Running Agile at Home
Agile is merely a philosophy of how to change the way we think about delivering value. Powerful ideas have grown from the original philosophy, namely frameworks, like Scrum and Kanban.
Manufacturing, product development, service development, sales, marketing, and yes, even management can benefit from the ideas espoused from Agile. Having helped all sorts of companies use the backbone of Agile to help them transform their delivery mechanisms has been not only one of the most fun things to do as a career, but we can take this stuff home too!
[Richard Lawrence has written on this before: Agile Homeschool and Agile Homeschool Update]
How to Run Agile at Home
What you’ll need (oh yes, it’s that simple):
- Wallspace for a wallboard
- Painters tape
What you’ll need to decide:
- How complex you want your wallboard to be
- How to begin introducing the idea to your spouse/kids
We’ve been running Agile at home for many years now. Here is our first idea for my office years ago:
My wife loved the idea. She even made a wallboard for me immediately…
Benefits of Running Agile at Home
The power of running Agile at home are exactly the same of running Agile at a company level:
- Overall transparency where work effort is going
- Tracking progress in real-time (we use the terms “physical accountability“)
- Focus time for work (no interruptions)
- Organizational (family) alignment
- Delivering highest-priority and highest-value first
- Negotiating execution order (I lose willingly most of the time 🙂
- Negotiating value
Running Agile with Your Kids
I also use Agile with my eldest daughter!
Recently she’s been asking for an AMAZING TEA SET. She’s been begging and asking for the longest time and we decided to (as a new years resolution) to go back to utilizing Agile to help her track progress, tasks, and t0-do’s in order for her to have a successful sprint/release (so she can get the tea set)!
The Set Up
Her wallboard is on IdeaPaint and we use FrogTape (it’s much better than blue tape) to set up 3 columns: TO DO // DOING // DONE
The Coaching and Sprint Planning
Describing the Sprint Goal, going through highest priorities, ordering the sprint package (prioritized and value sorted by process orientation [days]).
Ensuring the team is aligned to the sprint is very important before we commit (to do our best) to deliver!
There is a lot of great things that come out of managing flow and work with kids using Agile/Scrum:
- Alignment around tasks to do
- Negotiating! – One of the best things that come out of this is teaching (early on) the skills of negotiating, positive engagement patters and communication patterns in a family. Even at a young age, my daughter negotiated many aspects of the User Stories and tasks associated with them. Even negotiating cleaning the play room a day in advance because she could knock it out sooner than expected! The Product Owner (me) was VERY pleased!
- Understanding the value of transparency when we work, being honest, clear in communication, and executing to shared expectations and shared understanding
Running Agile at home isn’t that tough, and you can reap many powerful benefits of using Agile at home. Even in our Scrum classes, we teach principles, techniques, and methods that extend far beyond just “work.” These are powerful ideas that you can take to any endeavor, whether in extracurricular activities, clubs, home-life, and more.
It’s always fun to share my experiences with my students and clients of how we use Agile at home. Maybe this year, it could be part of your new years resolutions?
Happy 2015 everybody!
I started doing this in Saturdays when we do a “clean the house” morning. We throw post it’s on a glass door to the porch. The kids love it, negotiate, and write their own tasks sometimes.
My wife rolls her eyes at me every time I do it, but she even gets into it and we get a ton done.
Kid #1: Dad! Can I play outside!
Me: is the “Do” Column clean.
Kid #1: of my tasks, yes.
Me: Then you know you can go play!
Awesome! Do tell us more! 🙂
Great article and one I plan to share with my kids. They need the visual board just like us adults.
Great! Would love to see pictures after you set it up!