Using Kanban Boards for Maximum Productivity with Tyson Mutrux

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Do you need a tip to help with organization while completing a project? In this episode, Tyson discusses the use of Kanban boards for task management and improving productivity. 

Kanban boards are a great way to improve productivity in your firm. Kanban boards are divided into columns, with each representing a stage in your workflow. It shows the start to finish of a project. It is a great way to visualize how your work is getting done. It is perfect for visual learners and working with a solid team. There are many variations of a Kanban board. They can be used in an app or even put up on a wall in your office for everyone to see and add to. A really great way to utilize a Kanban board is to have 4 columns: to do, in progress, review and complete. This way people can move sticky notes from one column to another, depending on where that task is along the cycle of a project.

Kanban boards can also be used for your personal life. If you have a busy life, where personal and business tend to mesh together, you can build a physical one on your wall at home. Add all the different tasks you need to get done: walk the dog, cook dinner, help kids with homework, read a chapter of a book, workout. etc. The list is truly endless. This will allow you to visually see what you need to get done and when.

Kanban boards provide a birds eye view of all ongoing tasks. You can easily see what is happening now and what will happen later on. It also helps to promote better work habits with your teams. Honestly, who doesn't want to have a giant board of sticky notes that everyone is moving around as things get done!

Listen in to learn how to better communicate with your team and enhance productivity.

Episode Highlights:

  • 2:08 Kanban boards!
  • 9:44 The different ways Kanban boards can be used
  • 11:28 Kanban boards provide a bird's eye view of ongoing tasks

🎥 Watch the full video on YouTube here.

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Transcripts: Using Kanban Boards for Maximum Productivity with Tyson Mutrux

Speaker 1 (00:00:01) - Run your law firm the right way. The right way. This is the Maximum Lawyer podcast. Podcast. Your hosts, Jim Hacking and Tyson metrics. Let's partner up and maximize your firm. Welcome to the show.

Speaker 2 (00:00:24) - Hey, it's Tyson back for another quick Saturday episode. Today we're going to zoom in on mastering personal productivity, organizing your life with Kanban boards. And let me tell you my story a little bit about Kanban boards. Remember the first time I saw one? I was actually fascinated with it. We were at the hospital. It was our first child. Jackson was being born, and I remember he had he had actually already been born. It was the next day, and I was walking in the hallway in that days that many new parents experience right after childbirth. Obviously Amy had it way worse than I did, but I was I was just kind of in this daze. And I remember walking down the hallway and seeing this board on the wall, and they had all these different projects on it.

Speaker 2 (00:01:07) - I was like, what in the world is this? I was fascinated with it and I thought, man, this is something that that's really cool, that I think would be very useful when it comes to handling cases. And so fast forward to what we're working on now in the firm, what we currently have, and I'll get into this a little bit more later. But what we currently have is we've got a system where all of our tasks, for any case, go on to Kanban boards and what it does, it allows us to communicate about that specific task within that task, but it also allows us visually to see where that task is in the process. And I'll get into the different columns in just a second. But before I get into all that, what the details are of a Kanban board, I do want to talk to you a little bit about. For those of you who have not taken advantage of this and gotten their hands on it yet, we have a very unique roadmap called Maximum Lawyer and Minimum Time.

Speaker 2 (00:02:08) - It's something that Jim and I spent a lot of time working on, and typically this is something that we only give to our guild members. But as a special treat for podcast listeners, we're giving you stage one for free. We give all three stages to guild members, but for you, for listeners, as a reward for being our listeners, to show our appreciation, we're giving you stage one for free. All you have to do is text the words stage 1 to 3 145019260. Do that and you'll receive it absolutely free. All right. So what is a Kanban board? In its simplest form, it's a board that's divided into columns that each represent a stage in your workflow. And this isn't, you know, from start to finish workflow, but it represents a stage in the workflow. And you can use this in an app. You can use it on the wall. It can actually be a physical board that you use that you put up on your on your wall. It can be put on a piece of paper.

Speaker 2 (00:03:19) - There's a lot of different varieties that you can use. But imagine a card or the easiest way to probably visualize this for you. For those of you that don't know what it is, if you visualize a wall, it's divided into four columns and you take sticky notes, right? So we'll call that that's a card. But you take that sticky note and you put that on the board, and that sticky note represents a task. Okay. So as the work on that task progresses, you're moving it down the line until you reach the column. Done. Okay. That is in essence what a Kanban board is. Now there are different versions of Kanban boards, and you can go pretty detailed with these things, but a basic Kanban board might only have four columns to do in-progress, review, and done. That may be an example of something that you have on your Kanban board, but cards on the board can be used to represent a task or project within your workflow. And I think that that is something that's really important to realize is that it can be a specific task, or it can be a project with subtasks underneath it.

Speaker 2 (00:04:29) - All right. So the reason why that differentiation is, is important is because I want to talk a little bit about what we do in our firm. So we have the columns. They're separated into open doing stuck and done. And many of the tasks their tasks checklist with tasks within them. So for example maybe there is a task checklist item and it has to do with your intake. But under intake, as many of you know there are several tasks underneath intake. It's not just oh you do the intake, you do the intake, but you have. This informs that you've got to collect information. So you do all those different things and you maybe they're assigned to different people. So we have different tasks, checklists that underneath you can actually put a variety of different tasks for different stages in the process. What is really cool about our tasks, our checklist, is that you can also communicate about those tasks. Inside of the actual task, because the problem with much of the work that people do. Much of the work that attorneys do, or really anybody for that matter, is you'll have your case management system and then you'll have a task, but you'll do the communicating about the task in, let's say, slack, we use click, but it could be in teams, whatever platform you use or you do it via email or you do it via phone, you're not communicating about that task inside the task.

Speaker 2 (00:05:49) - And so that information is lost or people forget about it or they don't know about it. And so they take an action on a task whenever the the task is not actually complete yet, but they take an action to get that task completed whenever someone else has already done some work on that task. So it allows you to communicate about the work to be done without and without it getting lost somewhere else. I want to get into some other of the reasons why you should consider using Kanban boards. They're not for everybody, but I will tell you they're a very effective way of getting tasks done, but it allows you to streamline very complicated workflows. If you have a very big project with many different things, it allows you to to streamline that quite a bit. The visual nature of a Kanban board, it allows you to see the entire workflow at a glance, and you can set it up with as many columns as you want. So if you wanted to do it by phases of case, you could do that.

Speaker 2 (00:06:43) - I would recommend that maybe for simpler processes, for, let's say, a state planning versus a litigation type of firm, because we don't break ours down that way because it would just there would be too many columns. But the visualization, it makes it easier to identify bottlenecks, allows you to prioritize tasks and then allocate your resources effectively. That's pretty good and really quick. You know, I talked about the open doing stuck and done. Let me talk about that really quick. But the open just means that it's basically a new task. Doing means it's something that you're working on. It actively stuck means that you're waiting on someone else. So you've done everything you can, but you're now waiting on someone else. And maybe that's, you know, you've requested information from someone that's outside the firm and you really can't do anything else on it until that happens. That's something where it might go in the stuck column. Personally, I'd probably keep it in the doing column until it absolutely is stuck, and we need to maybe collaborate on what to do next.

Speaker 2 (00:07:41) - Another thing that it does is it increases the team communication. I kind of kind of already talked about that, but the board acts as a central information hub where team members, they can they can see the task status, who's responsible for it and who's doing what on it, what needs to be done next. Another thing is, is that the transparency of it, it really allows you to see who's doing the work, who's not doing the work. Maybe someone needs some help on on the tasks. And so having the task out on the board, out in the open for everyone to see is really, really handy. And it allows people to collaborate better on the different tasks and make informed decisions. I do need to touch on one of the most important aspects of using a Kanban board, which is limiting the work in progress. It's really important to put a cap on the number of cards that are allowed in each column because. When you limit the work in progress, the teams are encouraged to complete the current tasks before taking on new ones.

Speaker 2 (00:08:42) - Because you keep dumping new things into the column, they're not going to get things done, they're just going to. A lot of them will probably start working on the new task, and then the older task will start getting pushed down to the bottom and they won't get done. And it's going to prevent you from having bottlenecks and increase efficiency. So if you do start to see that the tasks are piling up, there may be an issue with your workflow, or there might be an issue with a specific employee that you need to address. All right. So let's talk a little bit about some practical applications for Kanban boards. I did talk about how we handle our tasks, but you can definitely do it with case management. And it allows you to track each case from intake resolution. We even have a Kanban board when it comes to our trials. Now this is one where it is. It's got several columns, but we have we have it where it's separated for cases that need to be filed, cases that have been filed, cases that need to be set for trial, and then each month and it has actually each month for the next two years, with all of the different trials for each of those months.

Speaker 2 (00:09:44) - And it allows us to visually see for all of the different attorneys and all the different cases when those trials are coming up, it's pretty handy. You can also do it for content planning and marketing. That's something else that you can use it for. And we have these for all of our teams. We're all using them for for different things. Operations has their own task board as well. So there are there's different. You don't just have to be stuck to just case management. You can use them for a variety of different things. And then we use an actual physical Kanban board on a wall in our personal life at home. And so in the office at home we have it set for our daily tasks or not, not necessarily daily tasks, but our tasks that we have to do that everyone knows that is in a relationship. If you're living with your your partner, you understand that you've got certain things that you've got to get done, especially if you have kids. There's certain things you have to get done.

Speaker 2 (00:10:35) - So task goes on the board and it's assigned to a certain person. We have it based on color. So different colored sticky notes for different people. So the kids have it as well. So they've got each have their own color. Amy and I have our own colors. And you can move that along the board. That way you can visually see who has which task right away. All you have to do is see the color and you know, know whose task it is. So all right, well, let's start to wrap things up. The usefulness of Kanban boards. It goes way beyond task management. I'm hoping that you realize that they are a great tool for the visualizing the information, communicating between your teams, and enhancing productivity, which is what you're you're really looking for. And it doesn't matter whether you're in law or tech or some other industry, or you're using it for personal use. You know, taking this approach can it can fundamentally transform how you approach project management and executing those tasks.

Speaker 2 (00:11:28) - So it's going to give you that bird's eye view of all of the ongoing tasks. And it allows you to promote discipline work habits. So I really hopefully hopefully you'll take these on because it's I would say that they're really instrumental in the things that we're doing and the work that we're getting done, and it allows us to be really, really efficient. But just as a reminder, if you have something you want me to cover on one of the Saturday shows, just shoot me a text and I'll try to cover it if I can. (314) 501-9260. We do get all of those texts. We get a lot of them. But if you've got something you want, you want us to cover, just let me know. And we've had a lot of great suggestions and we'll continue to attack those. The list of growing suggestions as quickly as we can. But until next week, remember that consistent action is the blueprint that turns your goals into reality. Take care.

Speaker 1 (00:12:25) - Thanks for listening to the Maximum Lawyer podcast. Stay in contact with your hosts and to access more content content.

Speaker 1 (00:12:33) - Go to Maximum lawyer.com. Have a great week and catch you next time.

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