Well managed relationships- Believe it or not -Agile development methodology applied to families !!
At 7 p.m. on a Sunday in Hidden Springs, Idaho, the six members of the Starr family were sitting down to the highlight of their week: the family meeting. The Starrs are a typical American family, with their share of everyday family issues. David is a software engineer; his wife, Eleanor, takes care of their four children, ages 10 to 15. One of the children has Asperger syndrome, another ADHD; one tutors math on the near side of town; one practices lacrosse on the far side. "We were living in complete chaos," Eleanor said.
What the Starrs did next was surprising. Instead of consulting relatives or friends, they looked to David's workplace. They turned to a cutting-edge program called agile development that has rapidly spread from manufacturers in Japan to startups in Silicon Valley. It's a system of group dynamics in which workers are organized into small teams, hold daily progress sessions and weekly reviews.Like many parents, the Starrs were trapped between the smooth-running household they aspired to have and the exhausting, earsplitting one they actually lived in. "I was trying the whole 'love them and everything will work out' philosophy," she said, "but it wasn't working. 'For the love of God,' I finally said, 'I can't take this any more.' "
As David explained, "Having weekly family meetings increased communication, improved productivity, lowered stress and made everyone much happier to be part of the family team."
When my wife and I adopted the agile blueprint in our own home, weekly family meetings with our then-5-year-old twin daughters quickly became the centerpiece around which we organized our family. The meetings transformed our relationships with our kids—and each other. And they took up less than 20 minutes a week.
The past few years have seen a rapid erosion of the wall that once divided work and family. New technologies allow busy employees to check in with one another during "family time" and allow busy parents to interact with their kids during "work time." But as close as the two worlds have grown, they've rarely exchanged ideas. Parents hoping to improve their families have been stuck with stale techniques from shrinks, self-help gurus and other "family experts." Meanwhile, in workplaces across America, breakthrough ideas have emerged to make teams run more smoothly.
A new generation of parents is now taking solutions from the workplace and transferring them home. From accountability checklists to family branding sessions, from time-shifting meals to more efficient conflict resolution, families are finally reaping the benefits of decades of groundbreaking research into group dynamics. The result is a bold new blueprint for happy families.
Surveys show that both parents and children list stress as their No. 1 concern. A chief source of that stress is change. Just as kids stop teething, they start throwing tantrums; just as they stop needing us to give them a bath, they need our help dealing with online hazing. No wonder psychologist Salvador Minuchin said that the most important characteristic of families is being "rapidly adaptable."