Scrum @ Home
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Scrum has proven to be a suitable toolset for managing software projects: Large, unmanageable tasks are broken up into little pieces that can be easily estimated in terms of complexity or time necessary for implementation. During a fixed amount of time, several of these tasks are implemented. By looking back at previous iterations it is simple to predict exactly how many items can be expected to be ready after the next iteration. Given complexity is estimated it is also easy to evaluate the business value of each item.
If Scrum is a method suitable for managing tasks - Thilo and me asked ourselves: Why not use it to manage tasks such as "Shopping", "Laundry", "Prepare Slides", "Vakuuming"? So we simply tried it out: We set up a whiteboard with the typical Scrum board layout. Each task to do for the upcoming week was noted on a little yellow post it, annotated with a complexity and sticked to the board.
The funny thing is: The experiment did work out really well. There are a few lessons learned as well:
- Annotating the complexities helped answering the question "Where the hack did my freetime go to this week?
- After like three iterations (in our case iteration length is one week) we knew exactly when we had planned for too much and were able to throw out items of lower priority.
- Making all those tiny little tasks visible suddenly helped in delegating tasks.
- Having a board with all post its moved to the right does help motivation :)
- In the meantime we found out it helps to color-code the post-it notes: Tasks are yellow, going out red, meetings with friends blue and so on and so forth. Otherwise it happens all too easy to forget about to relax.
I included a foto of our Scrum board in this blog post. It was taken some time in the middle of the week. Currently, only the fun pieces are left for Sunday :)