Having done project management now for the past 17 years, I'm always on the hunt for better way to plan my projects. I was classically trained on MS Project, but find that tool to be a bit limiting when it comes to Agile Product Development and cross functional communication. Especially, in the world of tablets and mobile devices, MS Project seems like heavy and a bit like a dinosaur. If my entire team is using tablets, why am I stuck with my PC using MS Project. To be a progressive project manager, I need to keep up with technology and the skill sets of my team. Anyways, my search for alternatives has ranged from Agile software solutions to the Apple App Store as I try to find something lightweight, yet effective to use on my iPAD.
I wanted to find something visible that could be used both online and offline. In addition, I wanted something flexible and lightweight. And finally, I wanted something that was progressive and pushing the boundaries of technology that would allow me to both model and plan by project work iteratively. So, you can imagine my exicitement when I came across this artlce about the LEGO Calendar.
The lego calendar is a wall mounted time planner that was invented by a design and invention studio called Vitamins. It’s made entirely of lego, but if you take a photo of it with a smartphone all of the events and timings will be magically synchronised to an online, digital calendar. It makes the most of the tangibility of physical objects, and the ubiquity of digital platforms.
The idea of using Lego's to plan projects seems a bit whimsical and exciting. Teams typically want nothing to do with looking at my MS Project Schedule. Perhaps looking at a calendar made of Lego's would get their attention.
Well, I have to give the folks at Vitamins credit. This does appear to be an interesting approach for project scheduling and resource allocation. Personally, I don't believe this would work for most project managers, but I'm going to hold judgement until they complete their software component of this product. Resource allocation, task identication, dependency modeling... I still need all of that, and it doesn't seem I can get that with this Lego solution.
However, I couldn't help but think this would be an excellent solution for Kanban boards. Perhaps our friends at Vitamins will take us there and before we know it we'll all be playing with Lego's at work. Not a bad way to spend the day!