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Jim Benson

Jim Benson

CEO, Modus Cooperandi

A pioneer in applying Lean and Kanban to knowledge work, Jim is the creator of Personal Kanban and co-author of Personal Kanban: Mapping Work | Navigating Life, winner of the Shingo Research and Publication Award. His other books include Why Plans Fail, Why Limit WIP, and Beyond Agile. He is the CEO of Modus Cooperandi, and co-founder of Modus Institute. For the past two decades Jim has worked at uncovering ways for individuals and groups to communicate, collaborate, and find clarity in unpredictable and amorphous environments.


Articles by Jim Benson
The Power of Ma in Creating Cognitive Space
When we lead with respect for people, we need to truly understand that people work in different ways, argues Jim Benson in this piece about the power of More »
Mapping a Reading List to Lean
We humans want to see what is happening, understand how we and our colleagues best collaborate, solve problems, make good decisions, and have an insatiable desire to be better. This Lean reading list by Jim Benson steps outside the obvious texts and provides offerings with a foundation for these critical skills. More »
The 5 Diseases of Prioritization
Prioritization is rarely a problem by itself. Instead, it’s a symptom of a set of illnesses: Swervy, Thickets, Costeoporosis, Planemia, Politicitis. Here’s the cure from “Doctor” Jim Benson. More »
Six Personal Kanban Habits to Avoid
Jim Benson, kanban specialist, shares the six most common mistakes found on kanban boards. More »
Workshops Taught by Jim Benson
Coaching Collaboration: Using Workflow to Diffuse Bad Politics (at the 2020 Lean Summit) I’m always busy.  ..  SO WHY IS NOTHING GETTING DONE?An immersive one-day experience in Lean for the Office.  Internal politics. Unnecessary meetings. Lousy information flow. Poor decision-making. All of these culminate in an unpleasant - and let’s face it, farcical - annual review for the office worker.  All knowledge work is subjected to extremely high levels of variation, stress, and changing demands. And yet the modern office rarely has an agreed-upon way of working to handle these conditions. We assume processes need to be heavy or filled with jargon or additional work.    But process is actually how we agree to work More »
Continuous Improvement Using Personal Kanban A simple, effective management system for digging out of work -- and staying dug out -- to achieve higher quality, better productivity, greater job satisfaction, and peace of mind. More »
Mapping your Work, Navigating Life: Personal Kanban In this one-day immersive experience we will explore the impact of overload on both the individual and the team; politics and "work-arounds" that start quietly and quickly morph into unwritten rules; and smooth work-, information-, and communication-flows that can lead to happier, less stressed, and more effective teams. More »