We have found that instructional/LX designers are typically pretty good at managing their own work. Making their work visible with a Kanban board can be done. They will do it if insisted upon. However, the benefits with a one-person "team" are to the management more than to the instructional/LX designer, unless they are looking for a new method.

For example, in analysis projects where we may not employ a multi-disciplinary team, but only a single instructional analyst or designer, the project may not benefit as much from visual management with only a single contributor.

We are not saying never try it with teams of one, but that some experienced instructional/LX designers are not as open to using it for one-person projects because it is different and individual work can be tracked in countless ways. So given the cost/benefit ratio, we don’t push one-person teams too hard given our particular context. You get to judge what to do for your specific context. Let us know how it goes for you.

However, when the team size goes to two or more, visual management adds significant value.

We’re convinced of the usefulness of Kanban for one person, and we use them for our own single-person jobs that we do. However, the coaching, arm twisting and complaining of some instructional/LX designers may make it not worth the grief because the benefits gained with only a single person who does not have to coordinate with anyone else are smaller.

For those that do want to use Kanban for themselves, we suggest using concepts from David Allen’s book called Getting Things Done combined with a personal Kanban board to keep it visual. For that, you may want to use Trello, a great application on the iPad, iPhone, and from a PC so you can see your virtual board from any device.


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