Monday, 13 January 2014

Kids as Products

I guess I am not the only person that is married to someone that comes from a different culture, and as such has different values in life. This is cool up to the point where you find yourself being played by the child, in our case a girl, pre-teenager. She comes to me and asks for something, I say No. She goes to daddy and asks for that same thing and hears Yes.
At her karate classes, I happened to meet her friend's grandpa', who happened to be a life coach. Often I spend the 1 hour karate class talking to him and, let's be honest, sometimes stealing some ideas from him. As an agile coach, anything people related is important to me so I have never enough good ideas to grab and use.
A week ago, he gave me this idea to have a meeting with my husband and decide on the Vision for our daughter. Once the Vision is defined and agreed, than when we get asked by her to do/buy/get/start  something, we can easily go back to the Vision and ask "Is this going to help her get one step closer to the Vision we agreed?" and if yes, then say Yes.
I just had a "Eureka!" moment. He considers my daughter like a product that we have to create!
I coach everyday my team to focus on the goal, what we want to achieve, how every story that we commit will bring us one step closer to the goal. I constantly remind my Product owners to go back to the Vision and make decision based on "Is this taking us one step closer to what we want to achieve?"
Now, I am not planning to take this literally and consider my daughter a product, with releases and versions and continuous delivery...nope! But having a Vision and using "Responding to change over following the plan" principle, I think it is a good way to align the efforts and decisions.
So we had a family meeting and we agreed to some basic and broad things. My daughter was present and she had a saying  about everything we put on the Vision. As a result we created also some personality attributes that she has to work on in order to achieve this Vision. For example,
Goal: Travel around the World and see a lot of places
Attribute required: Have an open mind and tolerance toward other cultures. Learn other languages.

As much as I wanted to put there "Goal: have PhD", I was pushed back :) Ok I get it. The idea is that we are not setting here specific goals. If she wants, she can open a bakery and make french bread rather than have PhD on Bio Chemistry. So we agreed that the number 1 goal is "Be Happy", whatever she decides to do.
Not sure where will go from here because now it needs some discipline to start using this, keep each-other accountable that all our decisions are helping to get one step closer to the Vision, etc, etc. But if nothing more, it was a good family meeting, good brunch at a nice restaurant, some good awareness of what the expectations for the future are and ... yeah, something like " if you want to have a private jet as a goal then  we can put PhD as well on the list ^-^"

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