Minimum Viable Nap Time – Agile Parenting

Anyone involved in scrum would have heard of minimal viable product (MVP). It is basically the most important features of your deliverable, the key features required to make your output a success!

Since becoming a Scrum Master I have often found great ways of applying Scrum, or Agile, to real life not just work.  For example instead of planning for our holiday in a waterfall fashion we break the whole process into “sprints” and accept that things will change,  like our requirements or budget throughout the year.

However,  I hadn’t thought about it in terms of parenting so far. But yesterday, as we were hightailing across to my sisters house for my nephews first birthday party I realised that my little one,  15 months old, runs in sprint cycles, requires sprint planning and definitely has MVP.

Let’s take the sprints, and now she is racing around they truly are sprints! We plan the sprints as best we can. The morning sprint is agreed the night before and can last up to 8 hours. Our planning,  our refers to the delivery team,  me and the wife, lasts just 15 minutes. We agree that if little one wakes earlier than 7 we will let her play in her cot until 7. We plan breakfast, what she will have and when she will have it. Part of our planning is a sprint review of the previous morning sprint, what did she enjoy to eat, did she play in her cot etc. On a daily basis we know we need to meet her MVP: food, nappy change, learning, naps and love. Naps are very important and in our house we believe sleep begets sleep!

As we headed out yesterday our sprint goal for the mornings sprint had changed, we still had to meet little ones MVP but also get across to Milton Keynes for 11 am for the party. To do this the first nap of the day had to be in the car! This means playing George Ezra’s Budapest on repeat until she dozes off. Then it is about no talking and me trying to avoid pot holes and take roundabouts at 10 miles an hour!  This is maintained until the MVNT is met,  30 minutes. Any disturbances, mum sneezing, daddy ov&ertaking, are met with more Budapest replays;  I really hate this song!

For all parents naps are key and we all know our little ones MVNT, Minimum Viable Nap Time. If you already know Scrum I definitely suggest implementing a bit into your patenting, it definitely works. But my advice is not doing the retrospective when the wife has done 3 straight nights of no sleep whilst you slept like a baby in the Crown Plaza in Leeds! If you don’t know Scrum but do want to get more Agile then I heartily recommend it for work and home! The best training I have had is a company called Agil8 and a chap called David Hicks.


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