Kanban (or how to manage email in 2014)

I’ve been exploring Kanban over the winter as part of my efforts to take control of my workload.

Kanban originates with the Toyota Manufacturing Systems. It is based on two simple principles:

  1. Visualize the work.
  2. Limit the work in progress.

What I find most valuable about Kanban is that it demands that you clarify what your work is, how it flows (or doesn’t), who informs your efforts, and who your efforts serve.  It might be going too far to suggest that Kanban enables co-creation, but at least it escapes the dominant logic of individual psychology in its propositions for enabling work.

Check out the books and tools I’ve been playing with on on my Pinterest board:
Follow David’s board Kanban on Pinterest.

My own experiments with Kanban has been somewhat tentative to date, partially because I operate independently in my day job, and my tasks are not as standardized as those in software development or manufacturing, where Kanban is widely used.