Kanban Board Workshop held for Waterloo Employees

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Kierra Cali speaking to employees at the Kanban Workshop

On October 16th, Human Resources, in partnership with St. Jerome’s University hosted the next in a 2018 series of Lean workshops: Personal Kanban, Mapping your work through Lean.

Attended by over 70 employees, the workshop was led by Kierra Cali, Operations Project Manager at St. Jerome’s University. Cali asked the question: “How can we be Lean in all our daily activities and tasks?”

The answer, build a personal Kanban board. Kanban is Japanese for “visual signal” or “card”. It’s about visualization: understanding what is going on, sharing this understanding, and learning from doing. This process allows us to be flexible and more creative, and to examine what we’ve done and look for patterns that emerge.

There are two main principles when planning a Kanban board 1) visualize your work 2) limit your work in progress. The board divides tasks into three main categories: To do, Doing, and Done. This helps us move beyond focusing on getting everything on our long lists done. It allows us to prioritize tasks that add value, and reflect on work that’s been done to see if there are any areas for improvement.

Workshop attendees were able to put these concepts into practice by designing a mock board and then participating in a discussion on how they organized their tasks. The discussion demonstrated that everyone has a different approach, but the purpose of board is to visualize and prioritize your tasks in a way that works for you.

If you’re interested in learning more about Lean initiatives at Waterloo, contact Kimberley Snage or Raghda Sabry.