Podcast Ep. 79: How to Apply Agile Principles at Home with Yvonne Marcus

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

Episode Description:

In today’s episode of the Agile Coaches’ Corner podcast, Dan Neumann is excited to be joined by someone outside of AgileThought, Yvonne Marcus. Yvonne specializes in teaching home management – the process of effectively running a household – with an agile twist. Her mission is to help parents develop flexible home management solutions using agile principles. This leaves more time for themselves, quality family time, less money spent, and a more productive week.

In this episode, Yvonne gives invaluable tips and tricks on how you can begin to implement agile into your home. She shares exactly how you can start bringing the agile process into your home, how to introduce your family to it, and actionable tips to get started. Yvonne truly illustrates how applying agile principles can shift your family from surviving to thriving.

Listen on Google Play Music


Key Takeaways:

  • What is home management?
    • Everything you have to do in your house to make it run (doing the dishes, cooking dinner, taking care of your kids, etc.)
    • The process of effectively running a household
  • Ways to apply agile to home management:
    • You can use Scrum boards at home for your kids so they know what they need to do for the day and lessen their dependency on parents to guide them through every step
    • The kids can contribute to the backlog during their family Sprint meetings (ask your kids: “What needs to be done in the next two weeks?” or “What do you want to do in the next two weeks?”)
    • Families can also discuss behavioral problems at the Sprint meetings and what appropriate consequences could be for said behaviors by involving them in the process (similar to a team working agreement)
  • Yvonne’s tips for bringing agility into your home:
    • Yvonne uses DAKboard for their Sprint goal board where she keeps track of their daily schedule, count downs to important events, Sprint goals, etc.
    • She recommends whiteboarding and putting everything either in a Google Sheet or using an application that creates to-do lists (such as Microsoft To-Do)
    • Do not ask anyone in your family to start using a new piece of software that they do not already use (if they’re not used to it they will not use it and you’ll fail with your first implementation of trying to run agile at your house)
    • You can use Scrum, agile, Kanban, etc. — whatever works best for your home
    • Do your daily Scrum first thing in the morning
    • An important question to ask yourself is: “How much time do I need to take care of myself today? If you don’t set aside self-care time at the very beginning of the day, you will always find something in your home that is more important that needs to be done and you’ll forget about it
    • Create a sustainable pace with the principles behind the Agile Manifesto (it’s not just about the work)
    • Stick with it even if it’s not perfect the first few times
    • Create a continuous feedback loop by asking your family what went well that week, what didn’t work, and modify and implement changes
    • Ask yourself: “What is the simplest thing you can do to create a solution from the start?” Don’t go over the top; just start with what you have
    • Take the four tendencies quiz (it can be helpful to understand who is on the “team,” and how to communicate in a way that will be the most receptive for them)
  • Where Yvonne recommends getting started with implementing the agile process in your home:
    • Start with the daily Standup because being able to reconfigure time so that everyone’s time is valued will be eye-opening
    • If you start with the daily Standup, you’ll see an immediate success
    • Everyone should provide input so they know they have weight in what is going on inside the home



Mentioned in this Episode

Transcript [This transcript is auto-generated and not completely accurate in its depiction of the English language or rules of grammar]

Intro [00:03]: Welcome to Agile Coaches’ corner by AgileThought, the podcast for practitioners and leaders seeking advice to refine the way they work and pave the path to better outcomes. Now here’s your host, coach and agile expert, Dan Neumann.

Dan Neumann [00:16]: Welcome to this episode of the Agile Coaches’ Corner. Dan Neumann. And excited today to be joined by somebody from outside of AgileThought, Yvonne Marcus, who specializes in teaching home and management. And I don’t exactly know what even home management is. I guess my, I’m laissez-faire home manager. So you find what would be the best way to describe that to our listeners?

Yvonne Marcus [00:39]: So for me, home management is basically everything that you have to do in your house to make it run. Um, and that’s, you know, doing the dishes, cooking dinner, taking care of little humans. Um, and a lot of that work has been invisible for a great many number of years and often because of societal pressures falls on mom. Um, so part of the reason that I brought this agile process to my business and what I teach, um, parents is because it helps us to be more on an equal footing by making this work visible through the meetings that occur in the agile process. I started actually teaching agile in like the last year, um, to year and a half because I ran into this amazing Ted talk by Bruce Filer. And then I brought that Ted talk to my husband and I said, so what’s agile, and have you heard of it? Now he’s a software engineer, so many of you listening to this podcast will know that of course he has heard of it. So he was like, why are we talking about this at home? Like, this is something I use at work. Um, and then the transition to using it at home for the home management techniques was actually relatively easy and probably actually easier than using it in his office because there are less people.

Dan Neumann [02:07]: Oh, sure. You’re a very small team, right? A team of three, four, four. Okay. I heard about an opinionated three-year-old.

Yvonne Marcus [02:17]: Yes. Highly, highly opinionated. Um, but also she just recently got involved in the agile process because you know, up until about age three, there wasn’t a lot of communication coming from her end that wasn’t just crying.

Dan Neumann [02:32]: Understood. Yeah. That’s kind of a very normal thing obviously for very small humans. Hey, exactly. There you go. So you got, um, Bruce, uh, had a Ted talk on agility that, that kind of launched you down this path.

Yvonne Marcus [02:46]: Yeah, his Ted talk was on happier families and he interviewed a bunch of people from different areas of life, like he interviewed, uh, the banker for Warren buffet about allowances. Um, but the first chapter he really talks about the Scrum board and what that did for kids who can now, um, are not dependent on the parents to tell them, here’s step one, here’s step two, here’s step three. Um, this is what you have to do today. You just need to move it from not done to done. And we do that using a visual schedule. Um, we call it the kid’s Scrum board so that they are aware of the language that we use around agile. Um, and yes, I know agile and Scrum are not synonymous but um, but so that we use the language that is common and is, um, is what we use as our methodology. Um, but it ended all of the arguments that were happening in my house over how to get out of the house on time in the morning because now you just say go look at the board and now the board is the boss. The kids are not mad at you.

Dan Neumann [03:57]: Do they get mad at the board? I’m curious.

Yvonne Marcus [03:59]: Uh, not all that often cause the board just seems like this sort of third party inanimate object that’s just like, Oh yeah, that’s what I have to do. I’m sure when they get a little bit older and it’s a little bit more obvious that the board is still just a authority figure in their life, that it might be different.

Dan Neumann [04:17]: So the, uh, the backlog then for your Scrum board, I’m assuming is heavily influenced by yourself and your husband. Is that fair? And then you, I think you, uh, the kids also then get a voice. Do they get to contribute to the backlog?

Yvonne Marcus [04:31]: Uh, yes. So when we do our, um, our Sprint meetings, um, we sit down and we sort of talk about, um, you know, what’s, what is we’re needing to do in the next two week period, because we do use Scrum at the house. Um, and so it is, um, you know, what do you want to do in the next two weeks? And for the kids it might be, you know, going someplace to do something like going out for pizza on Friday night. Um, and so we’ll say, okay, well we’ll write it down and we’ll add stuff to the list and then, you know, we’ll have a lot of heavy home projects or, um, you know, things that just aren’t working in the home. Like during this quarantine period, we’re all in. As we’re recording this, we realized our entryway system wasn’t working. Um, there were just clothes that were everywhere because we didn’t have place to hang coats. So we fixed that while we were home. Um, and I think a lot of people are probably finding that to be true. But um, but when we sit down with the kids, the other thing that we talk about during this meeting is, um, behavioral problems. Like is your child hitting a lot or is you know, because they can’t express themselves in another way or are they having like an attitude and sass? Um, then you can talk about what did they think is an appropriate consequence for when they do those things.

Dan Neumann [05:48]: Yeah. So you’re getting them involved in the, uh, the decision making process of, you know, what is the desired behavior, what are the consequences? Then if, um, that behavior isn’t met and that reminds me of a Scrum team at work, setting up a team working agreement, you know, what are we agreeing to do? And then what are the follow ups, what are the consequences if there’s a violation of that, how do we hold each other accountable?

Yvonne Marcus [06:11]: Yeah. And I find that when the kids set their own, like sort of consequence, they own it and they will be very much in charge of making sure that their sibling is doing it, that they’re doing it. Um, and also they’re little dictators you will find that the consequence they give you is like the worst possible consequence you can think of. And then you have to negotiate back to something reasonable.

Dan Neumann [06:36]: They haven’t decided to get punished. They haven’t gone over yet. Punished me by making me eat, ice cream. Like that’s not, that’s not where you’re going, right?

Yvonne Marcus [06:43]: No, it’s take away all my screen time forever in perpetuity. And I’m like, no, mama needs some time.

Dan Neumann [06:52]: Yeah. Oh yeah. I love it. So you’ve got you, you’d mentioned the two week Sprint cadence then. Um,

Yvonne Marcus [06:59]: Yeah, that’s how we do it because of the fact that we can get things done pretty quickly and if we, so if we made it longer, things would just stretch out in sort of that research and development phase. And that’s where you end up in sort of fatigue.

Dan Neumann [07:14]: I had to imagine that you might actually match your Sprints to just a calendar week. So you uh, you challenged my mental model when I was thinking of that. I thought it would just be a one week cycle, so did you try different Sprint durations and kind of land on this or was it always the two week default?

Yvonne Marcus [07:29]: So we started with the two week default because of course I was learning about this from an academic standpoint. Like I’m just going to all the websites and taking in all the information. I’d never actually run it. Um, and then I was like, well you know, let’s see what we can do. And honestly like we had so many projects that we put on the list that would literally take the full like two weeks. And so I was like, you know what, let’s just leave it at two weeks. Some stuff will get finished in the first week, some stuff will hold over to the second week. Some stuff will take the whole time.

Dan Neumann [08:00]: Sure. No, that makes sense. And you said the kids Scrum board, do you have an adult’s Scrum board too? Or is work shared across the two boards of there? There are multiple boards.

Yvonne Marcus [08:11]: So for us we have our Sprint goals board, which is through where we put like our daily schedule, um, which we use for the daily Standup portion of our Scrum. And then we have like countdowns to important events. We have some family photos and then we have like our Sprint goals listed and we check things off from there. And that comes I think from Microsoft to-do, which was my husband’s application of choice.

Dan Neumann [08:36]: Oh, okay. So I’m not familiar with dac board, so I’ll, we’ll put a link to that in the show notes. I’ll go Google it later and kind of see, see what capabilities that has. Okay. So, but not a physical board like stuck to your refrigerator at least for your implementation.

Yvonne Marcus [08:51]: Yeah, we use a raspberry PI with a, uh, SD card of it that is then attached to a TV that is mounted on the wall.

Dan Neumann [09:01]: You did go fancy. There’s definitely an engineer involved in this or you’ve got engineering in your background too. Somehow. All y’all ended up with a very fancy high tech solution.

Yvonne Marcus [09:11]: Yeah. And, um, I’ve even liked done more research since then and found out that you could go even fancier by putting the raspberry PI inside of your TV. And I was like, Whoa.

Dan Neumann [09:20]: So for people who are listening in, they’re like, yeah, I’m not going to go with DAC board or raspberry PI, et cetera. How might you, um, like what, how do you help them figure out what the best visibility, how to create this transparency if they’re not going full on like touch panel, 60 inch things stuck to the living room, you know?

Yvonne Marcus [09:37]: Yeah. So we do a lot of white boarding. Um, and of course you can go sort of the traditional like what you see on every Scrum website ever and use post it notes. Uh, but I liked the whiteboard and then putting everything in either a Google sheet or, um, cause I, I use Gmail, so it’s just easier for me to do everything in there or, um, to use an application that does, to do lists. My husband likes Microsoft to do. So that was the one that we use because one of the main pieces of advice that I’m going to tell everyone is do not ask your partner or anyone in your family to start using a new piece of software that they do not already use in the beginning

Dan Neumann [10:25]: So go with the path of least resistance.

Yvonne Marcus [10:27]: Yes. Because if you ask someone to download a new piece of software and open it and they’re not used to it, they’re not going to do it and you’re going to fail at your first implementation of trying to run agile at your house or run Scrum, however it is that you want to do it. Um, I have an episode of my podcast where we talk about Kanban, which is, you know, equally applicable to households. It just depends on how your brain works on how your family runs. Um, and for us it just, I’m ADHD and being able to knock stuff off that to do list was way more important. But then I just went to my husband and I was like, okay, these are the applications I like. These are the applications you like, how can we either merge them together or how can we make it visible to me through the application that you want to use.

Dan Neumann [11:14]: Very cool. And so you were able to find that you kind of went with, he liked using to do and you either didn’t have a strong preference or did you use a way to integrate those?

Yvonne Marcus [11:24]: Um, so we just presented them through the dac board, but if we had not, we would have used, um, I was using air table for a while. Um, click up has a great, uh, agile, um, setup inside of it. Um, because I was already using those things for my business. So it was easy for me to just say, okay, we can also use these from home. Uh, we use Trello at one point. Um, so we’ve pretty much tried and iterated on it because what’s going to happen is, is you know, people are going to try a certain software that they’re already using and then they’re going to find some limitations and then they’re going to go and do some research and find something else that maybe works or they’re just going to bend what they do into the limitation that they’ve found. It just, you know, you’re going to figure that out at your retrospective.

Dan Neumann [12:11]: Yeah. And I would say my brain was going to retrospect to, so you talked about populating the backlog and the kind of the iteration itself. You have a daily Scrum. Do you guys find a morning or afternoon what works best for you guys for your daily Scrum?

Yvonne Marcus [12:26]: So we do it first thing in the morning. Uh, we make our coffee through the Cemex. So a lot of times while that coffee is, is filtering through, we can stay in there and talk about what’s on the schedule for the day. And, uh, you know, we deal with school pickup and drop off. We deal with, uh, who has a meeting. At what time, which is super important if everybody’s at home working cause you don’t want to have calls at the same time as someone else where you have to share a space. Uh, and my husband and I were sharing an office for the last five years. Um, so we would kind of try and map that out. Um, also his calendar is visible to me all the time because we did connect our ICAT links to each other so that we didn’t schedule on top of each other. Um, and then, you know, we just kind of go over all of that stuff. But then the last thing that we look at is how much time do we need to take care of yourself today? Um, because you know, if you don’t set that self care time at the very beginning of the day and say, I need an hour to myself and this is when I’m going to take it, you will always find something in your home that you feel like is more important, that needs to be done and you’ll forget about it.

Dan Neumann [13:49]: So I think a self care was a pretty big topic at the last agile conference but still fairly new concept. I think maybe you could elaborate on what self care might look like and how it might be different for one person versus another one.

Yvonne Marcus [14:02]: Yeah, so traditionally when we’ve heard of self care, we’ve kind of thought of bubble baths, massages, candles, our long to dos.

Dan Neumann [14:10]: You got me.

Yvonne Marcus [14:13]: Hey, nobody gets on for that. Um, and so to me, um, your self care time is something you enjoy doing, uh, that gives you a chance to shut off your brain from the other things that are going on in your life. Um, and this is why I say that self care is not the answer for moms because it’s or dads, um, just parents in general. It’s not because I used to take my self care time and then I would just be like sitting there trying to read my book, thinking about all the other things that could be done or I would spend that time being stressed out about what it was going to look like when I went back to life. Um, and that wasn’t helpful at all. So the answer was of course, setting the agile processes and getting those done and then taking this time to myself to read a book. Um, take a internet course, crochet, um, you know, just any of those things that make you feel good and relaxed. Maybe it’s just go and listen to music or meditate or you know, whatever it is that looks like self care to you because it’s such a very personalized thing. Um, and then you can do it and you can feel relief and you can actually feel that relaxation.

Dan Neumann [15:28]: So part of the, it seems like it pairs well with that whole sustainable pace, working at a pace indefinitely with the principles behind the Agile Manifesto. We’re just, you know, not all about the work.

Yvonne Marcus [15:38]: Yeah. I mean you have to, you have to be focused on making sure that everything is set at a pace in which you can sustain yourself. And to be honest, your first few Sprints, you might put way too much on it or you might put not enough on it cause you don’t know yet. So just stick with it if that’s what you find because you will get to where you know exactly what you can do.

Dan Neumann [16:03]: For sure. And you’d, uh, that’s a nice segue then into the retrospective. So coming back full circle to that, which is a chance to stop and continuously improve.

Yvonne Marcus [16:12]: Yeah. We love, love, love the feedback loop, the screens and the amount of information that you get from your children at the retrospective. Oh, it’s good. It’s a gold mine. Um, because you sit down and you say, you know, what worked well for us this week and then everybody talks about all the things you completed and how that worked. Or, you know, if the consequence that was set for the behavior is working, such as, you know, you’re going to go have some quiet time in your room for a couple of minutes until you can take some deep breaths and relax and come back and talk to people nicely. Um, if that’s working, then your kids will say, you know what, I really liked having that quiet time in my room this week. It was really nice for me to go and reset myself. Um, and then, you know, you’ll go into what’s not working for us this week. And when you get into that, you get some real stuff. Like the kids will tell you if you were too mean to them this week or, um, they didn’t like the milk you bought or you know, something’s not working in their room. Like, well, you know, it’s really not working for me that my closet door doesn’t shut all the way because would has expanded or contracted, okay, well we can fix that. We can, you know, we can get a new door. Let’s, let’s put that on our backlog and see where it fits in our Sprint and priority and all of those things. Um, but you really get to open up this can of your kids giving you something as soon as your kids actually trust that that information is going to be used to create a better environment for them.

Dan Neumann [17:47]: That’s interesting. You know, I think it was before clicked record, I was saying my household was very command and control. I was a preacher’s kid and there was not a lot of contributing, you know, the, the, the punishment was uh, predefined and it was um, significant, you know, there was not a lot of feedback about how I don’t like the process. Um, so that’s kind of cool that you’ve, you’ve kind of found this other way to open the communication channels.

Yvonne Marcus [18:10]: Well I like it because, um, you learn a lot about your kids for one and for two. Um, they’re just more open with you. The more that they trust you and that trust process, you know, is going to go back and forth. The more I trust them, the more they’re going to trust me and therefore I don’t have to set as many like crazy consequences. I mean sure, sometimes things don’t have an actual consequence or your kids can’t come up with an idea for what that consequence should be. So we will say, well, here’s what we think it should be and let’s try it for two weeks.

Dan Neumann [18:47]: It’s an experiment. Yeah, you’re going to come back. It’s not until death do us part. It’s an idea for, in your case, two weeks. And you know, if it is awesome, that’s great. And if it’s not, then you can have a chance to iterate on it and fix it later.

Yvonne Marcus [19:02]: Exactly. And iterating is something we do a lot of. Um, because one of the big things I always talk about is like a car keys or house keys. Like how many times a day do you lose them?

Dan Neumann [19:13]: When we used to go places back in the good old days.

Yvonne Marcus [19:16]: Yeah. And so, you know, we had tried setting them in the same location every day. Uh, I still had to put a tile on my keys to find them because I was never finding them. Uh, and they would still be in the same place that they were supposed to be and I still was like lost. And then the other part was, um, so after we did that and we realized that wasn’t working, the next thing we realized it was inefficient. The keys were in the kitchen, but our bedroom and garage were on the other side of the house. And I was often putting on shoes in the bedroom and then ready to leave. So it doesn’t work for me for my keys to then be on the other end of the house and me, you have to walk back. I hate those kinds of inefficiencies. Um, and so I was like, okay, what can we do? So we bought these little magnets that were just little circular magnets that you hang on the wall and then you just attach your key ring to the magnet and it was right by the door into the garage.

Dan Neumann [20:08]: Super cool. Yeah, very accessible. I think our car keys have ended up being a little ceramic dish that my, my wife made at the, uh, at the museum. She’s taking a little class there. And so one of those ceramic dishes is now the keys for the deadbolts and it’s, it’s right there.

Yvonne Marcus [20:21]: I love it. Yeah. And for me it’s just what is the simplest thing that you can do to create a solution for the start? Don’t go to Pinterest, don’t go, you know, don’t send your husband to Lowe’s or your wife to Lowe’s to like, you know, go look at all of the options. Uh, because um, my husband, I don’t know if you’ve done the, um, Gretchen Ruben questioner I said are like four personalities. And so my husband’s a questioner and I’m an obliger, which means if somebody, um, if somebody says they’re going to do something, like I will feel obligated to do it, or if somebody just mentioned something needs to be done, I will feel obligated that I need to complete that task. My husband will feel the need to question why the task needs to be done in the first place or what is the best way to do it. And a lot of times, a lot of times the questionnaire can end up like down a rabbit hole of trying to research the best possible option. And for me it’s like, no, we just need something to fix it now.

Dan Neumann [21:28]: That’s cool. Yeah. So that you said it was Gretchen who? Ruben. Okay, well I’ll, we’ll put a link to that in the show notes then. So other people can go find it. I’ll be curious to see what I am.

Yvonne Marcus [21:40]: Yeah, it’s a little test and I took it and then I had my husband take it and it was just so obvious at the end. I was like, yes, that is me.

Dan Neumann [21:47]: So you’re doing a little bit of a little bit of discovery, a little bit of learning who’s on the team and how to communicate with them, maybe in a style than that they’re more receptive to hearing or at least understanding why the behaviors that way.

Yvonne Marcus [22:01]: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And we do that all the time because like I have ADHD, we have another member of the family who has ADHD and even two people with ADHDs’ brains don’t work the exact same way. And then you have some neuro-typical people whose brains work completely differently and they don’t understand the chaos of this ADHD brain. And so when you sit down and you do these things, you learn so much just about how each person’s brain works by what is or isn’t working for them.

Dan Neumann [22:30]: That’s interesting. And does the, uh, one of the things you’d mentioned was making the invisible visible. So you know, you’ve got the backlog, the board itself, you’re doing the retrospectives. Do you find that that is supportive of the different brain types in your family then regardless of of kind of the particular way that the brains are working?

Yvonne Marcus [22:48]: Absolutely. Because, um, for me, like lots of work was invisible because I wasn’t communicating it. Uh, partially because I felt those societal expectations as a mom to be in charge of the house and to cook the dinner and to feed the children and be the person who has to pick him up from preschool and to be the contact person if they’re sick. Like all of these things that we just feel like we have to do because that’s what’s been modeled, um, this sort of mommy martyrdom that has been modeled for eons. Um, and I didn’t like it, so I was like, we have to switch that up. My kids need to know that dad can do everything that mom can do. Um, and um, so then we talked about that and that’s why we started making this, you know, the work visible of just talking about what has to be done during the day and on the calendar every week there’s like, what day the kids’ laundry needs to be done and what day the adults laundry needs to be done. It’s on the calendar to remind me the ADHD brain that would forget. And, and it’s also, they are so that the little children can see that like this is how many sleeps we have until laundry gets done. So if my favorite shirt is not clean, this is when it will be clean. And then, um, my husband who doesn’t really need any of that to be there is just, okay, it’s on the calendar. I can ignore it. I can do it. Like I, you know, he can go and do the laundry because even if he left the house, which he doesn’t cause he works from home, um, he can start the laundry at like seven o’clock in the morning and I could go down and change it into the dryer and fold it. Um, and no one task has to be done by any person. And that’s one of the things we talk about with the self assigning tasks in my house is the fact that, you know, as an adult I don’t have to do all the things. So why do my kids have to do all of the things? There are other ways to teach them how to do laundry. Maybe it’s, I just create a pictorial chart as if they’re putting together Ikea furniture and that’s what they look at when they go to do their laundry, if they have to.

Dan Neumann [24:53]: That’s cool. Kind of creating some different enablers so they can contribute. So I could imagine that there may be some people thinking, Oh my God, that’s a lot of stuff. Like how do I, I just like, do you go, do you advocate that people big bang this with like we need the, the backlog and the board and the retro and the Scrum and et cetera? Or do you, do you suggest people Wade into this? Is it an exercise for the reader and they figure out how to go, what’s your guidance?

Yvonne Marcus [25:21]: Yeah, when people are nervous about getting started, I always say to start with the daily Standup because just making sure that everybody knows what is going on from day to day and being able to, um, reconfigure time so that everybody’s time is valued, is going to be one of the most eye-opening spots. Um, because I don’t have to be the person who takes little Johnny to the dentist every six months. Maybe I am like one six month appointment and my husband is the other six month appointment. But if we don’t talk about that, then nobody ever knows that that’s a possibility. And so that’s why I always just say if you start with the daily standup, like you’ll see the most immediate success.

Dan Neumann [26:10]: I like the phrase reconfiguring the time so that it’s valuable. One of the misunderstandings of the daily Scrum with a lot of software teams is all to status report to the Scrum Master or we’re telling the Product Owner, et cetera, and really isn’t there for the team to self-organize around their work for the next day. And so your description of reconfiguring the time so that it’s, it’s valuable. I thought it was a really, really nice kind of twist on the, a way to think about that kind of a different mental model. Um, hopefully far enough away from a status reporting one, uh, that people can, can maybe that cross over the threshold. Yeah.

Yvonne Marcus [26:45]: Well and I think it’s like really hard, especially for like stay at home moms to think of their time as being equal to money. But it is like your time is still valuable in a way that like if you have to do this and you’re not able to do something else, you’re losing something. Right.

Dan Neumann [27:04]: Then different types of value. Yeah. You know, the, the, the money side is one thing. If it’s not getting done by that person, it’s getting done by somebody. And so there’s the possibility, write a check for it or kind of the other types of costs, the mental cost of thinking, Oh God, there’s the thing and it has to be done and that’s not done. And so there’s the mental cost around that as well.

Yvonne Marcus [27:23]: Exactly. And everybody just needs to know that they are valued. And that’s why I love using this agile process is because everybody having input means that everybody knows that they have a weight in what goes on.

Dan Neumann [27:38]: I love it. Is there, I think that’s a wonderful bow to put to put on it. Is there anything else you think is critical for people to know about this, this agile at home, agile home, agile management?

Yvonne Marcus [27:51]: I think the biggest thing is just to try it and see if you like it. And I think that you will because I think you will notice that there are less arguments and there’s less friction and there’s even sometimes a lower budget because you’re able to plan for sort of things that might be emergencies otherwise. Um, like red shirt day at school.

Dan Neumann [28:11]: I’m intrigued. So then that became a card, I’m assuming I want to know more.

Dan Neumann [28:15]: Yeah, we just kind of put it on the calendar when it was supposed to happen and then you know, because I knew it was going to happen like at the beginning of the school year, cause our school is very good about telling us things in advance. Then I can put it on the calendar and I could plan for it now by buying the red shirt when it was cheap versus having to spend a whole lot of money or more money than I would have if I waited until the week of.

Dan Neumann [28:39]: Yeah, you don’t have your, uh, you’re taking care of your sources of demand so you don’t have the, the, uh, the failure demand, the, uh, you know, Monday evening and I need the shirt for Tuesday morning and yeah, I love it. That’s super cool. Well, good. Well thank you. I appreciate you taking some time to talk about agile at home and we wrap up with asking people what they’re learning on their continuous learning journey. Oftentimes it’s a book. It doesn’t have to be, but I’m curious what, what’s got you inspired these days?

Yvonne Marcus [29:12]: So for me, uh, my husband came to me a few months ago and was talking to me about the fact that I had a skill, a skill that was actually very valued out in the world and made lots of money. And I was like, what skill are you talking about? And he was like, well, you can find anything on the internet and you’re very nosy, so you like to go and find anything on the internet. And I was like, okay. So he said, there’s this infoset community and you should check it out. So I started following people on Twitter and then I started taking this amazing course from the cyber mentor on uedmy about ethical hacking and that’s literally what I’m spending my time right now is learning about Linux and um, Python.

Dan Neumann [29:54]: Very cool. Have you tried hacking your electronic Scrum board yet?

Yvonne Marcus [29:58]: Not yet, but I will.

Dan Neumann [30:00]: You you’ve got, you’ve got a ready made platform there to test your new found skills on.

Yvonne Marcus [30:06]: I cannot wait. It’s going to be so fun.

Dan Neumann [30:08]: That’s wonderful. Well, I really appreciate the time it has flown and thank you for sharing and we’ll put a link to your podcast in the show notes and, and the other good artifacts that you’d mentioned as well. So thank you for that.

Yvonne Marcus [30:21]: Thank you for having me.

Outro [30:23]: This has been the Agile Coaches’ Corner podcast brought to you by AgileThought. The views, opinions, and information expressed in this podcast are solely those of the hosts and the guests and do not necessarily represent those of AgileThought. Get the show notes and other helpful tips for this episode and other episodes at

Stay Up-To-Date