Seeing project progress with Kanban

It’s been about a month and a half since I started taking this idea seriously.

At the start everything was great.

I was on annual leave and I could find time to write a post or to watch a course and then write more code.

I could see progress, almost daily!


Back to work blues

Since I’ve been back at work, I’ve been finding it harder and harder to find time to come back to this and to make some progress.

I’ve written more posts than code in the last few weeks – and that’s not what I was wanting to do here.

I’m in the fortunate position of being able to work compressed hours, which means I get every other Friday off – yay!

When these Fridays come along, I certainly feel ready for them – but they are also letting me look at things on a 2 weekly view, rather than just weekly.


Planning and Sprinting

IMy UX teammates and I were on our Scrum with UX course this week which re-awakened the part of me that ‘enjoys’ planning out a project of work and then seeing it through to completion.

From experience, this has been easier to do as a Developer rather than a Designer so FrontendFolio has become another area that I can put my ideas into practice.

With this 2 week cycle and a limited amount of time available within that cycle, I’m not going to be carrying out sprints in the typical sense – they are supposed to be up to 4 weeks, are time-boxed and should aim to culminate in something releasable.


Bring out the board!

Kanban is another approach that can be used for mapping out the flow of a project, and it’s what I’ve always enjoyed in the past.

Time to dust off Trello again, and to give over some dedicated space on my whiteboard.

This is very much the administrative side of development, it’s not necessarily fun – unless you like post-its!

It does however serve a purpose beyond project planning – it can be a great motivator too!


Measuring success

I will be setting up my board/s on Trello to map out projects – it’s easy to capture details there because I can type it all up and add links.

When I actually work on a project, my ‘sprint’, I’m going to create post-it’s and get them up on the whiteboard to have a physical copy.

The main benefit from this will be that I don’t need to open Trello on my computer or my phone, it’s just there on the wall.


The other benefit of doing this is that it shows progress. The post-its get moved from left to right through the different columns to indicate if they are being worked on, or if they are done.

When that done column starts to fill up – you can literally see how much of the project work has been completed.

Sometimes, a real-world display of progress is what’s needed to keep up motivation with something like this that you can’t dedicate yourself to full-time – though it still does a good job even if you are working on it full-time!


Useful (external) links

Kanban 101 by Trello

Stay Lean with Kanban by LinkedIn Learning