Scrum at Home: A Family Retrospective

After our family sprints, we hold a retrospective. This helps us reflect on the process and what is working and what isn’t. We have been running our household using Scrum for about six months now, and here are some things we have learned along the way:

sprint planning 2

Scrum is for Parents Too

We started Scrum as something just for the kids to do, but later learned that my husband and I could benefit from it to. We have been together for 16 years and we have always had an informal division of labor, but there was still the constant conversation about who was pulling more weight.

During our next sprint planning, we decided to give ourselves tasks and put them on the Scrum board. This has helped us tremendously in having clear roles and responsibilities and feeling like we are equal partners. We still help each other out with tasks because we are one family with shared goals.

You Don’t Have to Switch Task Owners

At first we were trying to do sprint planning every week. After a while, we all settled on jobs that we liked and the kids asked if they can just keep their same jobs for awhile. While at first I felt like we were giving up some elements of Scrum, it seemed to work. Everyone knows what their jobs are every day. I simply ask, “Have you done your Scrum jobs today?” Since the whole family chose the jobs that they wanted to do, the buy-in is there, which makes it work.

Share a Common Goal

We always try to work toward a shared goal and remove the phrase, “That’s not my job.” Even though we have a task owner, we have not met our goal until everyone in the family is done, which often leads to helping each other out.

Our goals are usually simple – “Let’s get our housework done so we can watch a family movie tonight,” or “Let’s get our jobs done on Friday so we can go to the apple orchard on Saturday.”

“Our goals are usually simple – Let’s get our housework done so we can watch a family movie tonight, or Let’s get our jobs done on Friday so we can go to the apple orchard on Saturday.”

A Little Each Day Goes a Long Way

We have built “Scrum jobs” into our daily routine, so now everyone does it without much argument or thought. The entire family knows that it is something we do each day and that it helps us stay organized. Sometimes we set a specific time to work on our Scrum jobs, other times it is just by a certain time of day, such as by 7 pm.

You Don’t Have to Do Textbook Scrum

While coaching clients, I try to do Scrum by the book. At home, we use the general philosophies of teamwork, shared goals, transparency, respect and focus to manage our home. Find what works for your family and stick to it.

Want to learn more? Hear The Scrum Mom and Evan (11) talk about,”5 Easy Ways to Get Started with Scrum at Home,” on October 13 at Scrum Day Minnesota:




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