What is Kanban? Read about it at Wikipedia. Basically, it’s a method of visual process management. Often, Post-it Notes are used to signify tasks and they are put on a board with columns to identify each task’s state: ready to do, in process, needs, review, completed, etc.

Kanban has made its mark on SEP, showing up in nearly every project we do. It’s great, because we can see at a glance what everyone is working on, what has recently been completed, what is coming up, and what needs attention.

If only there were something like Kanban for daily life.

Hey, you can use Kanban in daily life! Beyond the more obvious uses like shared to-do lists, I have found Kanban useful when treating the things I do as projects and applying process. The dinner I recently cooked with a friend provides a real-life example.

We had several dishes to make, and several of them required several steps. We created a Kanban board to organize our efforts.

Each dish had its own swim lane (rows used to group related tasks). We wrote a Post-it task for each step or set of steps for each dish. Each time we finished a task, it was easy to look up and see what still needed done. Cooking dinner was a breeze and we didn’t even step on each other’s toes!

So how has the Agile movement changed the way I work? It’s helped me organize my efforts in daily life, leaving more time to relax.