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Question from one of our viewers
Hi, this is Mike Negami, Lean Sigma Black Belt.
I received a question from one of our viewers after I introduced Management’s PDCA Cycle in a recent video. Since this question is very timely, I would like to answer it as today’s theme.
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Here is his question: “The Management’s PDCA episode was very good and valuable. (Thank you very much.) I’ve started from writing things down on paper. (I’m glad to hear that.) Now, is there any good format or template with which we can check and manage our task status and progress at a glance at each point of PDCA?”
If he is asking about progress management in a project, I’ll talk about WBS, Work Breakdown Structure in the next episode and it will answer the question, so, please watch the next video. Meanwhile, he may be asking about a day-to-day task-management method, so I’ll talk about that in this episode.
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Trello.com: Customizable to suit my work style
In the past I was also struggling to find the best task-management tool for a long time. I tried note organizers, MS Outlook’s Task function and also MS OneNote, but they weren’t the best fit for me.
Since each person has a different character and way they work, it is important to find the best tool that suits your work style.
The best one I’ve found for me is Trello.com, a web-based service. It is not so much that I found the best fit for me, but it was customized to suit my work style best. You can use that service through your internet browser and it’s free. That’s why it is very popular in the US.
Since you can use it in a team by using its social media function, many companies have started using this service in their project management. I’ve been using this tool for about a year. Now I can’t do without it.
The basic functions of Trello.com
Let’s look at the actual screen. After opening my browser, Trello.com will be open as the home page and this is a Board list. It is as though you are looking at many whiteboards in a conference room. Click ‘Create new board …’, then type any name for the new Board. You can make as many Boards as you want.Let’s look at my ‘Daily To-Do’s’ Board today.
Each column is one group called ‘List’. Scroll to the right. You’ll see ‘Add a list …’ and click it. You can make any number of ‘List’s with your favorite names. I’ve made Lists each for weekdays from the second List. You can move a List by simply dragging it.
At the bottom of each List, click ‘Add a card …’ Then, you can type your tasks. You can make as many Cards as you want in the List.I rotate my PDCA Cycle each week.
Trello.com’s Application on My Weekly Activity
I make this week’s plan every Monday morning and make Cards for appointments or meetings and put each Card in each respective weekday. I put all the other task Cards in Monday List.
You can change each Card’s text and label color by clicking the Card. After finishing a task, I change the label color to green as ‘Done’. This may be a small thing, but it’s very important to keep giving myself some sense of accomplishment. If there are any tasks that you couldn’t complete that day, simply drag the Card to the next day’s List. This is very intuitive.
When you get a new task, make a new Card immediately, you won’t forget it. I have to make my weekly report to my boss every Friday. It’s very easy to do that by referring to these Cards.
The great thing about Trello.com is that it allows you to manage your daily tasks or projects by a combination of simple Boards, Lists and Cards easily and totally intuitively.
If you google it, there are many people who use the service in a lot of different ways. I’ll probably think up other application ideas in the future.
That was how I apply the PDCA Cycle in my daily task management. If you have any comments or questions, write them in the comment section below or through the contact page.
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