March 25, 2012

Operating a task board in 10 min

Agile@Home :

v  Sticky notes
v  writing implement (pen, pencil) , marker pen
v  Board / wall. Window

:Start simple
v  Introduce the idea to the kids
v  Remember that it should be a fun game
v  Encourage the kids to take an active part
v  Kids are the ones building the board

Start with the simplest board
3 columns
v  To do
v  In progress
v  Done

.Add tasks to the board
v  Start simple. With the most simple one or two tasks

.Pull tasks according to what you need to do

.Set tasks priority and make sure to move tasks according to their priority

.Pull – Not push

You can add an impediment column if you like

!!!Don’t forget to have Fun

Thank you the greatest family for your pics J

March 18, 2012

Time management games, multitasking and Agile

OK, I confess, I can find the Agile connection in nearly everything. It’s just that practising Agile at home is not just a fantastic communication tool, it also teaches us how to manage ourselves better, more goal oriented and effective.

In one of my earlier posts, I explained how we should manage our task lists better, and see what needs to be done, using the Eisenhower Method. The Eisenhower Method is a basic time management method.

Today, I’d like to suggest we play games. Yes, I said games. Computer games, that do nothing but make your kids spend hours in front of a screen.

Apparently, that’s not true. Really.

When I started to look more into games that seemed a complete waste of time, I noticed that some of them have serious aspects of how to be effective and manage your time in the best possible way.

I believe that experience is built from training, and intuition is built on the ability to make choices, to ‘feel’ what’s right, based on previous experience. And these games, that consist of a message and constraints, such as ‘manage a pizzeria’, are exactly that. These games force us to practice our efficiency and speed, to focus, and to achieve our goals. The game trains the player to be goal-oriented, but also effective, teaching you something that you can’t learn just from talking about it, and it’s no secret that children learn the best by playing. So do adults, by the way.

So stop bothering me. Ive got pizza to make.

"Refurbish a rundown castle and turn it into a pizza palace! Armed with their secret family recipe, Rebecca and Robert are out to build a successful pizzeria franchise. Save money to spend on new appliances, better menu items or developing their skills. Accumulate enough to open a second location in an even more unique setting. Restaurant management has never been so fun!
  • Multi tasking demanding high efficiency to serve a lot of customers with the right order and the right time.
  • Grow your business - Buy new items and upgrade your restaurant
  • Set up higher  goals every round
  • Explore 50 challenging levels"

More games:

March 11, 2012

How to decide what to do? – Another way to order the ‘To-Do’ column

Lets say we have a lot of issues at hand, and we need to decide what to do first. The catch here is, that we need to decide as a group (we’ve already discussed the benefit of a group and empowerment before). The group leader (teacher/ manager) agrees that the best way to have an assignment completed in the best possible way, and get people highly motivated and have fun, will be to allow the team/class to decide on their own.

But we have so many issues at hand and only a short time frame to make our decision. So  how are we all going to agree in, say, an hour?

Imagine we are in a classroom where the class has tons of many social assignments, from which they need to pick just two activities that will benefit the entire school and probably win them a prize. But again, there’s a catch. What if they don’t win? Well, even then, at least they had fun and achieved the feeling of success and accomplishment.
The technique, a simple sort of brain storm that I’ll show you, is a very common "game" we play almost in every implementation in the industry or wherever. In fact, I even remember playing it when I was in the Girl Scouts.
So why not try it out at home or in the class room?!
So ,We have a huge list of idea we want to achieve.

1.       Ask the each class/ team member to offer two ideas and write them down on a sticky note.

Paint the school fence
Build a Muskie over in the lobby
Clean the tree area
Have an party during one of the breaks
 Create an hour of fun for first grader
Build a coffee shop for the next parents day

**No one can object to a team member idea at this point.

2.       Once every one is done , each team member has ten seconds to present his idea and place it on the board in the order of its importance.
3.       If more then one team members have the same idea, they add their note to the note already on the board.
4.       Each team member in his turn will  add his note to the board and place it according to the priority he thinks it has.

5.       The next step  may be done in two different ways:
a.        The ideas that got the most votes are selected.
b.       We can ask each team member to grade the ideas 1-5, (or whatever points we like to use) and see what two ideas got the most points.
6.       Discuss the ideas selected: drill down into practical tasks.
7.       Examine again the effort of this idea selected vs. the effort needed. Do we still want this idea or not?

The point is that
1.       We have an open discussion.
2.       Everybody’s  ideas are visible.
3.       We select the ideas as a group.
4.       We can change our mind after we have selected an idea.
5.       And, we can do this every time we have lots of things to do. A project can be a trip or a birthday party , or an event or something we are planning to do, and there are always more than one way to do things.
a.       Place the high priority ideas higher , and the rest of assignments as a wish list inside your backlog.
b.       We now have a visibility over more then only two things we wish to do.

A trip to San Diego

March 04, 2012

The Four Quadrants of the To Do list

Stick to the important, before it becomes urgent.

Here’s another way to manage the ‘To do’  list when there are many tasks that need to be taken care of , immediately, or in the long run. This method is also very useful when we find ourselves doing nothing but putting out fires. 

Instead of just putting out the fires, and constantly chasing after the daily tasks, we should stop for five minutes, and even without knowing time management theories, simply present our tasks in a visual way. That way we can start working on what’s REALLY important, and stop the constant crisis breaking out.

So what DO you do?
Start off with KISS. Keep It Simple.
Now, how can we manage the task list better?
Let’s divide our tasks into four, like below:

Now, start adding your tasks to the board, each task according to how important and urgent it really is.
(Of course, when it comes to Agile Kids, we do this as a family).
This way, the task board appears much clearer, and we know what needs to be done.
This is known as the Eisenhower Method.

Now, when you want to complete a task, just follow these simple rules to determine if it’s REALLY what you need to do next.

1.     Stick to the important
Sometimes you find that what’s really important as a family - like reading a book to your children, or talking to them - isn’t urgent, so it keeps getting postponed. Don’t forget that what you don’t do today, will come to haunt you in the future as a crisis. So if the task is important  - make sure you complete it. 

2.     Start with those that are due soon and assign them with a date and an owner.
3.     Then work on those tasks that may be due later.
4.     Delegate urgent and non important issues.
5.     Make sure to review your tasks from time to time and see if their position in the four quadrants has changed.