For reference on what Kanban is, here’s Stephanie’s video.
Abstract if you dont want to read:
I don’t understand the intuition behind using a Kanban for a solo project, but I do have an intuitive sense for how a Kanban can be used. The current exposure to Kanban via the Portfolio Projects is nice, better than not having it, but the psychology behind it is not clear and it still has a lot of potential feature improvements.
I have some feedback regarding the Kanban board found in each Codecademy portfolio project:
After watching Stephanie’s video, and reading other online articles about Kanban, and looking at some public Kanban boards, it really looks like Kanban is more of a “teams thing”. Useful for coordinating the individual people in a team, and useful for coordinating different teams in an organization.
The most intuitive use case for Kanban that I have read about is the scenario where a certain process flow needs to go through multiple teams. Let’s make a more detailed hypothetical example:
Since we’re having a global silicon chip shortage let’s talk about that.
Here’s an example Kanban board of a simplified, abridged, silicon chip manufacturing process. The lists are different stages, each with its own team in charge, and the cards are lots, huge batches of products.
When the Wafer Fab team is done with Lot A, they pass lot A to the Wafer Test team and move the card on the Kanban board. When the wafer test team is done with Lot A, they pass Lot A to the Assembly team and move the card on the Kanban board. And so on and so forth for all the teams and lots.
You can observe the lots are moving as expected through the different teams, but everytime you look at the Kanban Board, you see that a particular team always has a backlog of lots to complete:
With the Kanban Board we were able to visualize that the Assembly team is always getting congested and creating a bottleneck in the entire operation! We can then give them priority to receive resources and support.
Regarding using a Kanban for a solo portfolio project, I don’t really get the intuition behind that. Kanban seems like overkill compared to merely using a checklist. The fact that the card names, list names, and card descriptions are not customizable greatly limits its actual functionality.
The way the process steps are currently represented by cards is nice, I like the proposed series of steps given by Codecademy, but there are a lot of other little specific details that I am trying to keep track of; for example specific bugs in my code, or specific plots I want to construct. As I go through the various portfolio projects, I don’t find myself smoothly going through these steps in order, and having multiple things in “Doing” since I’m only one person I can only work on one thing at a time. I’m also constantly going back and forth between the steps and there is a lot of overlap.
What do you think?.