From working with Sony Ericsson’s global enterprise website in Amsterdam and Copenhagen to being one of NZ’s leading Agile coaches and Chair of Agile Welly , Sandy Mamoli brings her practical European flair and passionate advocacy of all things Agile to NZ businesses. She’s a former Olympian, a geek, a gadget junkie and emerging triathlete. Sandy is one of the owners and co-founders of Nomad8.
You know your way around a Kanban board. How would you explain the concept to a beginner?
Kanban is a way of managing your list of things to do. In a clear and visual way you can see what’s important and urgent, as well as what you’ve achieved and what’s coming up. It’s tactile – moving sticky notes from one column to the next is immensely satisfying. And it’s universal – from school kids managing their homework schedule to developers planning their tasks and stories, it works.
Has your use of Kanban changed the way you approach things outside of the workplace? If so how?
I admit that I use my Kanbanfor1 board for almost everything now. It gives me a really clear sense of what’s on my plate both in and out of work. I feel a lot more in control of my ‘things to do’ which actually gives me more freedom to enjoy my non-busy time. My partner and I even share a board when we’re planning together – like a holiday, or moving house.
If you could express the essence of Kanban in one word, what would it be and why?
One word – that’s hard! I want to say ‘simplicity’ but there’s also ‘productivity’ and a certain amount of ‘zen’.
The best word though may well be ‘flow’.
Tasks and work and projects flow through your life. Kanban helps to manage that flow. The board lets you visualise the flow.
You’re a former Olympian and no stranger to achievement! Tell us a bit about the qualities one needs to think like an Olympian in their work.
Focus, ambition, collaboration. An Olympic athlete is no stranger to these things. Hours and weeks and months and years of hard, consistent training. Laser sharp focus on the task at hand. A shared team goal and purpose. Big dreams and the courage to follow through. There is no time for slackers, but there is much learning from failure. I think I’m a lot less intense now than in those days, but I still work hard and love a good massage!
Sandy will be leading a workshop on Kanbanfor1 at Service Management 2015.