The Action Engineering team embraces an Agile mindset & Scrum practices in our work.
In our Agile articles, we share tips & coaching opportunities that work well for us.
With the school year winding down and the prospect of no summer camps on the horizon, many parents are wondering how they are going to survive until school starts back up in the fall. The thought of weeks of balancing conference calls while nagging kids to put down the video games and play outside or actually do their chores is enough to give even those without kids terrifying nightmares.
Take a deep breath, and remember that you are a Scrum expert! Just because Scrum was created to help software developers doesn’t mean it can’t be a useful tool in helping make the ‘family business’ run a bit more efficiently. The Scrum Alliance says that Scrum “relies on cross-functional teams to deliver products and services in short cycles” with the goal of driving higher customer satisfaction and increased employee morale. Translating those business buzz words, it means that Scrum can help everyone in the family do chores and other tasks while making for happier parents and kids.
SCRUM IN REAL LIFE
Create a simple Scrum board. It could be a white board or just painters tape on the wall. It should have four columns: Backlog, To Do, Doing, and Done.
Hold a Sprint Kickoff meeting and explain the purpose of Scrum and the goal. The goal isn’t to sink the household into chaos, but to empower each member of the family to own their specific chores and allow them the autonomy to complete them.
Every Sunday, have the entire family gather for a Sprint Planning meeting. Each individual should have a pad of sticky notes and a pen. Brainstorm the chores that need to be accomplished in the week, breaking down tasks into manageable tasks – washing all of the windows might not be reasonable, so break it down by room or level of the house. Once the brainstorm is complete, the tasks should be divided up amongst the family members.
Over breakfast each morning, hold a Daily Standup and discuss what everyone has planned for the day. Impediments should be discussed and sticky notes should be moved into the relevant columns on the Scrum board. Any needed resources (such as how to work the washer or where the vacuum is kept) should be discussed.
At the end of the week, the Scrum board should be reviewed during the Sprint Review meeting. The accomplishments from the week should be celebrated. It might call for ice cream for dinner or a pizza and movie night. Any improvements can be discussed and implemented in the next sprint.
You could take this one step further and assign story points to each task. The story points could correlate to a cash amount, say $0.10 per story point. This gives additional empowerment to select tasks and have motivation to complete them.
If you give this a try with your family, let us know how it goes! We love the challenge of applying Scrum to unique situations, so reach out if you need to bounce ideas off someone on how to implement.
Want to chat with us about how your team is practicing Agile in your MBE journey? Send us a message!
Former Agile Team Lead,