November 18


Leadership hack 017 – you can only fix what you can see

The amount work expected of leaders keep growing, increasing the chance that important tasks are missed.  As companies adopt a flatter, agiler, structure leaders get more responsibility and more people to work with.  It is now very easy for one of your many spinning plates to drop crashing to the ground.

The way we manage tasks and people is outdated.  We have large excel files or bespoke software.  While teams of individuals maintain and update these files, no one else looks at them, let alone uses them.  What if there was an easier way?

A board and some stickies (post-it notes) is an excellent way to organise yourself and your team.  The benefit of having a kanban board is that all work is visible, which forces you to admit how much work you are doing at the same time i.e., how much work in progress (WIP) there is.   By exposing and then limiting the WIP, you are forced to work on single items and get them completed, rather than do a little on a lot of items (which is very inefficient).  Having a board also reduces the need for progress updates and emails – everyone can see what the status of the work it.  At its simplest, you can have three columns (see below), but you can add more complexity once you become comfortable, you can see here for a great book on Kanban and how to add more complexity.