The human side of software development.
Applying development practices against every-day life, and applying life lessons to development
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I’ve been toying with the idea of using a Kanban board at home to help organize all the maintenance tasks (chores) and new features (projects) my family requires.
Despite our efforts to keep our lives relatively simple, there is always a ton of items in the backlog. In my experience,knowing you have a lot of tasks to do without really understanding how many there are or how much work it requires, creates a ton of negative energy and it’s hard to get motivated.
Using Kanban, you are constantly visualizing your work, and also seeing it progress until completion. That feels good.
We are simple animals and love rewards. Moving a sticky note from Doing to Done just plain feels good.
I was explaining the concept to my wife and when I got to Work In Progress (WIP) limits, she was happy to remind me that this is my weakness. See, I’m great at starting things, but finishing things is a different story. I get excited about new things pretty easily, and that sometimes means that I don’t maintain focus on the items I was excited about before this latest shiny thing crossed my path.
After choking down some humble pie, I went to setup our first Kanban board. It’s not much to look at, just a large piece of paper on a door with 3 columns:
- To Do
I gave the kids a quick intro at breakfast, and had my 5 year old write out 6 tasks to put in the To Do category.
The older kids are intrigued by the idea as well, although the first day didn’t generate any enthusiasm to complete any tasks, they kept asking if the ones in the Doing column were ready to move to Done.
I’ve read some success stories online of other families doing the same thing, and also heard a few first hand success stories in the last week, so we’ll give it the old college try.
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