October 29, 2012

Personal Kanban Retrospectives

At the end of each week I do a quick retrospective on my use of Personal Kanban, the tasks I've completed, and the week in general. I don't do anything elaborate or time consuming. Just a simple evaluation of how I'm doing.

I use two particular approaches to my personal kanban retrospectives more than any other.

+s and Δs

With Pluses and Deltas I think more about what worked well and what I want to change going forwards. Sometimes I use 'Regrets' instead of 'Deltas'. I do look at the tasks I accomplished, but with this approach my mind considers more than the tasks. For example, some of my notes from prior retros include things like: relaxed, haven't been inbox-zero for a while, did I forget to plan?, someone important linked to my blog post, got a great lead from someone, so-and-so is unreliable, such-and-such didn't pan out, well prepared for next course, successful partnership with so and so, good blogging this week, etc. I use index cards for this style retrospective.

Most Successful / Least Successful

The other approach I use lots is to simply arrange my completed tasks by how I feel about them. Some I feel really good about. Some weren't so successful. Maybe some are neutral.

I'll take notes, again on an index card, on these high points and low points.

Not a Commitment

What I don't do is compare my actual achievement against a plan. I do "plan" my week, but it's not a commitment to specific tasks. It's more of a re-prioritizing of the backlog and preparation for the days ahead. I use that time to make sure I don't miss any commitments or fail to prepare appropriately.

I hope you found this useful. What kind of Personal Kanban Retrospectives do you do?


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