Too often, we find ourselves overwhelmed with our workload. This creates painful decisions, conflicts with stakeholders, and professional angst as we grapple with questions like:
What is the right thing to do right now? Should I be working alone or collaborating? What is everyone else doing? There are so many problems, what should I focus on?
We all have a dire need for clarity.
We could respond to this with more meetings, working longer hours, or even just giving up…
We could take control, visualize and share our work, finish the work at hand before we start something else, completing our work at the right time and with confidence.
This is possible; professionals and teams are doing it globally every day.
We simply need to reduce the fear that comes from being overwhelmed by having too much to do. When we can see our work, we can understand it. When we understand the work, we gain the clarity we need to make thoughtful choices about what the next right thing to do is. When we have that agency, we can communicate better with the people who depend on us. We owe ourselves and our colleagues this much.
Personal Kanban, a system that visualizes work and stops us from overcommitting has helped professionals in every industry, from the United Nations, to the US Patent and Trade Office, to Turner Construction to Spotify to San Francisco Health Plan to the World Bank, to see their work, share understanding, and collaborate with confidence.
Each week you will be asked to watch a series of video lessons covering Personal Kanban topics. After you’ve watched the videos you will have a short assignment to complete that will help you get up and running using Personal Kanban. Then we will set up calls where you, your classmates and your instructor will discuss key points from the videos and how people are progressing with making Personal Kanban work for you.
You can't manage what you can't see.
You can't align what you can't see.
Your team can map their work, understand their collaborations, and see immediate improvement.
Value Stream Mapping is a quick, effective tool to get and keep everyone informed about how, why, and when we work.
See the work your team does, who they collaborate with, where things break down, and where you can fix things right now. We take the Value Stream mapping basic Lean tool, and extend it for your team's work. We emphasize how the people on your team work together and with other teams to get work done. We look to remove the things that slow work down, and the things that knock your team off its game. Dependencies, impediments, changes in priority, bureaucracy, poorly defined work, estimation or lack of estimation, assumptions of how work is handed out... Agile methodologies and Lean manufacturing both need this tool taught the Modus Way.
Every team is built on assumptions. When you get a team together to map their value stream, they will talk for days about how they work. They will be surprised. Every team will immediately find ways to work better. Every...single...time.
We want to understand our work and improve. Mapping our work together, seeing what is not working, and looking for ways to build new relationships, is a powerful moment that gets teams back on track.
Do not treat your VSM alignment exercise as a one-and-done. Improvement doesn't just happen and is complete, it needs to be maintained and revisited. For a professional, improvement is the job.