Ever since reading about Personal Kanban it has been no secret that I had a big light bulb moment. There is, I believe, almost no circumstance in my life that doesn’t call for using the Personal Kanban. After watching my 12-year-old daughter struggle in her first Elite Swim Meet of the season, because as she put it “I have absolutely no confidence in the water” I decided what she needed was a confidence booster. The problem was how? After her many conversations with the coaches, and her confiding in me that she still felt a big lack of confidence despite their talks, I had another big light bulb moment in my head. I decided on a Personal Kanban confidence booster. So together before her latest meet we sat down, looked at all the events she was scheduled to swim in and wrote down her latest times and her goal times. The Personal Kanban consisted of 3 major swim lanes a BACKLOG of times, those being the times she was going into the meet with, her seed times. The WIP lane was the goal times she set for each event. The COMPLETED lane was called Goal Times Completed. When she had achieved the goals she set in the WIP lane they would be moved over.
The reason I thought this might work is because like any Personal Kanban she had done before she would see the actual work process and realize that she was achieving goals no matter how big or small and that would in turn lead to hopefully more confidence in and out of the water. So after setting up the Kanban board she was off to the pool for the first night of swimming. The first night was a success. Not only because she hit her goals but because when we looked at the board after moving the first two events of the meet over to the completed swim lane it felt tangible to her. She could actually look at the board and see her goals being met.
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The photo above shows the Personal Kanban board after the first night of the meet. We had small success. I use the word small only in the sense that she only swam two events in the first night. The next two days she would swim four events on each of those days. It was small success on the board by only moving two items over to the completed lane but it was huge success to her. It was indeed tangible.
After the second day of swimming we still had success and even though she only completed one goal on her Personal Kanban board she was extremely proud of her work in the pool on this afternoon. The board has caused her to realize that confidence isn’t only about achieving those goals it’s about seeing her work in progress. She only got to move one time over. She was okay with that. She told me that she was regaining her confidence after seeing the board again and what she had achieved so far on this weekend.
On to Sunday afternoon of swimming. Although the day was considered a success in the pool the goals she set for herself were not met. So there were no times moved on the board they are still in the WIP swim lane. Next weekend she will get another chance at achieving her goals. The main goal of this Personal Kanban was to give a 12-year-old athlete her confidence back. According to her, even though all goals were not met and moved into the completed lane YET, they will be. Along the way her confidence will get stronger and stronger with each goal that is met.
Can you apply Personal Kanban to help confidence? Ask my 12 year old and she will tell you yes you can.Next up: I will share my thoughts on some iPhone/iTouch apps that I can’t live without on a daily basis.