Let’s Kanban it!

The Emirates is closed for four days. A long weekend, that is actually a full week of holidays.

And so I decided to use this time to relook at our internal work processes, lay the groundwork for the next level of services that we intend to offer, and in general, perform a spring-cleaning of sorts.

Have also been reading about it a lot, and these four days have given me the opportunity to put those paradigms into practice.

A lot of fancy terms keep springing up – agile methodology, kanban system of work, cognitive cycles and synchronous communication…but at the end of it, what works is what you believe in, and where you invest enough time in laying the groundwork.

I have always been a firm believer of processes. Identifying the process flows, tinkering with them and standardisation led to the concept of assembly lines and this largely drove the industrial expansion in the last century.

This century will be carried forward by the knowledge-based economy. Services and technology. Can standardisation and process flow mechanisms make a difference here too?

The answer is yes, but I aim to put it into practice and see for myself.

It’s not like we don’t have processes – of course we do, and good ones at that. But even the best processes have to be revisited, polished, and put back into operation, so as to stay ahead of the curve.

We aren’t the biggest company in our field, in terms of numbers or billing that is, but we are very big when it comes to learning and innovation. Probably the biggest if you measure us by that yardstick.

And the only reason we are this way, is because we are curious, and we are eager to push the envelope to explore what comes next.

And the same holds good for life as well.

Kanban means “board” in Japanese, and those familiar with the process would know how simple it makes the most complicated of tasks. In life, as in work, we complicate our methods and processes to a point when they represent a complex web of intricacies that we ourselves get caught up in.

Kanban helps untangle this web. And agile methodologies enable companies to get to where they want to, fast, efficiently and by cutting out what is not necessary.

A relationship can be complex, or can be simple. All you need to do is to “Kanban” it and understand what is holding you back and where you can make progress. An exercise regime is waiting to happen, but in your head. Agility involves starting today, and then making progress and adjusting or recalibrating based on the results.

It’s all interconnected – this life and work. It is the same person involved yes? Don’t buy that “I wear this hat” philosophy. The brain under that hat is the same. Your personality is the same. And so, try approaching it the same way. The same techniques may work, provided you invest enough time and effort in doing the groundwork.

I am trying. Wish me luck. See you tomorrow!