Agile Family Planning – A short follow-up

Months ago I wrote a blog about appling Agile methodologies to raising my two girls.  My goal was to minimize yelling and screaming and create more order in our lives.  I achieved my goals.

Really, you ask?  Yes, no kidding, but  I probably broke every Agile rule in the book and that’s coming from someone who is certified for doing this stuff.  

I started out as a zealot and at first stuck to a rather formalized process of weekly sprints.  I would meet with my family every Sunday, discuss our backlog, set goals for the week, and then follow every morning with short daily scrum meetings that ensured all the tasks for the day were done in a rational manner.

After about 4-5 months, the meetings dwindled and eventually died out altogether.  Occasionally I would threaten to start the meetings again, but even those threats died.

Why did this happen?  Did I just turn lazy?  Did the zealot’s fire in my eyes get snuffed out in the face of overwhelming opposition by my girls.  No.   Nothing so page-turning as that…  What happened is that my girls internalized my methods.  Strange as it seems, these little bundles of energy just started regulating themselves better.

On any given day, they still get things wrong, but by and large they do chores with nary a complaint.  They organize themselves in the morning before school with little effort on my or my wife’s part.   They just get it.

I can’t tell you with certainty if Agile helped me achieve this state of chore-driven nirvana.  I would like to, but I can’t.  I wasn’t scientific enough.  Had I been that way, then Social Services would have a right to take my children away.

What I can tell you is that I believe that they go the idea.  Agile removed anger and frustration from the family dynamic and replaced it with rational discussions about what we needed to do to operate well as a family.  It promoted reasoning and demoted the negativity of misplaced emotion.  About all that remains of my Agile Family Planning is an occasional retrospective meeting where we discuss what’s working, not working and what we can do better.  This keeps communication strong and all of us working together well.

Go Agile!  Go Family!

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