Plant The Seed, We Might Reap One Day

Hi everyone 🙂
I’ve been absent for quite some times.
Thanks to Ritu that kept #annalogy alive 😀

As per today (14 April 2020), we all most probably in the same situation.
Work From Home.
School From Home.
Whatever you name it.
Hopefully all of you are in a good condition. Physically and mentally.
Let us all pray so that this COVID-19 pandemic resolved soon.

Today I want to share a story about my daughter (8 years old – 2nd grade) and how me, as an Agile Practitioner, help her to taste a little bit of how I do work in the office.

Not a sophisticated writing, something light but hopefully can be valuable for you 😀


Since mid of March 2020, her school already set a “home learning” regulation.
Assignments are given by her teachers using Google Classroom.
At that time, I was still going to office (the Work From Home regulation was set a week after if I’m not mistaken).

So, yea … reminding her to do her assignments from school was quite an effort when I was still in office.

Even when the Work From Home starts, focusing on work with lotssss of online meetings and helping her with the school also give me headache 😀
side note: I have 2 kids, one is in 2nd grade and the older one is in 7th grade

Every year, before and after Idul Fitri holiday, my daughter used to join me to office for Kids Day Care that the company had.
She saw lots of post-its sticked to the Scrum and Kanban Board.
She was also always curious on why those post-its needed and what do I do at work.

That gave me an idea!
I told her this “Aletha, you want to arrange your assignment like how I do mine at work?”
With her exciting eye-gaze she nodded.
Let the story begin …

Introduce A Board

I started to look around what I can utilize in my room.
I saw a cupboard with 3 doors.
I saw a stack of stickies that she used to ask me to buy (didn’t remember why she asked me to buy that).
I saw some markers that the girls use to draw.

Then I started to write 3 post-its: TO DO, IN PROGRESS, DONE.
Then I started writing her home-learning assignments in stickies. One assignment per stickie and stick it to the TO DO lane.
She was so curious in watching what I did.
This was the initial board we created.

our initial board

Building The Habit

After the board done, I use the teaching stance to help her understand how will the board helps her and what she needs to do to make the board useful.

Having a board that is not updated is useless.
Here are the things I thought her:

  1. When you do something from the list, move it to IN PROGRESS lane
  2. After you’re finish doing it, move it to DONE lane
  3. When I forward you an assignment from your teacher, get a stickie, write it down and put it in TO DO lane
  4. By the end of the day, you will be happy to see lots of things move to DONE lane

Well, for the first few days, she did it.
But then she stopped doing it. She said she forgot 🙂
Normal… she’s just a kid!
I bet you experienced some of your colleagues that are adult already also have the same behaviour, right 😀
Sometime I forgot too hahahha

So, me, as mom (or ScruMom :D) keep encourage her to do it.
Reminding her the benefit of having the board updated.
well sometime take her hand and do it together

Encourage For Improvement

One day, I asked her “Aletha, what do you think can be done to make this board better?”
She looked at the board and think.
After a while she said, “I think I need to put brushing teeth stickies there because that is important and I sometime forget to brush my teeth” 😀

Then I said, “Okay, let’s do it”

She took the stickie and put it on the top and start re-organizing the other stickies.
After she completed all, I told her “This is what I call prioritization. Meaning you put the most important and valuable items on the top”

Nothing spectacular, but I am happy since now she knows how to prioritize things and that idea came from herself.

Continuous Improvment

Today, already one month since the home learning started, she has unit test schedule for a week.

I thought her since her 1st grade that if she has a test, then she needs to create learning schedule so she wont be overload with “one night learning” and she will have good grades.

Since now we have a board, I introduced something else to her.

I asked her to write some more stickies for unit test preparation and we put all the things on the board.

She wrote lots of stickies and found those like too much and messy.
note: I like that she wrote stickies by herself – sign of a self-organized behaviour.

She said “So many, mom… I can’t make difference which one should be done tomorrow, which one for weekend and which one for next week”

Then I said, “OK, let me teach you something”

So i took another stickie and write BACKLOG there.
She asked “What is backlog?”
I said “Well, basically it’s the things you need to do but not today, while TO DO is the lane where you need to do today”
She understood.
She took the stickies for today, put it in TO DO and put the not for today stickies in BACKLOG.
So here’s our board today:

Today, 17 April 2020, one month after our initial board was set up, she learned a lot!
She learned about:

  1. Task arrangement
  2. Flow of task
  3. Prioritization
  4. Backlog
  5. Ownership
  6. Responsibility
  7. Be Organized
  8. Self-organized
  9. Commitment
  10. Focus
  11. Transparency

It’s still a long journey for her to understand all that and make that as a habit.

Nothing much, not even close to Kanban or Scrum
What I can do as a mom (and a scrum master) is
Plant The Seed, We Might Reap One Day

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