February 05, 2012

Balancing the task list & Creating a task board for 10 and 12 years old kids

1. Presenting the idea: 
What’s the biggest problem with kids? That they always forgot to do their chores, and we parents find that we have to act as their memory, and constantly remind them to perform their tasks.
When we keep on reminding the kids of what they need to do, we also become the task  owner. Want proof? Well, If we aren’t around, are the tasks completed?
It’s not easy, by the way, to come home from work every day and immediately start talking about what hasn’t been done today. ‘Why is your bag in the middle of the room?’, ‘Why haven’t you had a bath yet?’, and so on.
And along comes Agile for Kids.
When we introduced Agile for Kids, this family children didn’t want to go along with the sticky notes, but they immediately understood the problems we were talking about. So we went along with them. After all they are the ones that are going to own the tasks and perform them later on this week.

2. Cleaning the old white board – just for fun


3. Balancing the task list:
After the board was cleaned, we asked the kids to write down all their weekly tasks.
Each kid read out one task, and the other balanced his list accordingly. Of course there were tasks they missed, tasks they didn’t agree on, or tasks that their father wanted to add (such as, ‘Don’t forget to take your house key with you’). This is a real discussion, and it is the heart of the Agile Kids method.
Finally, they agreed on one task list. This will be our backlog.
The real purpose of this exercise is, of course, to have them write down and own their tasks, and remember what they have to do.

4. Gathering ideas to build the board:
As they didn’t want to use sticky notes, we made sure they plan the board as they saw fit. Of course we insisted that they do it together.
Always keep in mind that our real goal is discussion, and to make sure they know what they are supposed to do. It is their board, which means that they are accountable to create it as they see fit. Yes, as parents we can recommend some changes, and we will review the board during the daily meetings and encourage them to improve it.
But we must remember: The board belongs to our kids.


5. Building the board:
Remember, the kids do this, this is their board, their responsibility and they are the ones who are accountable for completing the tasks. This is exactly why they are the ones who need to build it as they see fit.

Above you can see the discussion over placing the tasks on the board and the best place to place the task board.

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