Personal Kanban


Why did I read this book?

I saw mentions to it in the DevOps Handbook and became interested. The book is actually pretty good.

Main takeaways

The two rules of Personal Kanban:

Other important things mentioned in the book:

Why a Personal Kanban works:

Good Quotes

Work / life balance is a false dichotomy; compartmentalization is not sustainable. It forces life's professional, personal and social elements to vie for attention, bringing with them seemingly competing expectations and goals.

I liked this statement: work/life balance is a false dichotomy. It gave words to something that I had in my mind but, curiously, unable to explain. Many people strive to clearly separate work topics and personal topics or the ones that bring pleasure. This separation is artificial and artificially creates antagonism between work and "personal life".

Other people's expectations of you do not disappear simply because you are overworked.

I'd like to have these 👆 words when I needed to say it to a friend.

About the Rule 1: Visualize Your Work

It is challenging to understand what we can't see. We tend to focus on the obvious elements of our work (deadlines, individuals involved, the amount of effort needed) when the real context includes larger, unexpected, and more nebulous elements (passage of time, changes in the market, political impacts).

With Personal Kanban, principles take precedence over process. Process should change with context.

That looks very aligned with the concept of Heuristcs vs Algorithms present in Code Complete.

Kaizen is a state of continuous improvement where people naturally look for ways to improve poorly performing practices.

Existential Overhead

Work we have to complete, or any aspect of our life that distracts us, creates existential overhead. As it mounts, our effectiveness diminishes. Visualizing work reduces the distractions of existential overhead by transforming fuzzy concepts into tangible objects that your brain can easily grasp and prioritize.

This concept looks similar to something I read in Thinking Fast and Slow: "cognitive tension caused by the presence of unfulfilled demands".

Escrever sobre a metáfora da estrada.

Capacity: How much stuff will fit.

Throughput: How much stuff will flow.

They are not synonymous.

We don't contain work, we process it.