captured by clearly defined

processes, there’s little to talk about in the chat channels. The tool

It is mostly employed for two main reasons. The second is to “celebrate victories” when someone wins.

does something that is important, whether in their personal life or professionally accomplishes something important, whether professionally or personally.

It could be shared on the business Slack channel. Johnson says this is an opportunity to share the information on Slack.

the chance to virtually “high-five” the other. Since the company is virtual,

He explained that it’s crucial to find a means of social interaction. Then, they can have their

Another use for Slack is to plan the meetings where the majority of actually work is done.

The interaction takes place.

Optimize employees truly do use Slack asynchronously–checking it

just once or twice a each day between other obligations. It is not necessary to do this

Check Slack frequently, since there’s not enough posted on the

the channel that can make it profitable. On a typical day Optimize employees

You could end up using Slack for a couple of minutes, perhaps to

Give a virtual high-five or offer a time for the manager who is who is trying to establish an event.


In addition, to help ensure that this process-centric approach is embraced in work, Johnson

He insists that all employees be committed to processes. He sees getting

These processes are the basis of their effectiveness. Each and every employee at

Optimize should spend at least the first 90 minutes of each day.

In a work block that is deep in a deep work block, completely free of inputs (some people, for example, the manager

as mentioned above, and spend more). One of the most important applications of this morning’s news is

The first step is to consider the processes and ways to improve them. As Johnson

As I’ve explained to me, it takes time to determine how to structure the insane

interactions and inputs that are a part of the vast majority of interactions and inputs that are part of most. He’s diligent in

Making sure everyone is paying attention to making sure that everyone is focusing on this. “You require time off

From inputs to determine the best way to organize the inputs,” the researcher

explained. It is probably the most significant process explained: the

procedure that aids in improving process that helps improve the.

Who’s Doing What , and How? The characteristics of an effective


We’ll assume that you’ve accepted the challenge of developing more efficient information

Work production processes. What are the factors that make a process efficient in this case?

Think about the process of production employed to produce Brian Johnson’s Optimize

Enterprises that produce regular multimedia contents. When Johnson joins an

New lesson title and subtitle in his shared spreadsheet with his team members and the steps to

From this beginning stage to the release of content is all planned out in the framework of

A sequence of predetermined phases. In each phase, it’s evident what tasks are being performed.

It is necessary to complete the task and where the necessary files are located and who has access to them.

are supposed to complete the task to complete the task, and what happens after they’ve completed the work.

Optimize’s processes to handle the many different one-time projects.

You can’t depend on exact sequences of predetermined phases since each one of these

The process for each project is unique. However, the overall workflow remains very well-organized.

Information on who’s involved in what project, and the status of work, is available.

The data is gathered using the Flow project-management tool. What decisions to make about what

assignments to be added as well as the people to assign these are determined in a regular schedules

meetings. When you’re working on any of the projects, you’ll be able to observe the timetable of your

The work you do is clear. You review the task cards that are assigned to you.

Flow, and then put your hands on the table to complete these tasks and update the cards

If you’re completed. Sometimes, you attend meetings where you are more is involved

Discussion or making decisions are necessary. The outcomes of these meetings are

Instantly reflected immediately Flow. The project-focused approach is similarly

Reduces the time spent talking regarding work. It also maximizes the time spent communicating

time that is spent in actual actions.

These examples of successful manufacturing processes have the following characteristics:


1. It’s easy to determine who’s working on what, and how it’s progressing.

2. Work can be carried out without huge amounts of non-scheduled


3. There’s a well-known procedure for changing work assignments at the

The process continues.

In our daily lesson, we will use an example the first property is met by the status

Field in the shared spreadsheet that informs the team precisely where each

This lesson is currently being taught inside the manufacturing pipeline. Second and Third

properties are fulfilled by the set sequence of phases.

It lays out exactly what you must be doing when you’re given the opportunity to finish the project. It also outlines what you should be doing when it comes to working on

Lesson, where to locate the necessary files before you begin, and then where you can put them

files after you’re finished working on the files, and what happens next after you’ve finished working on them?

The phase is now complete.

The project’s process begins when the first property is met by Flow which

It has a beautiful visual interface that shows all current tasks that are being performed by a

project. The small headshot icons for each task are the names of those who are involved in the

the project is assigned to the project. If you’re involved in one of the projects there’s no confusion

on what you’re supposed do at the moment. The second

property is fulfilled through a combination with Flow’s collaborative tools developed

straight to the work cards and the routine of regular brief status meetings.

The communication about the project is limited to these channels.

To complete the third property the third property, there are decisions to determine who is working

On new tasks, they are usually created during meetings and later reflected on in


A successful production process that is, it should reduce both

There is a lot of confusion about what’s happening and the number of scheduled

Communication is essential to carry out the task. There is nothing to say is said about

These limitations limit the autonomy of the knowledge worker in the process of figuring it out

How they can complete their work but the primary focus is the coordination of this work.

It is also important to note that these properties aren’t likely to result in a tyrannical bureaucracy.

because the processes they use are designed to minimize the costs involved–in

The terms used to describe both context and time, which surround the actual act

Producing valuable products. The workers at highly structured Optimize

The business will probably feel much more secure and less overwhelmed

rather than being enslaved to the status as a result of hyperactive hive mind


The most significant issue with manufacturing processes in the field of knowledge

In the context of these, they usually require a custom-built design to suit every situation.

What is effective for Optimize for instance it might not be the same for an app for mobile devices.

the development company and what’s best for an app business will not work for the

The accounting firm is a one-person shop with a single person. In this light you can imagine the

The remainder of this chapter will explore various best practices will help

can be employed when designing the manufacturing processes that work

The best solution for your particular circumstance.

Cards in Columns A Task Board Revolution Task Board Revolution

A person I’ll call Alex is part of a 15-person team which operates

as an independent company within a major healthcare company. His

Our team is focused on the analysis of data. If, for instance you’re a researcher, the

If you are a customer of this service, you receive a grant which will require you to do certain

complex number processing, the Alex’s team will provide you with the tools you need.

need. They also develop internal projects to assist the organization in running more

Effectively, you can spin off the solutions standalone software

products. In light of these diverse functions, Alex, as you would expect, must

There are many needs on the team’s time.

The main reason the feat is accomplished is obvious when you

Walk into his office. One of the walls is an eight-by-three-foot

chalkboard. It is broken down into five sections: plans ready and blocked and

done. Work column divided into two columns two columns: in

Development and testing. The columns are taped under notes cards that have been handlabeled. If you remain in Alex’s office for a longer time there will be a pattern.

emerge. In the mornings, the Alex’s team’s project managers meet in a circle.

“the big board” the way they’ve been using it to then discuss the cards. They

Talk about, it is possible to move the deck certain cards are moved across the column from one place to the next,

While others are organized in an order that is different from the column they are currently in.

What you won’t see are the project leaders dividing their attention among

the topic at hand, and their inboxes of emails. Alex’s team doesn’t like

emails (or instant messenger, for this matter) They have this technology in their minds.

Primarily as a means of communicating with partners from outside. The data

the most important thing for doing their work is that is right before them.

sketched on the cards that were that were taped to a chalkboard.

As Alex explained to me , when I asked him about how he avoids

Hyperactive Hive Mind Workflow and the office chalkboard isn’t the only

the tool that his team uses. Each notecard that is taped to the large board is the number of notes on it.

project. When a project is accepted into the work column the group of

those who are part of the project will form their own boards dedicated to

the work required to complete the work. In contrast to the big board these are the projects that must be completed.

smaller boards are generally integrated into software. Alex’s team is more fond of

two tools that are well-known within the community of software developers two tools that are popular in the software development community, called

Asana and Jira are the two tools used to create these boards. After a project is completed,

in progress, those who are working on it will have their regular meetings in the coming weeks.

Refresh the board, discussing the cards, and then rearranging them

within the columns.

When I spoke to Alex at the time, for instance there was a note that was on the top

board with project labels which was part of the process employed for one

hospitals of the provider for storing results of genetic tests they carry out

on babies. The information was stored by one FTP server. Alex’s team

was given the task of working out how to transform this data into a more

flexible database. He told me how this project could progress:

We have heard about this plan. It’s shown as cards in the plans

column. It’s placed in a row behind three other items that must be completed

done first. When it reaches on top we’ll

Discuss it and develop detailed tasks that can be incorporated to Asana or

Jira. On the big board, we’ll transfer the card to development.

Alex usually has these discussions every early in the morning. If it’s his

Development teams are fully involved on projects–“rock and rolling”–he’ll

Temporarily, reduce these big picture sessions to once per week up to

There’s still more planning to be made.

-It’s the third time we’ve seen the same pattern.

information about work on knowledge organized in columns of cards on the board. Alex’s

team makes use of both chalkboards that are physical and virtual boards, which are created by

Asana. Optimize Enterprises relies on Flow. Devesh in the previous chapter

Uses Trello.

The idea behind posting tasks on boards in order to manage work isn’t

new. Hospital emergency rooms, for instance have been relying on trackers:

whiteboards that are divided into a grid, that lists each patient being treated

which includes their room including their room, the nurse or doctor assigned, as well as the triage levels they have.

For those who are rushed The tracking board offers an overview of an excellent

Overview of the present situation of the emergency room. It will also simplify the

problems of figuring out the best place to put new patients, and also where doctors need to

spend their time. Like I said, even early 20th century Pullman

trains relied on rails. They used brass tags that were hung on wooden

board to record the assignments for brass employees to machines.

Recently, we have seen a more sophisticated method for distributing tasks on boards is being developed.

A productivity tool has come to light. This is why boards are split into

named columns and work tasks are organized as stacks of cards that are vertical

in the column which best describes their situation. Sometimes, like with the column that best describes their status, they are placed in the column that best describes it.

Plan column on Alex’s huge board, the vertical order of cards signifies

priority. This is the basic configuration used by Alex, Devesh, and Brian


The basis of this approach to organising work can be located in the

Software development community that has developed has been around for the last two decades has been a part of the software development community.

has been increasingly accepting agile techniques for creating

software. The basic concepts behind agile were first laid out in the 2001 edition of

manifesto written by a team of 17 programmers, and project

managers. The manifesto starts with optimism: “We are uncovering better

ways to develop methods of creating software.” It then sets out twelve fundamentals that are each one of which

Explained in simple language. “Our most important goal is to please our customers.”

by ensuring the timely and consistent delivery of software that is valuable,” says one

principle. “Simplicity–the art of maximising the amount of work that is not completed

Essential,” is another article.


To comprehend agile, you need to know what it is replacing. Software

development was based on lumbering, complex plan of work that

I would smugly try to determine in advance all the work needed to

Produce a huge program that could be a major. The idea was to with one of these

Plans, which are often beautifully drawn in multicolored, striated Gantt charts,

It is possible to know precisely the number of programmers that should be assigned to each stage, and

Provide your customers with precise release schedules for your customers. This method

It was logical in theory, however, for anything other than the most basic designs These plans

The accuracy of software is not always guaranteed. Software isn’t like creating

cars: it’s tough to know the length of time different steps will take, or

What problems could arise. Also, it was discovered that the customers weren’t always know

Know everything they require beforehand, and that’s why the new features are being designed

It could be changed on the fly and could alter the schedule, further destabilizing it.

The agile mentality believes that software development should be broken

broken down into smaller pieces which can then become released to the natural world as fast as

possible. If users give feedback, the data can be accessed quickly

Integrated into future updates – creating a feedback loop that continues to evolve

helpful software rather than trying to create it flawlessly all at once .

releasing. As increasing number of programs became web-based, it made it easier to release the

release new updates, and seeking feedback different agile

Methodologies became very well-known among developers.

The word”various” is significant in this context. Agile in itself isn’t an

Organizational system. It instead is a general method which is implemented

through a myriad of specific by a variety of different specific. Two of the most popular systems are based on

The current trends are Scrum and Kanban that, should you be involved

using software are terms that you’ve at most heard of.

In general, Scrum breaks work down into sprints. team

commits its entire time to providing an update prior to taking a decision to move

and on to on to. Kanban is, in contrast is a more constant flow of

assignments through a predetermined sequence of steps, with the an overall goal of making the

currently in progress in any phase which helps to prevent the possibility of bottlenecks.

That is why we are back at the boards. When you take a look beyond the bottom

specifics of their implementation details of their implementation Scrum and Kanban are doing is a lot different than what Scrum and Kanban have done

share involves the use of a task-board in which task-related cards are

vertically stacked in columns which correspond to the phases of the software

development process. In Scrum for instance there’s a column referred to as

backlog of the features that may be important, but

There are still no solutions. There’s also a column dedicated to specific features that aren’t yet addressed.

Being worked on by a group of programmers participating in a sprint, column

for the features that have been developed and are currently being tested,

column to list features that are completed, tested and ready to go live.

It’s no accident that both systems were able to use the identical

ways to organize methods of organizing tasks. One of the main ideas driving flexible project management

Humans are naturally skilled in the art of making plans. It’s not necessary to

complex strategies for managing projects to decide what to focus on

The next step is usually enough to have a small group of knowledgeable engineers meet

to discuss the things that make sense. This is the main caveat to this belief is that it’s best to get

The problem is that we’re able effectively use our planning instincts only if

we are aware of all relevant information. What we need to know about

is being developed already being developed, what’s left to be completed, and what needs to be done. there are

bottlenecks, etc. The cards stacked on the boards can be amazing

Effective method to quickly communicate the information.

The task board’s property allows them to be useful for more than

Software development is the reason we see them appear frequently in

examples of forward-looking knowledge work organisations that are trying to

to become more organized about their procedures. This is why I also suggest

These are things to be considered in the process of developing your own

organization. To help with this process I’ve compiled some of the top methods to help you with

maximizing the use task boards within the setting of the work of knowledge.

Task Board Practice 1 Note: The cards should be simple and informative

The core of the task board technique is the method of stacking cards in columns. They are

Cards typically relate to specific assignments in the workplace. It’s crucial to ensure that you use these cards for specific tasks.

Tasks are clearly stated and there should be no confusion regarding what effort is required.

each card represents.

The other key to successfully implementing this method is having an understanding of the process

way to assign cards to people. Digital systems like Flow offer

assigning as a natural function, which allows you to see a tiny thumbnails

headshots of those who are on a task card. But even in systems

which don’t have assignment capabilities is easy to include this information in

the card’s name. In certain instances the assignment is implied by the columns

For instance perhaps, on a tiny group of developers, for instance a particular individual

who is responsible for all assignments in the testing column. What’s

Important is that when the card is moved to the column that indicates that it is

must be worked on actively and there’s no doubt as to who’s involved.

accountable for this work.

In the end, there must be an simple methods to link with the relevant

details on the information on each. If you are using digital boards like Flow, or

Trello You can also connect files and long descriptions of text to the virtual cards.

This is extremely useful because it categorizes all information pertinent to the

tasks in one place. This is something that really stuck with me while I was working on my

the Trello boards that are used by Devesh. A card I saw on his

boards, for instance they were linked to the work of writing an analysis

Report for a client. The card was accompanied by the necessary files that contained

the report’s information and some tips on how to the report. The person who is responsible for the report.

Working on this project and there’s no reason to sort through inboxes full of clutter.

or chat archives to locate or chat archives to find. If it is time to tackle the

Everything you’ll need is available in one spot.

If it’s a real board you can’t use it directly.

You can attach digital files or long descriptions of your cards. You can also attach long descriptions or digital files to cards.

more or less the same result with a service such as Dropbox to create an online sharing

Directory for the board with subdirectories to each column. It is possible to store

details that are relevant to cards within the column

subdirectory–simplifying the task of finding this information when the

the time is here.

Task Board Practice 2: When you are in doubt, start by using Kanban’s default


When you are done with the security of the firmly established rules surrounding the

the use of task boards when developing software, it’s not always clear

how to configure them for the specific context of your work. If you are in

In case of doubt, you can start by using the default settings of the Kanban method, which

There are only the three column: to be done to do, doing, and completed. It is possible to further elaborate

this foundation is necessary.

On Devesh’s boards for instance, he had an area for design work and

A column to implement campaigns for clients. This change to the

Kanban defaults have proved beneficial within his company’s marketing due to the fact that

Design and implementation tasks pull from two distinct sources of

employees. The Flow boards that are used in Optimize Enterprises, by contrast,

It was more common to employ the simpler configuration of a single column devoted to the entire task

is being carried out for the project in the present.

Another great way to improve one of the Kanban default is to add the option of a column

to store notes on background as well as research information that is generally pertinent for a specific project.

This hack technically violates the standard that every card is a reference to

It is a job, but with digital boards, it could be an effective method of keeping

details about the places where it could be required. In Devesh’s marketing

In a business, for instance, the type of column was used to record notes from

client phone calls.


3. Task Board Training #3 Conduct Regular Review Meetings

As I mentioned earlier, this is an essential property of any knowledge-based work production

The process is a reliable method to determine who is responsible for what. It is a good way to determine who is working on what.

Task boards are a context for task boards. the decisions of task boards are reflected in the cards that are displayed on the task boards.

the board and who they are appointed to. However, how should the board make these decisions?

made? One of the fundamental ideas in agile methodologies is that of brief meetings are conducted

A regular schedule is by far the most effective way to keep track of and update tasks

boards. Agile does not believe that you should allow these decisions take place

informal conversations in asynchronous chats on the internet or via instant messenger.

Task boards are a great way to share the production of your own information,

procedures, you must adhere to the same guidelines.

The most common structure for these sessions is to allow everyone speak brief

They’ll summarize their work and what they’re looking for from other people

achieve progress throughout the rest in the working day. also what transpired with the work they completed?

were committed to working on the day prior to. This review is part of the day.

Meetings where new tasks can be identified and new persons are assigned to these tasks.

The meetings also assist in eliminating the bottlenecks that result from one person who is waiting to

listen to the voice of another person They also can provide a crucial feeling of

accountability: If you fail to follow through, you’ll be penalized. off from the job you made a promise to in the day, you’ll be accountable.

At the next meeting, you’ll be required to disclose this deficiency of performance publicly during

tomorrow’s review.

These review sessions are regular and work very well, in part, because they’re

It’s a feeling of collaboration: everyone feels they had a say in which tasks to complete.

they’re tackling. They’re also effective because they’re clear:

Everyone is present during the discussion that determines the current activities.

assignments. In addition, as we’ll discuss in the first part of this book assignments that are real-time

Communication is usually a more efficient method of coordinating

people than a lengthy back-and-forth texting. Ten minutes of

The gathering of data can remove the dozens of messages that

or cause interruptions frequently during the day.

Of course, a lot of modern knowledge-based organizations have remote access.

employees, making it difficult for all employees working on the same task to be able to work together.

the board must be present at the venue for these meetings to be present in person. The norm is for the

Solution is to make use of software for conferencing such as Skype, Zoom, or FaceTime

(if the groups aren’t too large). The most important thing is interaction in real-time.

Practice with Task Board #4 Use Card Conversations to replace Hive

Mind Chatter

One of the most effective characteristics of digital boards is the ability to discuss

feature built into every function built into each. It is the case with Trello and Flow for instance, or the function is built into each virtual card.

In addition to attaching documents and other information on cards, you’ll also find tools to do this.

Conversations in the form of a message board are stored onto each of the cards. The card allows users to

Ask questions, and other are able to respond later to provide answers. In the know

workplaces I saw that utilized digital task boards these cards

conversations were a vital element of coordination in specific areas.

The people would be checking in on these conversations multiple times a day.

The discussion time is reduced to the minimum needed at regular review meetings.

and eliminate the need for universal tools for communication like

emails, which do poorly at structuring information . They quickly degrade and


An important concern is whether the card conversations could allow

Unstructured, hyperactive messaging to get back into

Your organization. Based on my observations however, I can say that the experiences of

The conversation with the card was quite different from that of Hive

brain chatter. Devesh For instance, talked about his transition from email to cards

conversations are described as “flipping your script” in conversations as “flipping the script” on. When you’re having

general email inbox where the majority of conversations take place and you’re obliged to

Always check your inbox and then you will be confronted with conversations

regarding a myriad of initiatives. If you are relying on the card conversation, the

However, the best method to engage in the debate around a particular issue is to engage in discussion.

The goal of the project is to navigate the project’s board. Now, you’re

There is a conversation that only focuses on the project. This is the opposite of what we expected.

since you can now decide on the idea you’d like to speak about, rather than

Let the projects choose for themselves.

Card conversations can also be used to communicate with different forms of communication

expectations. The general assumption is that you’ll review your pertinent

task cards just every few times per day, there’s not a urgency, or any

the expectation that you will provide rapid response time. The level of your work

Thus, the amount of work increases as people become more accustomed to dealing with one issue at a time, and for

lengthy periods of time, before moving into longer periods, and then moving to. In contrast long periods of time, before moving on to the next.

conversations happen on a universal communications tool, called the

the awareness that everyone is monitoring this tool more often can lead to

Expectations for response times to be faster for all communications

which eventually lead to a hyper-active full-speed hive mind’s workflow.

(See the chapter 3 on the cycle of the cycle of.)

Conversations on cards are also more organized than hive minds.

chatter, because conversations are tied to specific activities and are often accompanied by

by all the necessary by all the relevant. When I’m running a task by way of example,

If I need to know the status of a crucial project, I can switch the virtual

card, and then quickly go through all the pertinent discussions, bringing me back to

speed. The latter contrasts to hive mind’s workflow that is characterized by speed.

Information is scattered across people’s inboxes , or is buried in

Chat channels are crowded.

There’s a calmer pace and peace that appears to be a part of this

The discussion shifts to conversation with cards. To reduce the need to fight

An inbox that is always full is an advantage that should not be undervalued.

Personal Kanban: Organising Your Professional Life

Individual Task Boards

Jim Benson thinks a lot about improving the quality of knowledge work. He is a consultant

The company, Modus Cooperandi, specializes in customizing processes.

Improve collaboration in collaboration in knowledge-based organizations. More likely to be to be influenced

through his previous career as a software entrepreneur adept in agile

methods, Benson’s processes typically employ task boards. The

images included in Modus Cooperandi’s website. Modus Cooperandi website are filled with vibrant

Post-it notes with colors organized in complicated columns.5

In terms of personal productivity circles, however Benson is most well-known for his

small volume that he self-published back in the year 2011. The book is called Personal

Kanban is an agile method that promises enticingly of agile methods that can be used to help

Teams can make sense of complicated projects. They can help reduce the complexity

chaos of obligations within your professional and personal life.

The basic concepts that drive Personal Kanban are simple enough that Benson

He can sum them up in a video of five minutes that can be featured in the book’s


The video shows Benson is seen standing in front of a white notepad with a large size.

placed on an easel. The artist fills the middle part of the paper with bunch of

colored Post-it notesthat are “expectations” of family members, friends,

coworkers, bosses, and us. “All of these become one big deal

of a congealed mass inside our minds, which we need to break apart each time we

choose something we’d prefer to try,” he explains. It is necessary to test

To pick to pick this “mass” from the rest and think about all these various obligations

trying try to determine what to do in the next step. “That’s not fun.” Benson


The personal Kanban Solution to this issue is to manage this chaos

of expectations by creating of expectations using a personal board for tasks. Benson of the three suggestions for a list

columns. The first column is labeled with options, and is the area where you place all of your

obligations in neat stacks of Post-it notecards Each note is for a specific task. “Now we’ve

took that terrible mass of work and transformed it into an extremely logical

A beautiful rectangular shape.” This column’s second row is designated as doing. This is the area where you will find a

Move the Post-its that correspond to the tasks you’re working on

Right now. The secret to this column — and is a large element that is the key ingredient

Kanban systems in general — is that you must keep an absolute limit on

the number of tasks you’re permitted to perform at any one time. In Kanbanspeak it’s called the works-in-progress (WIP) restriction. The video shows Benson

This limit is set at set this limit at three. He explains that if you are trying to improve your performance, he

On a myriad of tasks at once and you’ll end up with an “messy

Life.” He convincingly suggests that it’s best to only do a just a handful of things

at any time at any given moment, give them your complete concentration and only do this when you are ready to

If you have finished one, you should change it out with a new one.

This brings us to the finished column. Here you finish your tasks.

you complete. Theoretically, you could simply throw away your Post-it when

accomplished its mission completed its task, however, it was not as successful, but Benson suggests the psychological boost it received

physically physically moving the Post-it to finished is an effective motivational device.

Since Benson first published Personal Kanban, the system has changed

The site has gained a cult. On YouTube, you can find a multitude of homemade

videos of fans describing their own opinions on Benson’s style of handling

personal efficiency. If you think that all these people strictly follow the rules of

Benson’s original three-column design then you don’t have much knowledge of the design.

About the personal productivity about the personal productivity. When you view these fan-made videos,

you’ll find a variety of intricate customized variations.

One of these videos replaces the do column with a the ready column.

to three sub-columns: cold hot, warm and cold, allowing to have a more subtle

Take on the status of unfinished tasks.7

Another video made by an instructor

who is a teacher of supply chain management. shows the use of a personal board

The format is so complex that it appears to need the assistance of a graduate

chain management is difficult to comprehend. He breaks down his column of options into

Color-coded rows he refers to as “value streams”” each one dedicated to a distinct

kind of work and using post-it notes that match in color. These rows are

Further divided into internally arranged columns that are further divided into internal. One column is labeled “holding

tank” of work are not achievable at the moment one is a

Column is dedicated to tasks will hopefully complete. Each row is marked with”staging,” or “staging

The area” area that the next action of the stream to be completed will be

moved. From these larger staging zones, the tasks can be then moved

within the limited slot machines which are constrained by a limit on WIP of three.

The column he has created is maintained with the exact color-coded value stream rows as the ones in his

performing column, allowing him to take a quick glance to have a quick sense of what he’s accomplished.

Recently, he has been dividing his time.8

— The popularity in the popularity of Personal Kanban among productivity aficionados

is a crucial fact anyone trying to get away from the

Hyperactive hive mind Task boards aren’t only efficient for coordination

Work in teams, but they can be extremely effective at understanding your

Individual obligations, even if have a degree or graduate level training

Supply chain management.

In the past, as I’ve mentioned I’ve been embracing this idea in my own way.

Professional life as a teacher my professional life as a professor, I make use of Trello boards to track my

my duties during my tenure as Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) for

The department of computer science is located within Georgetown. In the wake of Jim Benson’s

the basic structure, I’ve been completed columns and have done the basic structure. Following the model of

Personal Kanban community I also use my own personal mix of

columns to help me understand my plans to tackle but haven’t yet started.

I am currently working on (more on this later). Each Monday I look over

the board and updating the position of the cards and deciding which I’m working on

during the same during that week. In the days following I refer to the board

determine what I can do with the time that I set aside to fulfill my DGS tasks. As

new tasks are added to the list, in email or phone calls new tasks are also

regular, students stopping in my office to ask questions I’m not sure how

to respond, I immediately place them on the cards I place on my board.

Later, the issue was dealt with.

If I didn’t have this system for task boards I’d be reliant on the hyperactive

Hive mind workflow for completing my tasks as DGS to do my work, which would result in the consignment of

I’m trying to manage multiple simultaneous emails slow-moving emails

conversations throughout all conversations throughout the. I’d like to be that person, having his laptop open

each meeting, always phone on hand as you rush through campus, ensuring

The proverbial plates are spinning, one swift response at the same time. Without this

system, or in other words my work could be almost unbearable. In this way, the

The cost of this job is significantly reduced. Obligations are removed on

board in which they’re organized and then I’ll methodically finish the tasks in

the time that is that are set aside to serve this purpose. That’s why, as you would imagine I’ve

I have become a huge advocate for the use of task boards and not only to help teams organize, but also

However, you must organize your personal life as a knowledgeable worker and also.

To help in this endeavor to make it easier, here are some best practices to follow for

Individual task boards are ideal for your needs.

Personal Task Boards Practice 1 Make Use of More Than One Board

A lot of proponents for personal Kanban have a strong belief that Personal Kanban approach deploy a single board

understand every task they have to do in their professional lives. I suggest

Something a bit different: keep separate boards for each significant job

in your professional in your personal. Presently I am playing three distinct parts in my professional life.

as an instructor at my university as a researcher, teacher as well as DGS. I have as a

distinct task boards specific to each role which is why, for instance I’m

When I think about teaching, but am not too distracted by other tasks regarding

research or graduate programs. This can reduce network switching and

This increases the speed at the speed at which I can resolve problems. This speeds up the time I’m able to resolve.

Similar to this, I’ve also discovered it helpful to occasionally create a task that is assigned to a specific person

board for larger projects (say the project could take more than a couple of days).

of weeks of hard work). A while ago, for instance, I was chairperson of a general meeting

important academic major academic. Its demands for this job were many

I have found it to be easier to keep them to their own task board that was isolated from

different aspects of my academic life. When the project finished I put it aside.