more on multi-tasking

The other day I noticed an interesting side-effect of multi-tasking

In the very strange organisation where I currently work everyone works on many pieces of work simultaneously. And the historical mind-set means that every task or workflow item requires many people to complete it. This week a number of times I found myself frustrated because I couldn’t progress any of the tasks on my list, and gradually I realised why: Every work item involved six or seven other people. Suppose I have a two-hour task to complete (ie. under normal circumstances it would be easy to complete it inside one day). To get it done I have to involve five or six different people at various times, but the chances of them ALL being free (not in meetings, not off sick, not on vacation) on that same day are tiny. Consequently every task takes maybe ten times longer than it should.

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