J.D. Meier's Blog

Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness

To Do Doing Done

To Do Doing Done

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To Do, Doing, Done is my favorite way to segment a Kanban.   It’s where I start.  It’s simple and intuitive.   Another benefit is that it’s easy to glance at three segments.  I’m a fan of “glance and go” vs. “stop and stare.”

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In the Kanban above, the “To Do” segment has a set of work items yet to be started.  The “Doing” segment has three things in progress.   The “Done” segment shows three things completed.  It’s simple, but visualizing the work helps declutter your head.  It also helps you focus.  It also gives you simple visual feedback.  And, if you’re part of a team, it helps create a shared view of the work.

Corey Ladas introduced me to Kanban years ago.  He kept it simple.  He showed me a piece of paper, drew three lines to segment it, and wrote “To Do,” “Doing,” and “Done.”    He then walked me through the big ideas of pulling work through a Kanban.  It stuck with me because one of my biggest challenges at the time was how to create a shared view of the work for the team.   I liked the idea of using a Kanban as a backdrop for conversations and getting the team on the same page.

Whether I’m using my whiteboard, a wall in the hall, or a wall at home, I tend to start with “To Do,” “Doing,” and “Done.”  It’s served me well for years, whether it’s for a personal Kanban or a Kanban for the team.

I hope the simple visual above inspires you to manage your work in the simplest way possible, so you can spend more energy where it counts … the work itself.  Nothing gets results like actually doing the work.

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