October 05, 2011

Agile and families and everything in between

Agile@Home :

Well, Agile isn’t just for developing software - it’s just as good for developing families.

That’s right - using Agile in the family with your kids is just as beneficial (if not more) as using Agile with your team.

I’m an Agile coach and I tend to use practical examples when I do presentations. I found myself giving more and more examples from my family daily routine to explain how Agile should work - and getting nods and questions from the audience, about how would I use Agile in the family.

I thought - well, why not?

After all, there have been a number studies done that show that managing is like parenting in more ways than one. We all want to get the family chores done, and at the same time, empower and raise our children to be decent, hard-working and independent, all without losing our parental authority on the way. Now think of the way Agile teams work. Sounds familiar?

So I sat down, and adapted Agile, Scrum and Kanban methodologies into something we could use around the house. When I tried it out, I was amazed at how quickly the kids took to it, and how simple it was to get them into the spirit of things. It was easier than with most teams I worked with :)

The biggest difference between Agile for the family and Agile for the team is that instead of using communication to complete project tasks and increase profit, we use the project tasks to talk to one another and increase family communication.

How does it work?
1.      We put up a family task board with the usual ‘Backlog’, ‘To do’, and ‘Done’ columns.
2.      We set up priorities for the different tasks.
3.      We got together once a day and talked about how we’re progressing. We let the kids talk first - it makes them feel it's their domain more than anybody else’s.

Once a week we planned the next week and looked back at the previous week and learned    from what we did.

4. We ended up enjoying the conversation so much it became the real reason we met :)

So you see? Introducing Agile into your family means you have tons of fun with them, chores get done AND you get to talk to your kids a lot!

Want to read more about Agile Kids?


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