Summer Kanban Experiment

My 15 year-old daughter is very active and good about getting her homework done, but when left at home for a day with nowhere to be, she can easily lose the entire day in her phone or Netflix. As you can imagine, it drives me crazy when I get home from work and ask: “Did you do your reading?” or “Did you clean your room as I asked?” or even “Did you eat lunch today?” and instead of the “yes” I am hoping for I get “no” or worse yet, a blank stare.

This summer my daughter is going to 3 different camps, but she will have a total of 4 weeks at home with no real plans. She has things she wants to do with that time like start  running, get her summer reading done, get ahead on chemistry for next year. And I have things I want her to get done like cleaning her room and doing her summer math packet. She also, understandably, wants to have time to do nothing.

In the past I have helped her manage her homework and other chores by using a weekend backlog which we prioritize together. This has been successful for us both because we set the expectations and both agree and then I leave her to it. We check in occasionally but I don’t worry that she’s forgetting something and she doesn’t have me nagging her. I will post more on this later. But for the 4 weeks of summer I think we need something more so I am going to try making a Kanban board for her.

I explained it to her today and we talked about a good spot to keep the board and we listed out some tasks. She leaves for her first camp tomorrow and I will get the Kanban board set up while she is gone. Additionally while she is gone I will also be thinking about:

  • Ways to estimate tasks
  • How many tasks she can reasonably get done in a week (what is a good starting velocity?)
  • How we will check in daily (daily stand up)

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