Mind Nodes - Kanban

Mind Nodes Newsletter May 30, 2021

📝 Kanban

My team and I are continually working on improving our process for managing our development tasks. We're essentially using a customized Kanban system in Azure DevOps. Here are a few key things to know about Kanban.

Kanban is not a project management solution.

Kanban is not a project management solution. It does not give you timelines, resource allocation, estimates, and other required project management things. Instead, it is simply a tool you can use to manage the flow of work

Limiting WIP will allow you to release to production more often.

By Limiting the work-in-progress (WIP), we can not only reduce the overwhelm of having too many active tasks active at the same time, but we can also release updates faster. We are focusing on a couple of tasks giving the team greater visibility into what is currently active. The entire team (not just the individuals) can complete the task correctly and efficiently.

By reducing the time it takes for a task to go from creation to completion, we can better understand how long the work takes on average. By knowing how long things take, we can better estimate completion time.

Shorter iterations will result in higher quality.

By reducing the time a task remains in progress, we can increase the quality and reduce the number of issues.

The attention a task receives from the team remains high. If the Work Item were to sit in the queue, we could quickly forget the task's details. We return later; we need to determine where we left off and incorporate the remaining work into the existing release.

Having many incomplete tasks in the queue makes it harder to find the work that needs to be moved forward.

Kanban is similar to Zettelkasten in several ways.

After working with both Kanban and Zettelkasten, I find several similarities.

  • When using analog, both require cards.
  • Each note should represent one idea.
  • Each note should include context so anyone, including your future self, can understand.
  • Each note should contain references to the source material.

💡 Food for Thought

Microsoft Build 2021 Highlights

The Microsoft Build virtual event was this week. The Microsoft Build 2021 Book of News is a resource containing all of the announcements with links to more information.

Microsoft Build 2021 Day 1, and Microsoft Build 2021 Day 2

If you have a few minutes to spare, you stream the entire build Day 1 and Day 2 event on YouTube. These videos are just from the main channel. It does not include the recordings from the sessions.

Reading Better

This is an article about how to get the most out of our reading. It goes into different reading levels and describes a method for taking notes that will get more from your reading. This note-taking method involves creating a mind map on a blank sheet of paper before reading the book containing what you think you already know about the topic. Then each reading session, you update it with different colors. By the end, you have notes that reflect your change in thinking as you read the book. Also, summarize key points from each chapter in your own words, and summarize the entire book when finished.

Why You Should Stop Reading News

This article details several points about why reading and watching the news is bad for us. News is addictive and is almost always irrelevant or outdated soon after. News is pushed to us in a way that we'll want more of it, similar to social media or entertainment. To understand important events, we need to read history and books rather than articles and focus on the facts.

Schopenhauer On Reading and Books

An argument that reading is a conversation with the author and simply reading is feeding ourselves with what others think. If you only read what is popular, then you are only reading what everyone else is thinking.

If you enjoyed this article, please share it with others. You can also reach me on Twitter @ericgregorich if you have any questions or suggestions.


Eric Gregorich

I am a Solution Architect designing and building solutions that help people and businesses be more productive.

Great! You've successfully subscribed.
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.