Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Agile Housekeeping

My wife and I like to have friends and family over for dinner. We have a two year old son so the house looks pretty much like a day care most of the time with toys and books and puzzles all over the place.

When we are getting ready for company to come over it is typically a dash to get the house in order and make dinner before they arrive. This is one of those times when I get to apply Scrum outside of work and it is very effective.

The first thing we do is "dinner party planning" where we populate our dinner party backlog. Typical items are:
  • Go to the grocery story
  • Make dinner
  • Clean the house
These are our "epic" user stories.  We then break these down into smaller stories, like the actual grocery list, the dishes we'll prepare and the steps to make them, which parts of the house we'll clean and to what extent.  Then we prioritize them and assign them to each other.  As we complete the tasks we cross them off the list.  Every day we stop and re-prioritze the list and then continue to work.  Then on the day of the dinner, we stop and re-prioritze every hour.  It is a iterative process and it works very well for us. We might not get everything done, but we get the most important stuff done and it is the best use of our time.

Do you have any examples in your personal life where you've been able to apply Agile techniques?

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