In his popular TED talk, Bruce Feiler describes today’s families as “out of control” and relates how his family used agile project management to improve their lives. He opens his talk by sharing the results of a survey that revealed what kids really want for their parents: to be less tired and less stressed. Feiler then goes on to describe how using family standup meetings with morning checklists drastically reduced stress in his household.
By using retrospectives and empowering their children to provide input on rewards, consequences, and plans for the next “iteration,” the Feiler family gained insights into their children’s innermost thoughts and encouraged their children’s independence.
He believes that families can find happiness by adopting an “agile family manifesto” with the following principles:
- Adapt all the time: Experiment with new ideas, and be flexible and open-minded.
- Empower your children: Let them plan their own goals, evaluate their own work, succeed on their own terms, and on occasion, fail and learn from those failures.
- Tell your story: Define your mission and identify your core values as a family.