September 26, 2013

Mind maps tools

Mind mapping is one of the most powerful visualization tools for ideas, flows, goals - whatever we want to achieve. Here are some of my most favorite tools. These tools may LOOK fuzzy and cute, but they can change the way you brainstorm your ideas. So here we go...

September 22, 2013

Value points with Kids chores and task board.

Kids enjoy games, especially when we win prices and especially when it’s fun, and done with us (their parents). Games and prices are huge motivators so sometimes it’s so simple to teach a technique using simple price with a simple game. Just think about video games for a moment, they are an amazing way to achieve a feeling of success, almost every video game has a reward in it.
Before we start explaining the kids tasks Value Point Game, I wanted to present this game as it was used by one of the scrum teams I worked with. The team came with this idea to use  MnM to measure visual value points of user stories.
What did they do?
Each user story in the backlog holds a deferential value, represented by points.

Each MnM color represents a deferential project portfolio type (Risk projects, Bread&Butter’ project and more)
Each flow step rewords with relevant sweeties:) according to the value this user story holds.

When the user story is done, we can eat out its MnM’s. Just for fun.

Well, they didn't have to do any of this, it was just for fun, and it remained fun. And it was effective too,  Fun always get things done better.

How can we use this at home with our kids chores?
Simple, Decide on the amount of points that each task in the backlog holds.
Each Done task rewards the total family point’s repository with its relative points.
At the end , The points can be represented candy, MnM, or just any color Round Sticker if you like.
The goal, achieve the day points by starting from the most valuable tasks (those with more points).

For those of you who don’t know the entire agile methods, keep on reading into this blog to follow some important tips:
1.       Keep all tasks visible.
2.       Keep tasks simple.
4.       Keep tasks small and achievable.
5.       Do one thing a time.
8.       And don’t forget to have fun

Want to read more?

September 02, 2013

Learning a routine, using a task board with kids.

A routine is A prescribed, detailed course of action to be followed regularly; a standard procedure. Kids are not born knowing how to follow a routine. So sometimes we need to teach them how to follow a set of steps, a routine till it’s clear to the child what is expected to be performed.  An obvious example may the morning routine in which we need to wake up , prepare to school and eventually get out of the house ; or the evening routine ;even a routine of learning the alphabets may not be so obvious for kids.

Let’s take the morning routine as an example: if it’s an issue, here’s another simple tip (among many in this blog) to help you get this going. Just build a routine task board.
1.       First step will be to visualize your tasks, using drowning or pictures . Visualization works wonders with kids. Make a list of tasks on the board according to the order expected.

2.       Make sure to mark tasks when they are done. Do it with your child! It usually works best with smaller kids. The mark can be a smile, a star or whatever incentive to continue to perform his/hers tasks and learn the routine.

You can collect the marks during the week, or count them for a price or a praise.

3.       Never assume that just having a task board for your child will make him/her perform his chores. No matter what kind of a task board you use with your child, don’t forget to talk it over with the child every day. This is the agile part. Let your child be an active part on planning his tasks, placing them on the list or board, performing them and moving them around. Don’t do it for him/her 

There are many other ways to deal with routine tasks, or learning a routine you just need to pick whatever fits your best.

For more articles about the subject of how to get your child performs his task or various task boards, you can read here:

·         What is a schedule board?