Tools that evolve with your work

My son Robin is a remarkable Agile software developer. He runs a company called Degu. Currently, he is developing a pretty cool business model around his film workflow management software. He has invited me in to advise him on strategy. 

We  need tools that can evolve with our work.

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When the business is effectively YOU, you have to be very critical about your priorities and your choices. So I'm pleased to say Robin is reading through my new ebook on Leading Yourself. He is an avid practitioner of Personal Kanban, a technique I explore in the book.

Both he and I use Trello.com for our personal and team kanbans, so he shared with me his current board. I thought it was worth sharing here because it illustrates how he is owning the process and the categories and continually reworking them to suit his circumstances.

Robin Mayfield's Trello card labels

For example, he has a very interesting set of labels for his cards. Also, his Board has developed on from the standard To Do/Doing/Done to what we see below.

Robin Mayfield Personal Kanban

As well as his "Backlog" column (otherwise known as the "To-Do" column), he has moved to using a "Stuck!" column. This allows him to park otherwise-frustrating work in this column and come back to it later. He is finding that when he does this, often he finds that that piece of work becomes un-stuck and he can move on.

He also has a couple of other columns I haven't shown: "Mentor" and one for a key client/partner. This illustrates to me that Robin is working on his workflows and not becoming legalistic about them. They are evolving, as indeed his working life is evolving.

Progressive knowledge workers need the flexibility of tools like Trello.

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Increasingly I find progressive knowledge workers like Robin need the flexibility of tools like Trello and techniques like Personal Kanban. These tools and techniques help us think about our priorities and work areas dynamically as our work contexts and careers evolve.

What do you use? Are your tools evolving with you or are they locking you in to a particular way of working?

Question:

What tools are you using? Are they evolving with you or are they locking you into one way of working? Leave your comments below.

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