22. A Work Flow Chart for a Lemonade Stand? Please!
Linking Project Management to their Lives:
Reminded classes about the project management they already did for making Paprika Chicken dinner, and the Grow Food Project.
Our community is big on remodelling. So kids started by sharing good and disaster re-model stories. I linked that to good or poor project management – forgetting to order the fridge so the rest of the kitchen can’t be finished. Not understanding the objective of the project (like say, only remodeling HALF the house and not the whole thing. True.) Or not taking time to test components before installing very expensive solar panels. Oops. So project management skills will make the difference between a thriving and a dead contracting business.
Start with what they already know:
But a lemonade stand, why would we need to ‘project manage’ something so easy? Kids generated to do lists more or less like this:
1. Make lemonade
2. Make a stand
3. Make some signs
4. Sell lemonade and donate the money
5. Make poster. Okay, done!
Then I asked “What does ‘making signs’ need for it to happen?” so they could generate sub-tasks. Showed one or two examples so they’d be ready for the task list I had generated for the work sheet #17.
Re-teaching Work Flow Charts
Gathered the class round and showed how they could use the desks as a time line with the Open House deadline drawn at the desk end facing the middle of class. Had kids sort out the cut out tasks from the worksheet #17 into stuff that needs to be done early, middle and toward the end of the project.
In their groups, they cut out the tasks from sheet #17 and organized them into a flow chart. Most were just one ribbon like a fancy, linear to-do list. Challenged them to figure out which tasks could be done in parallel, to save time and make sure both partners are busy. Then showed the work flow chart I had thrown together just before class. The sheet “Take Action Project Management” gives details.
Here’s a simple work flow chart example (sorry about the dog bowl. Don’t ask!):
Going around the room after they were done, some said they were surprised at how involved just doing a lemonade stand could be, especially if you want to make kick !#$@!# lemonade that will sell really well! And that getting permission from the land owner was key to all the rest being even possible.
I used the lemonade stand example to teach both the process and the tasks that they should really think about before selling anything.
Applying Work Flow Skills to Their Own Take Action Project
Finally, they get to get going!
They set up their log book covers, and the Task/Sub task page for their brainstorming in their log books and got right down to filling in tasks. they were so ready to get going.
My husband, the real project manager, says that the most valuable piece of technology for project planning is…. (sorry GANT chart software)… the Post-It. So when they have their tasks and sub-tasks, they write each item onto a post it and make it into a flow chart on a big piece of paper to share with their parents and bring in on Tuesday, similar to the work flow chart above.
I felt kind of overwhelmed with the responsibility of teaching all of project management in one day. Karen and I both. So we calmed it down by ONLY doing the flow chart today. We’ll do the time line and action plan after the weekend. Because if the teacher ain’t happy, ain’t NOBODY happy 🙂
Happy week end everyone. Nice to ‘meet’ some of you at the PBL Better With Practice webinar yesterday. There’s another cool sounding one on Wed.11th. I’ll be there at the 5pm one.