TCF Bank is a household name, a MnTech member and active part of Minnesota’s technology community. Like many great companies of its size, there are external services that come to mind when their name is mentioned, with many smaller, lesser known projects happening within. That’s why for this month’s Member Feature, we’re delighted to shine a light on the work of TCF’s May Mohammed and her family’s Agile solution for kids learning at home.

Mohammed is a product owner and business consultant at TCF Capital Solutions. She is part of the Agile coaching group at TCF, and also volunteers at a non-government organization that aims to provide Agile training and coaching to various groups working to improve the chances of success and employment for youth and women in her home country of origin, Sudan. Her children are Maryam (15yrs), Yasmeen (13yrs) and Yousif (11 yrs).

When the stay-at-home order was announced, Mohammed found a new way to apply her Agile expertise.

“As a mother of 3 kids attending school, I knew I had a challenge ahead of me to continue to be efficient at my work and to help my children work as independently as possible while having their work organized and visible to me,” Mohammed explained. “I also knew that many of our team members would be facing the same challenges, especially that some also had to work onsite.”

The leaders at TCF, Mohammed said, encourage their team members to reflect on their purpose and beliefs while supporting each other and the community to thrive in these hard times. Taking that wisdom to heart, Mohammed decided to lean on her expertise as an Agile professional to find a balance of organization, visibility, efficiency and reward at home.

Those familiar with the Agile system will likely know that Kanban is a Lean Method often used within the Agile community as a means of managing and improving work productivity. A Kanban board is an organization tool designed to visually display a project at various stages of completion.  For this Agile expert and mother, it made perfect sense to teach her children how to use this helpful and visual tool.

“The kids and I worked to create Kanban boards to reflect the kids’ school work,” Mohammed explained.  “Each child created their board and decorated it to reflect their personality. They broke down the board with swim lanes representing every subject they have. This helped in creating ‘ownership’ of the boards.”

At the start of every week, the kids create sticky notes to reflect their upcoming work in a ‘Weekly planned’ section. Then at the start of each day, they pull in the items they plan to work on and place them in the ‘Daily Planned’ column. As they work through their assignments, they move them to the ‘in progress’ column. Finally, as assignments are completed, they are moved to the ‘Done’ column.

This process has been helpful in breaking down the kids’ work so it doesn’t feel overwhelming, visualizing it so everyone in the family knows what they’re working on at any given point, and also helping them ensure they are working on one assignment at a time.

Kanban for everyone
“I shared our boards with our team members,” Mohammed said, “and there was interest to share Kanban practices with our business partners and invite their kids to learn and benefit from this experience. So, Kanban4Kiddos was created to share this knowledge in a light and fun environment!”

Designed and delivered by kids for kids, Kanban4Kiddos aims to help kids and families embrace Agile principles that help families achieve efficiency. Mohammed and her kids have already delivered two sessions to TCF team members and their families. They showed how you can use Kanban for group projects for school, work or otherwise. They also covered online tools to enable virtual planning and collaboration.

“My kids are already planning more sessions for the community to spread the knowledge and encourage teams and families to utilize online collaboration tools that support remote work,” Mohammed added.

If you’re interested in learning more about KanBan4Kiddos you can email May Mohammed at

Looking for more ways to engage with Minnesota’s tech leaders? Reach out to MHTA’s Director of Membership and Sponsorship, Ray Hoover at