Project Management has been my life for some years now. I can say that even though I never thought that this would be my career path, I have fell in love with the methodologies, education, and practice behind completing the “perfect project”. Over time I have implemented project practices in different organizations helping them run more efficiently by putting processes in place and analyzing the success or failure of those processes.
Over the last few years, I have transitioned into agile environments and I love it. So much so that I decided to use SCRUM in my personal life. With a new home, a totally new environment, and a family who is struggling to adjust, I resorted to what I knew best. I decided that turning my family into a Scrum Team would be worth a try. Not only have I learned so much about implementing agile practices, but I have also boosted my ego when it comes to implementing processes to the most unwilling particip
ants. Here’s how I did it!
First and foremost, I had to get the family (mainly my wife) to buy-in to the process of planning and implementing 10 day sprints. With the house in disarray and no sight of resolution, I used my wife’s frustration to ease her into this “easy and painless” planning method. I didn’t sell her on the fact that this was a flexible 10 day iteration. As a matter of fact, I am not sure if she even knows that it is. The great thing is that my family (once again my wife) has the characteristics that were ideal for a new Scrum team. We shared a common vision; we had individual goals of self-improvement, and already worked well as a team.
For 10 days, we wouldn’t plan dinner, work schedules, extracurricular activities, and or free time. We decided flexibility was the key. Instead of buying up a laundry list of groceries, we bought the day of on the way home from work. This saved us on groceries tremendously. We found that we didn’t have tons of uncooked food that ended up spoiling. I could take my daughter to school in the mornings while my wife picked her up. If she had to work late or I had to go in earlier, we could easily be flexible enough to do it. On the 10th day, we would talk about the next 10 days and we would see how well we did (retrospective meeting) over a nice celebratory dinner. For me, the process was nothing new, just a different environment with different team members.
I had tried this before but to no success get my wife to work with Trello. This time however I put a process in place before adding a tool. If you have read my previous article on Trello, that would
be the simplest thing for her and she could use it on her phone. Plus, once every task was identified(mainly chores), she could link it to our synced family Google calendar. As far as groceries were concerned, we could create a running checklist of only items we were running out of. The same went for the “Household Items” list for other items that were needed. It was just like keeping an inventory replenishment list.
I’ve received the question constantly, “Does agile work outside of IT?” It works great for my family! As we’re slowing doing renovations to the house, we have schedule our own releases. Families need efficiency too, why not put the right processes and tools in place to make it happen? This may seem like an unorthodox method, but today my family is happy. We’re also getting things done more efficiently than ever. We don’t need to spend a whole bunch of effort thinking about what needs to be done next, how and when we’re going to complete something or if we have time to get work done. If you’re having the same issue within your household, turn your family onto into a scrum team. Good luck!!!None found.