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I have a 6 year old and 8 year old child. I would like to implement Scrum in my family to make getting chores done more efficient. Can Scrum be implemented in this context?

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Just do it? doing is the best example.

  • Set an iteration cycle period, lets say a week
  • Create a backlog together with the family
  • Do a planning sessions
    • Estimate the work
    • Make a realistic Sprint plan
  • Daily monitor progress
    • Visualize it on a board, todo, in progress, done
  • At the end of the week review the victories
  • Evaluate whats going well and where your family can improve

I see no reason why children couldn't follow a plan like this. No need to explain just execute! :)

I like how the Agile in a Nutshell website puts it:

At its core, Agile does the same thing you and I do when faced with too much to do and not enough time.

  • You make a list
  • You size things up
  • You set some priorities
  • You start executing
  • You update the plan as you go

One note of warning, iterative household tasks is not for everyone. I know one of my Agile trainers who's girlfriend really hated it. They are separated now...

  • +1 for a concise and useful answer about implementing household agile practices, although recurring tasks like household chores aren't really a good fit for Scrum per se. I upvoted, but I think the answer would be stronger if it addressed which agile frameworks were most appropriate for this context. – Todd A. Jacobs Sep 20 '16 at 20:16
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    I agree, but the question is about Scrum specifically. Personally I use a form of Kanban, but we lack the discipline to update the board daily, maybe Scrum would be a better idea. Also the idea that you have a decider in the form of a Product Owner might help discipline, although the Product Owner should also help with the chores and be part of the Scrum team I guess... :) – Niels van Reijmersdal Sep 21 '16 at 7:20
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I've been using Kanban for Family chores for about a year now. Scrum had too much overhead for simple chores and none of the chores required a any degree of planning or collaboration, so Kanban seemed the best choice.

My kids are 9 & 11 and they really took to it at first, because of the novelty. Then it all fell apart when they realized the "story points" would only convert to $0.20 per point of allowance, they revolted, unionized, and came back with a counter offer of $0.40 per point. Since then, its worked quite well and I am paying them an weekly allowance of about their age ($9 or $11 / wk)

There is a list of pre-established tasks with points (color corresponds to point value). Parent moves something from To Do to Asked. Kid moves it from Asked to Taken/Doing and then Done. Kid can also move from To Do to Doing and Done without being asked. Parent moves from Done to Accepted and gives the Kid a tally of points (red post it), which at the end of the week gets calculated into to allowance they will receive.

One swim lane for each kid.

Kids like it because it is empowering for them to choose tasks and understand the value of those tasks relative to others. It took a while to establish the habits to understand what constituted Accepted, so there was a fair amount of re-work. But now that we are in the swing of it it moves well, except after grandma sends a $20 in the mail, they feel cash rich and velocity sags. :)

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  • +1 I like your format. Do you have a separate board for the adult tasks? A family is not just the kids, or is it? :) What is the swimlane for? Each for one of your children? Could they compete for asked tasks? – Niels van Reijmersdal Sep 28 '16 at 9:19
  • I've honestly thought about doing an adult board, just so I could prove to my kids that mom and dad do a lot of work too! I bet it would also help prove to my wife I frequently do the dishes! Yes swim lanes are for each kid (I redacted their names) and yes they compete for tasks, 2 pts for getting the mail from the mail box always seems to be the most popular. – Stewart Whitman Sep 28 '16 at 19:50

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