Multitasking: lethal to productivity and successful delivery of projects
resources to coordinate, the more bottle necks encountered, and as a result, the more likely we are to multitask. Although some still assume multitasking is a good thing – it is clearly harmful to the productivity within an organization. “Multitasking is not an individual challenge; it’s an institutional one” (Harrin 3). In fact, research done by Realization, a Silicon Valley firm, shows that “the net loss in productivity is about 50% to 75% for a typical organization, compared to 25% for individuals. Worst of all, the problem typically goes unnoticed because everyone seems busy and appears to be working hard.” When there are multiple projects being worked on at one time, it becomes more difficult to coordinate responsibilities and progress. “When no task is a priority, every task seems equally important” (Harrin 4).
So what do they recommend you do?
- Prepare for your projects.
Preparing and planning before starting will help create a clear path for the project plan for team members to follow.
- Work on less at a time.
It might seem like less is getting done since there are less open issues, but really, less is more.
- Effectively use technology.
It can take weeks to get the necessary people in the right room at the right time. Embrace technology as a way to stay on track.
Online project management tools, and much more
Using an online project management tool is a big step in the right direction. All members of the team can login to see what tasks are coming up, and who is responsible for what. Task priorities highlight urgencies and improve focus. Online project management tools, like other 'single focus' tools, can be vastly improved if other capabilities are provided in the same online platform. For example, most project teams need to organize a substantial number of documents, so online document management is key. Online discussion forums track everyone's input and help you remember the rationale for decisions later on. Project-specific data -- things that are typically tracked in a spreadsheet and emailed -- are better kept in an online database. One technology provider, GroveSite, includes project management, document management, discussion forums, and online databases in its online collaborative workspaces . So give these cool technology tools a try. Doing so will help keep your teams – whether small or large – organized, informed, happy and on-task.
Harrin, Elizabeth. THE DANGERS OF ORGANIZATIONAL MULTITASKING. Rep. PROJECTSATWORK, 17 Sept. 2012. Web. 09 Oct. 2012.