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Personal Kanban: Mapping Work / Navigating Life
Personal Kanban: Mapping Work / Navigating Life
by Jim Benson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.75

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the best combined book on psychology and software development, 24 Nov. 2012
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"I simply want people to make conscious, informed decisions about the actions they take" is an example of the ethos behind the whole of Personal Kanban.

I first made a Kanban board over 3 years ago in order to make visible to my team mates and project manager, the other work I was doing in addition to stories (the project was run using Scrum). At that point that is all a Kanban board was, a way to show how busy I was, other than that I didn't get why it was meant to be so different to a Scrum wall. Personal Kanban explained to me why this visibility was important to me, over and above protecting me from the expectations of my project manager, something I was aware of, yet didn't understand.

This book would be worth it just for the insights into visualisation to aid decision making, yet it goes further than that. Before reading Personal Kanban I hadn't thought about mapping what I value or my goals to the visualisation of my everyday work. The idea that I could see how often and well I am giving feedback (from my perspective), right there on the same board that shows the work I am doing was a revelation for me.

And if that wasn't enough, I learnt about how cognitive load, stress and bias effect our ability to make good decisions, which lead to us being less effective by doing the wrong things, or the right things at the wrong time or badly.

This book applies to your whole life, not to a single part of it, it isn't exclusively a software development book, yet I heartily recommend it to anyone who does that kind of work. Don't be put off by the title, the ideas presented can be used just as effectively within a team as they can personally. It is a quick read and well worth your time if your interested in using your time more effectively, learning more about the psychology of how we get things done and make decisions or just want some lovely stories of how people figured out how to deal with the craziness of modern life.

Small disclaimer: I met Jim and Tonianne before reading the book.

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