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mur kanban foglietto management visuel avec fiches

Build a Kanban wall in 5 steps with Foglietto

Stationery kit to visually manage your projects

The ideal kit for the entrepreneur at heart! This kit contains a complete selection of our stationery items as well as a mini-tutorial that will guide you in 5 simple steps in the realization of your own Kanban wall, the ideal tool to manage several projects at the same time by adopting a long term or day to day vision according to your needs.

The Kanban method is an agile method of visual management. Widely used in the IT development field, it can be adapted to all types of projects, whether they are personal or professional, individual or collaborative. You can thus create a Kanban wall to distribute domestic tasks within your family or your roommate, to create a company, to organize an event or to launch a new product, or even to do all this at the same time!

 

Extremely easy to set up, scalable, collaborative… The advantages of the Kanban wall are numerous. At Foglietto, we adopted it a long time ago, for our daily management as well as for our long term goals.

 

The following article aims to give you a non-exhaustive overview of all the possibilities offered by the Kanban method. It is then up to you to appropriate them according to what seems most relevant to your project. Steps 1 and 2 allow you to build a basic Kanban wall. The following steps are optional, depending on the use you wish to make of it. At each step, we’ll give you our tips on how to make the most of it with Foglietto. Andiamo!

 

To build your Kanban wall, you may need :

Step 1 - Define all actions to be taken

This first step couldn’t be easier! Take your pad of Foglietto cards and write down one action to be performed on each card. You can go into different levels of detail, but in order to avoid being overwhelmed with cards, we recommend that you write down one main action per card, which you will then detail on the same card. Ideally, each form should represent a maximum of one day’s work.

For example, let’s say you have to create an article for your blog or your company’s blog. Write down “Publish an article” on a form and then, on the same form, detail all the sub-actions necessary to achieve this action: define the subject, do research, write the text, create the visuals, format, etc. This will allow you to see your actions even better.

Finally, be as exhaustive as possible, this is what will allow you to realize your workload and to distribute it as well as possible in the following steps.

You can use a color code by choosing for each color of Foglietto card or for each color of masking tape (see next step), a level of priority, an aspect of your project, a particular project if you use a single Kanban wall to manage several at the same time or a person if you use your Kanban wall in a collaborative way.

Étape 2 - Construire la structure de son mur Kanban

The first step called upon your sense of anticipation and projection. This second step invites you to use your imagination and your analytical skills.

You will have to define, from the actions listed in step 1, the structure most adapted to your project and to your situation. Here you have different options. A Kanban wall generally combines a chronological progression (columns) with a distribution of tasks by teams, projects or activities (rows), but its great advantage is the flexibility of this model that you can adapt to your needs and make evolve as your project progresses.

We advise you to start your Kanban wall with a basic structure:

  • Column 1: “pending” actions
  • Column 2:  actions “to do” in the immediate future (for example, today or within the week)
  • Column 3: “Ongoing” actions
  • Column 4: “done” actions 
Basic version of a Kanban wall

Then, adapt it to your needs as you go along:

  • Add a “blockages” column, for all the actions on which you found yourself blocked, either for an external reason (a client who doesn’t send you the files on time) or internal (lack of inspiration!).
  • Add an “ideas to explore” column.
  • If your project follows a clearly defined methodology, as is often the case in the IT development field, you can adapt the column headings to this methodology. The columns will then become, in order: analysis, development, test, deployment and maintenance.
  • Use the columns to plan your project over several weeks, months or even years: in this case, you can even create “pending”, “to do”, “in progress”, “done” sub-columns within each week/month or year column.
  • Create lines to divide the actions between several teams,
  • Or create lines to separate the different aspects of your project: design, administration, communication, etc. This way you can identify at a glance the most demanding aspects of your business.
Kanban wall with a chronological progression and a distribution of actions by typology

The possibilities are vast and this list is far from exhaustive. The best thing for you to do is to test different configurations to choose the one that suits you best.

Once you have chosen your structure, trace it on a wall with masking tape. Remember that you can write on the masking tape, so you can also use it to name your columns and rows.

You will quickly notice that some actions are recurrent. Let’s go back to our example from step 1. Our “Publish an article” form is likely to come back every week or every month, depending on the frequency of publication you have set for yourself. Once completed, don’t throw it away! But put it back in the “Pending” column. At this point, we also advise you to define with an ink pen the sub-actions that are essential, as mentioned above, and, with a wooden pencil, to check the boxes if necessary or to add sub-actions specific to the article “to do” or “in progress”, such as “Contact X to interview him”. Here Foglietto has a considerable advantage over its self-adhesive cousin.

Step 3 - Set constraints

Up to now, we have been projecting, dreaming, imagining… But now it’s time to come back to reality and be careful. Some simple tips can help you to make your Kanban wall a particularly effective planning and management tool.

You are probably in a quiet period right now, which gives you the time you need to organize and plan, or at least you have decided to give yourself that time. Take advantage of the perspective you have on your business today to set clear limits that will help you stay on course during tense periods. Among these, you can for example define :

  • A due date for each action,
  • A maximum flow of actions in each column or box, which will allow you to better distribute the work in time and/or within your teams,
  • A priority level for each action,
  • In case of teamwork, a leader/referent for each action.

These clearly named constraints, visible to all, help to encourage collaborative use by avoiding overloads in certain teams or bottlenecks in certain activities. You can indicate them on the masking tape which is used to hold each of your cards on the wall or on the card itself, using a different color pencil so that these constraints are clearly visible.

facilitation-visuelle-araignee-de-la-dependance

5 simple visual facilitation tools for everyday use

Dependency spider, interruption gauges, stress barometer… We have selected here five visual facilitation tools, all very simple to implement and with quick and concrete effects on your daily organization.

Step 4 - Enrich your Kanban wall with a color code

At this stage, your Kanban wall is already fully functional and a great planning tool. But you can take it a step further by adding new features, such as color coding.

This way you can make your Kanban wall a resource for you and your team. Associate to some of your “action” cards “information”, “pitfalls to avoid” or “ideas” cards as ideas come to you. You can put them under the concerned “action” cards or put them in a separate line so as not to overload your Kanban wall. In this case, don’t hesitate to use the numbering function of your cards by assigning a number to each “action” card, which you will then transfer to the corresponding “resource” cards.

Have you ever used a color code on your records for another feature? Don’t panic! Use your basic color code for your “resource” records and distinguish them from your “action” records by simply using a different masking tape color or, as mentioned above, by placing them in a new row dedicated to them.

Kanban wall with a progression by project stages, a distribution of actions by team member, "resource" cards (yellow masking tape) and a constraint on work flows (yellow dots)
management visuel et mur kanban chemise Kanban

Step 5 - Working with your Kanban and Foglietto wall on a daily basis

 That’s it! Your Kanban wall is ready! But don’t think that the story ends here. On the contrary, it has only just begun. In order for your Kanban wall to remain interesting, you will now have to make it live at the same pace as your project.

Our advice? Take a few minutes each morning to observe your wall and define your actions for the day. Write them down on a card “to-do” that you will keep with you all day. If your wall is not in the same place as your workplace (this is the case for us: our shared office does not allow us to spread out as much!), do not hesitate to take down the cards concerning your day, whether they are “resource” cards or “action” cards, and take them with you, for example thanks to our Kanban folders.

If you have the opportunity, also take a few minutes at night to update your wall with your accomplishments for the day. It’s rewarding, and it allows you to start the next day with a clear vision of where you stand!

The Archivio storage box can also be useful on a day-to-day basis: some of the completed cards can be used again, either to keep a memory of your work or simply because these actions are recurrent. To avoid overloading your wall by keeping these cards posted in a corner, store them in your Scatola box. Use the dividers to better sort them. If you don’t have a large space on which to build your wall, it is even possible to transpose certain columns directly into your box, this is for example particularly useful for the “pending” or “done” column.

To summarize, the 5 steps to achieve a Kanban wall with Foglietto are:

  1. Define all the actions to be carried out,
  2. Build the structure of your Kanban,
  3. Set constraints,
  4. Enrich your wall with a color code,
  5. Working with your Kanban and Foglietto wall on a daily basis.

You now hold all the cards… It’s up to you! Send us pictures of your Kanban walls by email to ciao@foglietto.fr or directly on our page Instagram

Launch of the Foglietto professional offer

Foglietto is the first brand of office supplies dedicated to visual management. It is a complete agile solution for managing your various projects on a daily basis. The unlimited flexibility of an analog solution such as Foglietto allows it to easily adapt to all sizes and types of companies, from freelancers to start-ups to large corporations, while its great modularity gives it a natural affinity with the innovation, R&D and IT development sectors.

We will soon launch a dedicated offer for professionals. Register via the form below to be the first to know about its launch!

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