Multi-Tasking: Why Projects Take so Long

From a new, interesting, Theory of Constraint blog by Kevin Fox – Multi-Tasking: Why projects take so long and still go late

In many companies the impact of multi-tasking is obscured by the fact that in spite of its prevalence most projects still finish on time. While this reliability is nice, it masks the even more significant opportunity to cut project durations substantially. If projects are being delivered on or close to schedule, and multi-tasking is occurring, it can only mean that the task estimates used in the plan are significantly inflated.

But understanding is not enough. The drivers of multi-tasking are built into the processes, measurements, and systems most companies manage their projects. We strive hard to keep people busy all of the time, to maximize the output of all of our resources and be efficient. Performance measures on project managers and executives motivate them to focus on delivering individual projects, without understanding of the impact of their actions on the rest of the pipeline. Conventional scheduling and pipelining tools pay no attention to these factors and routinely overload resources making multi-tasking nearly inevitable.

via: Silk and Spinach. Related: articles on Theory of ConstraintsMultitasking is not Part of Standard WorkFlowFast Cycle Change in Knowledge-Based Organizationssingle piece flow

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