I recently shared some thoughts here at ShoutMeLoud regarding agile time management techniques. However today I would like to talk about another time management methodology: Lean. In this post I will talk about the ideas behind Lean productivity and how these ideas can help you to manage the time you spend developing your blog.
A Background to Lean Development
The concept behind Lean development practice is very simple. The goal of any piece of work should be to add real value to your business, anything that is not directly adding value is considered waste. And because waste has no value we should take what ever steps we can to eliminate it from our production line.
The lean philosophy grew from ideas that evolved from the car manufacturer Toyota’s production line. As the company grew over the last decades the management continuously evolved their processes to become more and more efficient with the end goal of increasing overall customer value.
This involved exploring a number of ideas:
- Continuous improvement. No process is perfect, so always consider what can be done next time to make things run smoother. There is always something that can be changed and done differently. If it works better, than great – this can become part of your process. If it doesn’t then that’s fine too, just try something else.
- Base decisions on real experience. By trying new ideas and failing quickly you will learn about what does and doesn’t work much more effectively than trying to follow pre-conceived ideas. Don’t just accept existing ideas without testing them yourself.
- A smooth flow of delivery. An idea sometimes thought of as “just in time” delivery, the idea is that the production line should produce only the things that are needed and only when they are needed.
How Can I be a Lean Blogger?
If you have read the above bullet points you can probably already relate these back to your own creative production. If you ever find yourself spending a lot of time planning the next project but never actually getting anything published on your website then you are likely to be suffering from waste – this needs to be eliminated.
Spend your time on small achievable tasks that can be delivered and will add value to your website. If you are always tinkering and trying to perfect a post or perhaps a whole site then you have delivered no value. It is much better to get something small up that will improve things rather than getting nothing up at all.
Once you get into your stride you will see the benefits of good flow. Continual updates and improvements will be appreciated by your users and will show them that your site is continuously improving.
What is Common Blogging Waste?
If you are like me, you will probably spot some of these wasteful activities in your own work flow:
- Planning work rather than doing work. Sure, a small plan can be useful, but if you aren’t working after 10 mins or so then your task is probably too big to achieve in one deliverable.
- Endless tinkering. Yes, none of these ideas should be performed at the expense of quality – but if you never put your work up on to your website then you may as well not have even started. Completing 99% of a task and never getting it live is worse than doing nothing at all.
- Repeating the same processes over and over again. Any process can be improved, there is always a way to make you work stream more efficient. Never accept that something has to be done in a certain way, keep experimenting and trust your own results.
A Blogger’s work is never done, there are always dozens of things you can do to improve your blog for the better!
Photo Credit: ellenm1
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