Projects for everything

If you didn't already know, I am a Project Manager by day (although I prefer Multitasking Ninja but apparently this is not considered a professional job title).

I am a keen advocate of agile and love looking for ways to use agile management for organising everyday projects. Currently I have three everyday projects running at home - Project Wedding, Project Christmas Fair (for more details take a peek over on and Project Flat Tidy.

Project Flat Tidy is the one I am talking about today.

Andy and I have been insanely busy over the past 6 months. So much so we have hardly spent any time in our flat. As a result we have found ourselves swamped with stuff. I am not sure how this as happened as it is not as if we have spent the past 6 months on a shopping spree and neither of us got a lot of stuff for our birthdays.

Either way we now require a major clear out!

I like lists but when there are two of you it starts to get confusing. So I created a very simple kanban to use around the house as pictured here:

This is the most simple type of kanban. I had thought about having something a little more complex perhaps with either a "ready for charity shop" or "ready for tip column" but to be honest, simple is sometimes best.

One thing I did decide to change was my addition on the "In Progress" section of columns for myself and Andy so it was easy to see who was working on what.

Generally when Andy and I decide to tidy the flat we are easily distracted and find a lot of things end up half done. I made a point of limiting our work in progress to ensure we were not trying to do too many things in one go. Andy at one point started doing some tidying in the front room even though the spare room was still not finished. I pointed at the kanban and banished him back to the spare room.

To be honest I even surprised myself at how effective this was. Not only did we manage to complete everything on the kanban within a weekend, we even managed to add a few extra tasks. Ensuring we focused on particular tasks and didn't move on to something else before it was done seemed to give us motivation to get things done. Oh and the satisfaction of moving a post it note. The pair of us got incredibly excited when this happened. On Sunday night there was a great sense of job well done as we looked at an ensemble if pink post it notes stuck to the done section.

The kanban has now been transformed to a wedding kanban. Admittedly, things are not progressing as fast as we still have quite a while until the wedding but it is useful as a tool to show us what we still need to do, what we have completed and what we need to finish.

I recommend trying a kanban approach next time you have a person project to complete, be it a house tidy, a to do list or a bigger project. I now just need to get one made up for the Christmas fair so I can start monitoring my progress on that.


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