Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Faiding cards to improve focus on Kanban board

I am using Lean Kit Kanban as my online kanban board and I just tried out a neat feature that is helping me focus on important time dependant tasks.

On the Lean Kit Kanban board you can set all kinds of filters to only show certain cards or you can use the filters to fade all other cards that would otherwise be filtered out.  I am using a time based filter fade any card that does not need to be completed in the next 10 days.

With the filter now applied I have more visual information about what may be important to me and therefore can make quicker decisions about which card to tackle next.

This quick visual queue is one of many techniques I used to reduce up front planning.  If I know when something is due (or a date passed when the card has significantly less value) then I can plan "just in time" more effectively.

If none of the time dependent cards are of value or I feel that there may be others of greater value I can quickly switch off the filter with a couple of mouse clicks and see the full board.

If I still am not sure about the next valuable card then I can dive into the backlog.

As an aside, I am wondering if it is worth recording how often I dip into the backlog.  From an emotional stance, it feels like I only go into my backlog three or four times a month and only for a few minutes each time.

Thank you.