Arnt Gulbrandsen
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2010-11-04

Family life, the programmer's way

Now that we have two children, the daily routine has grown even worse. So we've adopted cross-paradigm best practice to manage and control complex projects, on-budget and on-time, improving parent/child satisfaction matrices.

We've adopted scrum.

As for most other scrum users, we've had to adapt the methodology a little. We can't concoct stories for each sprint, and we already know to the day when the children will turn 18. But most of the scrum concepts transfer nicely to our little project.

Scrumboard: The top part of the kitchen door, divided in two with a piece of yellow tape. One half is where new yellow stickers appear, the other is the current sprint.

Short, regular meetings: When the children have gone to bed and the noise level subsides, we look at the kitchen door. Tasks done may be removed from the sprint area (but only together, so that we don't forget to tell each other about the outcome), and if the sprint is done, we discuss what to do in the next sprint and move some stickers from the staging area to the new current sprint.

Either of us can put new stickers up, but we move them to the sprint area only together, so we'll agree on what to do, and so the sprints stay manageable.

Sprints: Well, stumbles. Lasting however long it takes. But they don't grow in size, and personally I find it very relaxing that I can ignore all the pressing tasks that aren't in the current sprint.

Clipart: Here's some scrummy clipart, so you'll feel that the author of these words is a true scrum expert whose experience and knowledge you should admire.