Each morning the team gathers in the conference room for our morning standup, or “kick” as we call it. Here we’ll discuss our goals and tasks for that day, as well as review any issues or new ideas we have.
Recently, we turned our kick on its head by testing ways we could improve the prioritization and organization of our projects and their tasks. Using a Kanban-style framework, we created several status categories for projects including priority, hold, etc. Each category takes the form of a large container drawn on our whiteboard.
Now enter the project cards. I designed these cards to clearly identify the name of a project, the date it was created, and provide a daily record of its levels of priority. Each project gets its own card that is categorized daily into the containers drawn on our whiteboard.
It works like this: We’ll draw a card from the pile and discuss the tasks involved; prioritize the project by marking the card with either a triangle (highest priority task), a circle (actionable task), or a slash mark (hold task until next day); then we’ll place the card into its appropriate container. The following day, we clear the board to re-prioritize and the process starts over. As we cycle through again, we’ll fill in the triangles or circles if the tasks from the previous day were completed. If they weren’t, the triangles or circles get a slash mark. It’s interesting to see the shapes and marks collect in the grid of boxes (which coincide with the five day work week and average four week month) and show our progress over the course of two months.
I later added a bit of extra margin at the sides and bottom of the cards to make room for sticky notes, which dictate more specific tasks within the project. We also started adding circles to slash marks if a held task was completed.