2017 resolution – the Work In Progress drawer

This is a drawer from the chest of 6 IKEA drawers in which I keep my ‘ready to hand’ stuff. My new rules for 2017 are as follows:

  1. Only models in the drawer can be painted.
  2. Models can’t leave the drawer until they are fully painted.
  3. Units stay until ALL members are finished.
  4. Exiting models get photographed for the blog.

I am hoping this will increase productivity by not wasting time half doing things, and will also mean I’m not littering the working area with half painted models. Ideally I will reduce the number in play to just the white card tray (half the drawer) because there are currently 70 odd models in there – and that’s more than enough to be getting on with (how many can you paint at once?).

As someone on Facebook correctly observed, this is miniature painting Kanban. In simple terms Kanban is where a process has a limited number of ‘slots’. New work isn’t started until a ‘slot’ comes free. This focuses effort on a smaller number of items, so each one typically progresses faster through the process, and time taken is more predictable – if there are 20 items in the tray and 5 get done a week, the expected delivery time for a new item going in would be 4 weeks. You can apply this to things like home DIY projects, not just an industrial production line. Slots can be monitored in a number of ways such as through card tickets, post-its on a white board, or an online system. In this case the physical space in the tray provides a limited number of ‘slots’.

For anyone who is interested, current work in progress (WIP) is a load of Citadel creepy crawlies (started about 10 years ago  – you can see why I’m trying to implement this system), my mad monks from a couple of posts ago, a box of plastic Bloodletters, some bric-a-brac (treasure) for Frostgrave, two 15mm Pz38s, a big headed alien from BOYL 2016, a couple of hybrids, a bunch of robed techno-cultists from Ramshackle Games and a couple of other random Rogue Trader models.

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